Sunday, January 22, 2012

Parallels and Pauses of Virtual Living - Part II

Wharf Ratz: Joplin Fundraiser
Ok, let's continue... With so much happening in real life, I missed the weekly networking event at Wharf Ratz hosted by Preferred Family Healthcare (PFH) in Second Life. The community gathering is always a lot of fun, relaxing and a great place to network! I am truly amazed at how the in-world team has developed PFH's  virtual-based substance abuse counseling program. I might add… It is a very successful and funded program. That simple fact is very encouraging. Kudos to PFH and other innovative organizations that are working, collaborating and connecting in Second Life and OpenSim. So it is always good to gather with friends to share information, successes, ideas, and of course the dance floor. This is a social networking event. 

Science Friday in Second Life
 Learning about existing virtual-based programs and projects definitely enriches my virtual world experience. It is my hope that more organizations will see the benefits of using virtual world with the raising travel expenses, multiple office locations, and the desire for global partnerships.  Virtually, there is so much to see... so much to learn… and so many people to meet.

STD/STI Lab at CherNetiva
Sometimes the virtual world experience parallels real life and sometimes it is paused by real life. Regardless, it’s a community where I can connect, collaborate and communicate with nonprofits, educators, researchers, entrepreneurs, artists, believers, and other professionals worldwide. Make no mistake about it... this is Not a game,  virtual worlds are serious business! You are invited to visit me at CherNetiva @ JokaydiaGRID or  Virtual Lab Training Center  anytime. Be sure to leave me an IM if I am not in-world. Virtual living may get paused but it does not stop...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Parallels and Pauses of Virtual Living - Part I

R2V/V2R Workshops
Although I promised to keep you updated on my virtual world activities on a more regular basis in 2012, real life (RL) may bring brief pauses in my writings. This past week was a perfect example of such a pause. So much has been happening in real life; my writer and RL person (Sally Cherry) did not have an opportunity to record my activities until now. Believe it or not, she monitors two calendars… the “Real Life” calendar for events that she can physically attend and the “virtual living” calendar for events that she can only attend via my in-world presence. With events and activities in real life and virtual worlds, life does get quite busy but never boring. 

SF Online TechSoup Meetup
The Real Life calendar included...  meetup networking, "Real to Virtual; Virtual to Real” Workshops planning, Dtech networking, Greater Baltimore HIV Health Services Planning Council meeting, and networking… Yes, Sally enjoys meeting people and networking. Go figure, I am the one who was nicknamed “The Networking Diva”.  Speaking of me, let’s see what my calendar looks like…  Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable (VWER) meeting, buildingNonprofits in Second Life (NPSL) meetings, Common Ground networking eventsHypergrid Adventurers' Club (HGAC), Hypergrid landmarks, and preparing for R2V/V2R workshop. It has been an exciting venture for this little avatar. The upcoming Capacity Building through Virtual Worlds workshop allows me to help people learn about virtual worlds through through mixed reality discussions and in-world travel. 

VWBPE 2012 is coming!
Woot, woot! The workshop participants and I will be attending the Virtual World - Best Practices in Education  5th Annual Conference (VWBPE 2012) hosted by the  education community of Second Life, OpenSim, and other virtual worlds.   The conference has been designed to promote the best and brightest from the Virtual World's education community. It is my understanding that over 2000 individuals (attendees and speakers) from ninety-one (91) countries and territories attended last year at VWBPE 2011. So excited...   
VWBPE 2012 will be a highlight for all of us.

Virtually yours,

Friday, January 13, 2012

Learning about 'Live and Learn in Kenya' at NPC Meeting

Woot, I am so excited about the Nonprofit Commons Meeting today (Jan 13th) which will be held at the Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater.  Today’s featured speaker is Brique Topaz, founder of Live and Learn in Kenya, Intl, a registered nonprofit in Germany and Kenya.

Brique will be talking about her work to improve the lives of poor children in Africa. As it was stated in the NPC meeting announcement, she has been using Second Life as a means of raising funds for meals for poor students in Kenya for several months now. I am pleased to report that the outcome has been an outstanding success.

SarVana Visiting LLK (Jan. 2011)
Since January 2010, Live and Learn in Kenya NGO has been in Second Life as a member of TechSoup  and the NPSL community. It operates from a virtual space where you can visit, learn about their work, browse photos and even chat if a LLK rep is in-world. There's more… A real life orphaned child in Kenya has already been sponsored through an encounter in Second Life.

I am looking forward to learning more about Live and Learn in Kenya (LLK) and its future plans. So, I hope that you will join us today (Jan 13th) at the Nonprofit Commons Aphitheater or any future NPC meetings.  At th emeetings, the NPSL community manager, RikRiel (Rik Panganiban) provides news from the parent organization, TechSoup. In addition, you will always learn something new from the resourceful NPC Mentors and during the "open mic" announcements time.  Wait, I can not mention Mentors without a shout out to Zinnia Zauber (current organizer), Buffy Beale, Brena Benoir, Ozma Malibu, MacZ Urbanowicz, Coughran Mayo, and all of the other mentors. 

