Zeke Barber standing tall during the festivities …
Zeke Barber takes in the proceedings

… and my avatar was just one many that packed the Crayonville Amphitheatre
CaseCamp Second Life image

What a rush.

It’s some 12 hours after the inaugural CaseCamp Second Life, abortion clinic and I can say without any reservations that I’m pretty damn proud of what we pulled off — a marketing unconference in a 3-D virtual world. Between 35 and 40 avatars were in the Crayonville Amphitheatre for most of the evening, and several more followed the audio stream from Second Life’s U-Turn Cafe.


* I really did lose a sense of my physical presence at my computer desk and feel like I was in the Amphitheatre. What really helped, for me, was the using the ALT key (which I only just discovered at the start of the event). Without having to even move my avatar, I was able to zoom in and around the entire scene. I took in the presentations from the speakers’ feet, behind the speaker, from high above, and while checking out the nooks and crannies of some of the more colo[u]rful avatars.

* Zooming, snapping photos, and trading IMs with other participants was thrilling, but it also meant I wasn’t able to pay as close attention to the presenations as I would have liked. Fortunately, CaseCamp founder Eli Singer captured most of the audio from the event, and I’ll be able to go back and listen more carefully over the next few days (we’ll also post to the public wiki).

* There were some technical glitches — we lost a couple of the speakers, briefly, and I couldn’t be connected to the Skype call as we had hoped — but I don’t think they detracted too much from the event.

* Most of audience stuck around until the end. That’s always a good sign.

* CaseCamp Second Life allowed us to do what none of the previous editions had — have participants from across Canada and the US, as well as countries that included the UK and India.

Don’t just take my word on the experience, though.

Big thanks are owed to all of my fellow organizers — Kate Trgovac, who challenged me to make my original idea a reality; C.C. Chapman, who provided us with a space for the event and handled the moderating, decorating, and all of the technical questions that I’m glad I didn’t have to touch; and Eli Singer, CaseCamp’s founder. Lynette Young from Lynette Radio also donated her time and services to ensure we had a live audio stream.

And to the four speakers — Douglas Walker from the World RockPaperScissors Society, Michael Seaton from Scotiabank, John Wall from AccuRev, and Eli — we wouldn’t have an event without you. Thank you for sticking your necks out there!

I know we couldn’t accommodate everyone — and a large part of this is because of Second Life’s limitations — but CaseCamp Second Life was nonetheless a very impressive showing.

Can’t wait to hold the next one.

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