Over the last few evenings I was working hard with Jon Stahl, main organizer of the Plone Conference, in making a virtual colocation of the conference possible. And it seems to work. Bandwidth will hopefully allow streaming video at the conference location in Seattle and a little test with Darwin Streaming Server worked ok.
So what in detail are we planning?
If you want to attend the Plone Conference but cannot do so for whatever reason you can do so now at least virtually. For that you can enter the virtual world Second Life, an multi-player 3D platform to attend. I’ve built a conference location with a main auditorium for viewing selected talks and tutorials as well as some video booths showing Plone related videos by Sean Kelly and myself. We will stream these talks and tutorials via quicktime into Second Life. With Wiggy together we are also planning on having a streaming server running on
media.plone.org so that it does not need to go to Germany first from Seattle.
The advantage about streaming via a normal webpage is the communication factor. Being with other people interested in Plone at one location together which resembles a conference place and where you can discuss Plone related topics is a more immersive experience as a webpage.
We hope to give those not being able to attend the possibility to be as close to it as possible by providing a live stream. One drawback is though that because we only had a short time for preparing we can only show selected talks and not everything as only one computer will be able to stream but we have 4 rooms to cover in Seattle.
Another good thing about this is that we can make Second Life residents more aware of Plone as we are the first big open source conference to be streamed in-world. Already there are people asking about Plone or thinking about checking it out. And after the conference I am planning to continue this by providing more Plone, Zope, Python related stuff (like videos and so on) at this location. When more Plone people join Second Life we could also think about some regular meetings there and we can spread the word even more.
For Plone people OTOH it means that they might check out Second Life of course, so it’s a win-win situation :-)
About Second Life
Those who want to know a bit more about Second Life itself can go to http://secondlife.com/whatis/ and read
official explanation. Second Life just passed the 1 million resident marks due to a lot of media coverage recently
and because of the entering of many real life brands (e. g. SUN, Warner Brothers, Sony BMG, adidas, reebok) and
media companies (Wired, CNET, Reuters) into this virtual world. Beside that there’s also a lot going on in the
new media area, e.g. podcasters, bloggers and so on as they already use it to spread their brands, too.
Second Life is not a game in the traditional sense where it’s about fulfilling goals. In Second Life there are
no goals, you can choose what you want to do. You can build and script stuff via easy to use editors, you can
design clothes, you can attend events (there’s a huge live music scene for instance), you can shop or you can
sell stuff you created yourself. The in-world currency Linden Dollar is even convertible into US$.
As everything is relatively new there is still a lot of room for experiments be it in the media department
(like streaming video or audio back and forth between Real Life and Second Life), integrating web services
(in the more general sense), event planning and so on.
How to join the conference virtually
I’ve written sort of a Second Life primer for this which can be found at http://2006.plone.org/index.php/Second_Life
If you already have a Second Life account you can simply go to http://slurl.com/secondlife/Theta/155/190/24/ and arrive at the conference location.
Below are some photos of the conference location in Second Life. Feel free to check it out already.
Note for Wednesday
As Second Life is updating every second wednesday it’s time again tomorrow morning (pacific time). Thus it will be unavailable from 7am til noon. But you may use the Website stream which we will announce tomorrow.