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Second Life and the Social Sector on SocialEdge

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This past spring the raised over $40,000 with a virtual walkathon in

If you've been wondering if your nonprofit should have a presence on Second Life,  Online Community Manager, Susan Tenby, (Glitteractica Cookie in Second Life) is facilitating an online discussion on with (Jumper LeSeure in Second Life) about moving your nonprofit to Second Life.  The is going on until Monday, October 30th so check it out.

Online Event this week on Social Edge about nonprofits and Second Life

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I wanted to let you all know about an online event that I am co-hosting this week with Paul Lamb from Man on a Mission Consulting.

Join the event:

 

Here is the announcement: 

Moving your social benefit organization to the world of Second Life

Join Paul Lamb, , known in Second Life as Jumper LeSuere (yes, that’s his avatar’s name).

Begun in 2003 by Linden Lab, is a 3-D virtual world with over 1 million registered users worldwide. Think of it as an online game that allows you to interact with others and move around and do things via your own online character (called an avatar).

Second Life has its own U.S. $64 Million annual economy, an independent media, its own currency, and a thriving virtual real estate market that allows you to purchase land and structures. It is reported that over 3,000 entrepreneurs are making more than U.S. $20,000 a year, selling not just real estate, but coding and distributing everything from clothes to body parts for your avatar in Second Life.

Last month Reuters news agency announced it would be setting up within Second Life to report specifically on the news there, and numerous universities and companies are conducting training courses and advertising in a world that is growing in population by 10-15% per month.

What does any of this have to do with the social sector? Well, you might just ask the , who raised over $40,000 this past spring by conducting a virtual walkathon in Second Life.

Take a look at this brief of a visit to Better World Island, where you will find Camp Darfur and other social benefit organizations. These organizations are interacting with online visitors to provide education, raise money and offering an alternative way for people to learn about their efforts, all online.

Joining Paul Lamb as a guest in the discussion will be , Online Community Manager at . Susan has taken the lead in involving her organization and in forming an ongoing on Second Life. She is currently in discussions on an effort to setup a free nonprofit office complex, and is developing a directory and for nonprofit newcomers in Second Life.

Before joining the discussion, you might wish to checkout the or sign up on yourself and try it out. It’s free and just requires you to register for an account.

Here are some thoughts on how social benefit organizations might use Second Life:

• Setup a virtual office space to host online visitors who can learn about what your organization does through online hosts and interactive activities.

• Use the site to conduct trainings for staff or clients who cannot be physically present in your offices OR create a virtual office and forego a physical office altogether?

• Advertise your organization to the Second Life community – 1 million and growing.

• Raise money.

• Use Second Life as a place to foresee and experiment with what is not yet possible or doable in the real world.

Please let us know your own thoughts on Second Life and the social sector:

If new to Second Life feel free to ask questions… Don’t worry: it takes a little getting used to.

If you are an active Second Life user, share your ideas and experiences and tell us if Second Life represents a new opportunity for the social sector.

Online Community Meet-up This Wednesday

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I wanted to let you all know that we are meeting up to discuss Online Communities tomorrow: 

 

The San Francisco Online Community Report Meetup Group

For readers of the Online Community Report or others interested in the topic of online community management and online group collaboration. We discuss tools and methods to enhance participation on various online communities that we support.

The San Francisco Online Community Report October Meetup
Wednesday, October 25, 2006 at 7:00PM

Let's meet to discuss new projects and technologies you are working on that pertain to Online Community. This includes your work with social networking applications, forums, listservs, etc.We, at TechSoup, have been getting particularly excited about SecondLife. What have new tools have you been using and what have you been working on? Let's meet at Hotel Biron again, in the little alley behind Zuni. you all there!The first nonprofit online community manager that shows up gets a free glass of wine on me!

Pop!Tech and Technology in Tibet

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Last week was conference in Camden, Maine.  While surfing around to see what bloggers were saying about it, I found this post, , by Ethan Zuckerman that describes a presentation by  Losang Rabgey, the Executive Director of a nonprofit that promotes sustainable development in the Himalayan region, .  Rabgey is also on the board of directors of the Tibetan Himalayan Digital Library. (Marshall Kirkpatrick interviewed , who works for the , for NetSquared last February).

Zuckerman describes an exciting project that Rabgey is involved in, the :

How to read blogs? An introduction for people new to reading blogs

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On our e-collaboration blog we have a post explaining how you can read blogs as a basic introduction for people who are new to reading blogs; you can read them every now and then, or systematically. It is written by and .

How to Read Blogs: 

There are various ways to read a webblog ('blog') that you think is of interest to you. The main choice you have to make is whether you want to visit the blog every now and then, or that you want to be up to date with every new post on that blog. You can find out more at

The Open API debate

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This morning, I sat in on the "" hosted by . First off, a tip o' the hat to NTEN for organizing this, the participants of the panel for an interesting conversation, and Mark Bolgiano from the for awesome moderation.

There were four perspectives:

If I was going to complain, I'd say it was way for-profit vendor heavy (63%?). It would have been nice to have heard from a circuit-rider or "for-little-profit" integrator/consultant type person, and maybe another nonprofit type (a moderately tech savvy ED?)

Thanks for the help!

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I attended NetSquared as a representative of the philanthropic, rather than the nonprofit, industry. I had a great time at the conference and it stimulated my interest in social networking tools. I've been impressed with the vigor with which nonprofits have taken to the social networking paradigm and I look forward to more tools being developed for donors, rather than just as ways for nonprofits to reach out to donors.

I recently launched a blog called . I'd like to invite all of you to visit and more importantly give my thanks to the NetSquared community. I'd especially like to single out Britt Bravo, Elisa Camahort, Beth Kanter and Seth Mazow for the helpful conversations I had with each of them and to Daniel Ben-Horin for inviting me to the conference in the first place.

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