Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sloog - A Great Tool for Users of Second Life

Tomorrow I will be leading a discussion in Second Life (SL), which I posted earlier here. I'll be talking about a number of in-world tools and ways that information professionals can use these tools to assist with teaching and learning in SL.

I want to share a bit here on one particular tool, the Sloog HUD. For those of you who are familiar with the very popular social bookmarking tool,, Sloog works in a similar way, only it's used for in-world resources - to tag places, and avatars from within SL. Later on, from the Sloog website, you can easily search your saved data based on those tags (keywords). The website can also be accessed from within SL by clicking on the Sloog logo on your SL screen and having the website open up in-world.

I am using this tool for myself in-world in much the same way that I use for all my bookmarks. And as with, there are many ways one can use this tool to assist with teaching and learning. Users of Sloog will soon see connections to others who are tagging the same types of places in-world - users with the same interests, which those familiar with Web 2.0 understand oftentimes lead to opportunities to find people, research and places that one may not have found otherwise.

This summer I will be assisting a prof from my university with his class in Second Life and I intend to create a list of SL in-world resources for his students using a unique tag for his course. So along with the tags I use to describe the places and avatars I recommend or the prof requires the students to visit, I will also include a unique tag of GFUEDFL, which I created based on my university and the course program.

Since most of the students in this class will be new to SL, and since SL takes a while for new people to feel oriented and comfortable, I believe this tool will end up being useful in many ways. When students access the sloog website link I provide them, they will be able to click on the GFUEDFL tag on my Sloog page of SL places, and the entire list of places they need to visit for their course will appear. And there is a nice simple button for them to click on for them to easily and directly teleport to each place within SL.

Now here's the best part- Sloog is still very much under development. Very soon their website is going to be transformed (within 1-2 weeks). It will be much, much better, and will include some very smart features, such as notes and comments. This will allow for a number of other possibilities as students begin to tag their own resources and share and collaborate in new ways. Each user will have a user profile where they will be able to access their tagged places, avatars, comments and much more.

Finally, the Sloog team has been great (btw - Sloog was created by MosiMosi World out of Barcelona). They have been most helpful and seem genuinely interested in working to make Sloog a most useful tool. One of the staff, Anibal Shui, has gone above and beyond in helping me both in-world and via e-mail. Anibal went so far as to travel with me to different regions when I ran into a problem at one point, and helped me to understand more about how SL works and what was happening. I can't tell you how great that was and also how well that demonstrates one of the advantages of SL. As in the real world, the person helping can actually take you there and show you!

I am including here a snapshot I asked the Sloog team to take along with screenshots they kindly provided me to share with others about their, very soon to be made public, new Sloog website. BTW - if you are using SL, the next time you are in-world, you must check out the Mosi Mosi build. That is where the team meets, and where the snapshot of the team was taken, and it's a very cool and wonderful place. And it's where you can obtain the latest copy of the Sloog HUD yourself. So give Sloog a try- grab your Sloog HUD and start slooging!

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