Nonprofit Commons Meeting
When:   Today, January 13, 2012
Time:     8:30am PST (11:30 am EST)
Where: Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater

Today's Agenda (SLT/PST)
8:30 am Introductions
8:40 am TechSoup Announcements
8:45 am Mentors Corner
8:55 am Brique Topaz, Live and Learn in Kenya

 (All meetings start at 11:30 am EST)

The weekly NPC meetings and LLK in Second Life are great examples of how virtual worlds are being used for information sharing, fundraising, promoting campaigns, and networking. Since I am committed to capacity building through virtual worlds, I will be assisting at upcoming "Real to Virtual;Virtual to Real" Workshops: Capacity Building through Virtual Worlds . Stay tuned... I will be back... now, I must teleport into Second Life for the NPC meeting!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Historic Hypergrid Jump with HGAC

 1/5/12 - Sarvana at Gateway 1 with HGAC
(That's me in the green top and black boots)
Although it has been several days since the first Hypergrid Adventurers Club (HGAC) meeting and hypergrid jump of 2012, I am still very excited about the OpenSim experience. The HGAC group leader and founder, Pathfinder Lester (aka John Lester, Director of Community Development at ReactionGrid) had prepared a great navigation plan for teleporting from JokaydiaGRID's Scooter to Gateway1 to GermanGrid to Osgrid's Lbsa Plaza. It was a thrill to experience the historic, multiple stop hypergrid jump with virtual-based networking partners and colleagues even a few Facebook friends. I can barely wait to explore other functional hypergrid landmarks that have been verified by the Hypergrid Adventurers Club. 

 This little avatar definitely felt like a true "pioneer" during the jumps.  Sometime ago, Sally Cherry (RL writer) shared her thoughts about the hypergrid with Miriam Pia, a freelance writer for Hypergrid Business. It is only logical that I would agree with Sally when she said that we are ‘testers for future travelers’ or ‘frontier scouts’. Thus, the main reason for our virtual and real life excitement and involvement with OpenSim exploration. Our HGAC experience will be shared with upcoming real life training workshops' participants. A RL colleague once asked "Why use virtual worlds if you can't travel from grid to grid?"  Well, we will definitely be inviting him on a future hypergrid jump. 

With the anticipation of fascinating discoveries, I am looking forward to the JokaydiaGRID-OSGrid commute, shopping trips, and networking opportunities. Just a couple more reasons for the real life and virtual-based excitement!  HGAC rocks!!

Heads up... The next meeting will be held today, January 10th at 11:00 am EST. The meetings start on the region "Scooter" on JokaydiaGRID. Looks like the HGAC group leader, Patherfinder Lester has located more interesting destinations. HGAC meetings are great learning, networking, and sharing opportunities! You are invited to join us today or on a later date. Remember, no pressure... participants hypergrid jump when they can.

For more information about the HGAC and its meetings, see

Sunday, January 8, 2012

SarVana is back... Wishing you a Virtual and a Real Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to my virtual and real life friends
SarVana relaxing in Second Life
Greetings, First I must clarify a couple of things... I am an avatar with two last names, "Haalan" and "Cherry". While in Second Life, I travel as SarVana Haalan and in OpenSim (JokaydiaGRID, OSGrid, etc) I travel as Sarvana Cherry. Sometimes you will find Haalan in JokaydiaGRID doing quality control duty as "Inspector 12" or working on other projects. Regardless of my landing site, my virtual-based friends and colleagues just called me SarVana or "Sar". Second point of clarification... the real life writer, Sally Cherry relies on Sarvana Cherry and myself (SarVana Haalan) to help her explore and work virtually. In return, we rely on Sally to verbalize our words and "push the buttons" for a rewarding virtual experience (and project). You must believe me when I say that this little avatar SarVana Haalan virtually known as "The Networking Diva" has her own personality.
 Many apologies for my writing absence in 2011 but virtual explorations and real life can really keep an avatar busy.  No problem, we will bring you up to date. You are invited to freely browse my Flickr photo album where you will find many photos taken over the past years. News flash..  I will sharing more information and photos about my Second Life and OpenSim explorations and projects this year. So much is happening in the virtual world communities and I am just too thrilled Not to write about it.  So be sure to bookmark this blog, SarVana's Virtual Journal and teleport with us into the amazing world of virtual research, education, business,  health, and much more.
If you are a virtual resident, feel free to IM SarVana in-world or follow SarVana on Twitter. If you are not a virtual resident already, you can get started in Second Life here, and in OpenSim here
Virtual Traveler's Notes:
When you teleport into SecondLife or OpenSim,  please feel free to join us at: 
SarVana Business Centre @ Second Life
Cherry Network Centre @ Kitely
CherNetiva @ JokaydiaGRID
Nonprofit Commons @ Second Life 
 That's it for now. So, have a nice day and we hope to see you in-world.
SarVana Haalan
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