It's been crazy busy last week and this week too. I'm so behind! But wanted to capture some quick thoughts related to a couple of recent awareness raising activities taking place in Second Life or recently launched. I'm so grateful that other bloggers and colleagues like Rik Riel do such excellent coverage of what's happening in Second Life.
Rik wrote a great post this called Global Poverty Death Counter: good cause, @!#(*@() implementation (Rik used another word in the headline, but I don't any trackback spam) . It is a rant about the billboard put up by the World Development Movement in Second Life.
What is ironic is that the WDM has not learned to apply what they presumably have learned from their other campaigns into virtual space. Namely that it isn't enough just to shame people. "Don't forget the real world" contains such a superior, pejorative tone. I.e. "Hey, idiot, get your head out of the digital sand and pay attention to things that matter."
He goes on to offer some advice:
- Get to know the community first.
- Educate about your cause
- Mobilize: Give people something to do.
- And not just fundraise.
- Provide Hope
According to my colleague Rik Riel, this campaign is sponsored by the Spanish NGO Mensajeros de la Paz, which is leveraging various new media to draw attention to their work. A Spain-based non-profit, their main goal is to create shelters and foster homes for poor children and elderly people. They have sponsored 296 foster homes housing 2,300 children! There's YouTube video here.
Rik visited the homeless avatar:
I decided to pop into SL to check it out. I tracked down the resident named "MensajeroDeLaPaz Jubilee" and got a TP to his location, appropriately enough, right in front of one of the NBC-sponsored Rockefeller Center sims. I found a bedraggled looking avatar sleeping in a cardboard box with a crude sign asking for donations.
I stopped by his location on enroute to the Museums and Second Life meeting dropped some lindens in his donation box. Like Rik, I found this a bit more compelling than a billboard.
At the Museums in Second Life meeting, I heard about this event that will take place on Friday. Actress and activist Mia Farrow will discuss and answer questions about the worsening situation in Darfur and neighboring Chad at a virtual press event in Second Life. The event will also feature a virtual replica of "Our Walls Bear Witness - Darfur: Who Will Survive Today?”, the powerful photography exhibition highlighting images of the Darfur crisis by leading photojournalists that were projected onto the exterior of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
So, here we have three different approaches to raising awareness about issues in virtual worlds by activists? What mix is most compelling and successful? Stay tuned it is all still an experiment.