Whew. Take a Moment.

Map of the Internet

Something happened this week that caused me to just stop and take a moment to consider what a freakin’ amazing thing the internet is.

So, here’s the situation.  We’re about to host a virtual world event in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Geneva Foundation for Medical Research (GFMER).  The event is one session of a many-session training course for healthcare providers around the world in sexual health and reproduction.  The participants will be tuning in from over 150 different countries, either with us in Second Life, or tuning into the live, streamed event online.

The event facilitator is Dr. Marloes Schoonheim, who is pretty freakin’ amazing herself.  She’s a demographer, researcher, and educator based in Geneva, Switzerland. Here’s her website. Here’s her blog.  And here’s her entry to the BBC My World short film competition.

We’ve been working with Marloes for a few weeks now (which has been an absolute delight), to introduce her to Second Life, pin down the content for the event, and adapt it for the unique affordances of the virtual environment.  We’re also recruiting participants to join us for the event, which will be optional.  Our first email announcement didn’t get much traction among these busy healthcare workers.  So we decided to try a different approach…

We filmed a 1-minute video “commercial” for the event, in Second Life, with Marloes’s avatar describing the plan and inviting everyone to come.  Here are the steps we took together:

1.  Drafted the script, emailed the document to Marloes.

2.  Connected via Skype to discuss.

3.  Arranged a time to meet in Second Life (6 hour time difference).

4.  Used Screenflow to video record Marloes’ avatar in the virtual world.

5.  Exported the video to MOV format and posted it to YouTube.

6.  Shared link to the video in emails to all participants in the course (in 150 countries).

Just take a moment to consider that list and the implications.  All done within 24 hours, between Boston and Geneva, without spending a nickel.  Pretty freakin’ amazing.  Here’s the video:


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