October 23 2017

Today we were introduced to the topic on which our Group Projects will be based. John chose the social media phenomenon #MeToo to focus on this semester. I was immediately excited about this as a topic as it is something I have followed and been interested in since its beginning. John explained that we will be working in groups to produce some form of presentation at the end of the semester that will recount our interpretation of this movement. It became clear that it was not just the final project that was important but they way in which we worked as a team and our process leading up to the presentation which John was interested in.



October 25 2017

In this class we began to discuss the MeToo hashtag which was a thoroughly interesting and insightful discussion for me as it is something I am already very passionate about. This class was perhaps the discussion I was most vocal in, however, with the introduction of the Sherkin Island students also, the class size made it difficult to have a consistent discussion as so many opinions were being voiced. John however managed to organise the class very well by touching on certain points and asking us questions to control the conversation. One point made, that I was not aware of was that the MeToo hashtag was not a 2017 invention and had actually been a movement created by a social activist called Tarana Burke in 2007 as a “campaign to serve sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities.” However due to the lesser influence of social media at the time, the campaign never really took off.  It was actress, Alyssa Milano who resurfaced the hashtag on Twitter, from which it spread to all social media platforms and to all corners of the globe.

Some students mentioned possible negative effects of the hashtag, which I had already considered. I suggested that perhaps it could be used for attention from false accusers, “jumping on the bandwagon” and therefore ruin the entire point of the campaign. This was discussed in the chat and it appeared others shared the same worries., that false accustaions are a huge problem and can be just as damaging. It was concluded that the best solution for this is stronger enforcement of repercussions for false accusers and that a prison sentence was not out of the question.

Following this class I hope to start communicating with the other members of my group, Bartek and Faye to begin planning our group project but in the meantime I plan to brainstorm interesting ways to present our project.




October 18 2017

This week we had our second official class in second Life. Some people still had trouble figuring out the mechanics of the game, myself included, but eventually most of the class made it to the classroom comfortably. I had a few more people I was not yet friends with so I made sure to send friend requests to anyone I had missed.

Once everyone had settled down a bit we began today’s discussion which was to contrast and compare three personal blogs John had linked to us the previous week. These were: DolceMerda.com, BrainPickings.org, IllustrationFriday,com and ChrisBrogan.com. We discussed these blogs in relation to identifying the author, what kind of person was behind these blog posts? It was clear that two of the blogs, BrainPickings and IllustrationFriday had multiple authors, or at least presented themselves as a business as a opposed to an individual person. This did not, however, take away from the friendliness and accessability of the blogs.



ChrisBrogan.org is the blog of the CEO of the Owner Media Group. Brogan uses his blog not only as a way to advertise his product and coaching lessons but to discuss through his regular posts, current topics that he wishes to voice his opinion on, focusing mainly on technology and cultural news topics. It is clear that the author is very knowledgable and confident in his posts and strikes a good balance between personal and professional in his impression.  Dolce Merda appears to have a similar idea, a blog which is used more or less as a portflio of this designer, Gianni Merda’s projects. In contrast however, it is purely image-based with the only text being used as captions and headings. It is a beautifully simplistic blog which reflects the artistic and graphic style of its author. Brainpickings and IllustrationFriday appear to be very well established blogs, which promote engagement with their audiences, especially IllustrationFriday which asks its audience to submit their artwork weekly from which it chooses a winner to exhibit at the end of the week. It was clear from examining these four blogs, that an author voice is important to the overall impression of the blog and can be as personal or professional as necessary.


October 17 2017

Having finally sorted out my technical issues I began to explore more of the vast and almost intimidating world of Second Life. We were asked to explore as much as possible. Find new areas, play around with our appearance, meet new people and generally get to know the platform.

I decided first and foremost to investigate were there any other real life renditions of places or cities on Second Life. I was pleasantly surprised when I was succesfully transported to Dublin!

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 18.40.59.png

It was not a place I could recognise straight away, but as I explored I came across an old irish cottage and a structure resembling a roundtower along a river. Not quite the city centre I imagined but as I explored further I found buildings and pubs reminiscent of a typical Irish pub in Temple Bar, called The Blarney Stone. Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 18.42.47

This was the first “public building” I decided to enter. It was beautifully designed, perfectly capturing the aesthetic of an Irish pub. The first thing that caught my attention was that it had been decorated for Halloween, an element I was not expecting. I was very impressed that this building was obviously being constantly decorated and maintained.

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 18.47.43

I continued to explore around Dublin however it was fairly empty at the time. This fantastically recreated city really encouraged me to discover what other places I could find in Second Life.

On another occasion, myself and niamhdiglog (Niamh Dignam) decided to do some more exploring together. Having very little experience in Second Life, we were stumped as to what our next destination would be. After a quick Google, it was suggested that we should visit a place known as “Patagonia.”

Patagonia was a beautiful, forest filled island and was my first experience where we could fly as well as just walk and run which was extremely fun.



There were a few buildings which we found, however, they were “private” areas, which I had not encountered yet. These buildings were restricted and after trying to get into a few, we were eventually banned from them unfortunately. We decided at this stage it was perhaps time to leave this picturesque area.


After my successful trip in Dublin I suggested we visit London. We transported there and walked through the virtual city, exploring the parks and cafés and admired the beautiful Ferris wheel in the north of the town. It was surprisingly easy to get onto the wheel, and we managed to sit on one together.

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 21.56.25.png

I managed to get a particularly nice shot with London in the background. This spot, however, was also like a ghost town. I encountered only one other person the entire time. After the ferris wheel ride I explored again and found a coffee shop where I sat and drank coffee for a while before leaving the gorgeous city.


My first experience exploring the countless places on Second Life was hugely successful and I was very impressed with the quality of the places I had visited. I am thoroughly looking forward to next weeks class.



October 11 2017

This was the date of our first class in Second Life. Having created my character, aptly named LauraGanter, I was asked to begin designing the appearance of this avatar, something I usually enjoy with online games. However, Second Life does not offer many conventional, everyday looking characters to choose from. There are instead, a wide range of elves, fairies, centaurs and other majestic creatures one can present as. This was my first indication that this website/experience/game will be far different than I expected.

I was now LauraGanter, the character, an (almost) completely anonymous avatar excited to explore this new virtual life. I was spawned in a weirdly utopian island know as “Learning Island.” Here I simply had to learn the basics of the game, the controls needed to move, how to talk to other characters etc. It appeared to be a fairly intuitive, simple game thankfully.


Although laggy and sometimes slow I began to get the hang of Second Life and was ready for my first official class in the online DIT campus. Shortly before the beginning of class, I attempted my first teleportation, to Arcata the island in which our DIT campus is situated. However at this stage, my laptop had had enough and began to die. After a many attempts to log in again and after a long hour of troubleshooting, I had officially missed my first class in Second Life. I will attempt to get my account back up and running and hope to have all my technical difficulties sorted for next week.