As part of our Teen Second Life Press Junket that Global Kids organized yesterday, we had a film crew from the local news station New York 1 in our offices filming us putting on the event. It resulted in a really nice news story. You can also watch it online here for the next few days.
As the new kid on the block at Global Kids, I’ve had several opportunities to practice the “Elevator Pitch” describing our work:
"I work for a youth-oriented non-profit that helps teens in New York and beyond use technology to be better students and global leaders."
"I use virtual worlds to educate young people about important global issues and empower them to be better global citizens."
"I work for a non-profit called Global Kids. We connect teenagers with the technical tools and the knowledge to be better informed citizens and more successful students."
Yeah, I know, these suck.
Watching old hands like Barry and Rafi tell the GK story to various audiences large and small, I’m inspired to develop my own soundbites that communicate about our mission and work succinctly and convincingly.
My friend Tori Horton at the University of Southern California tells me that the USC Institute for Network Culture is looking for a "Virtual World Events Coordinator" from February - November. It's great to see that major educational institutions are seeing the value of bringing aboard experts in virtual world organizing. The Events Coordinator must have the following qualifications:
must possess event planning experience with expertise in virtual worlds
must have a strong knowledge of virtual worlds including Second Life and a desire to coordinate activities in other spaces such as Whyville, Hipihi, etc.
should have a strong track record on work with small to medium projects (events in virtual space); some experience with larger projects is preferred
should have experience managing events from start to finish
must be able to manage a team.
The event coordinator will manage large scale events in Second Life including hiring outside contractors, coordinating team members and tracking project deadlines. The pay for the ten-month contract is in the 40-50K range. If you are interested in this position, please submit a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 8. If I didn't have such a kick-ass job, I'd be applying!
I love that I work in an office where blogging is a part of the work. IMO too much attention is paid to how blogging can hurt your career, and not enough to how blogging can enhance your effectiveness and efficiency on the job.
The Global Kid's Online Leadership Program website is really just a super-charged group blog with various categories representing different areas of our work. One notable section is "staff reflections" in which all of the staff comment on their work or general thinking around issues that they are confronting. In fact, we are required to blog as part of our work. It's a great way to get a sense of how we are approaching our various projects and what questions and problems we are encountering along the way.
Here's a neat little machinima describing how young people in the Teen Grid of Second Life are learning how to raise their voice to authorities (in this case Linden Lab) about issues that they care about. The video was produced for the "Civil Liberties in Virtual Worlds" MacArthur event happening his Monday at 12PM PST. Kudos to the teens who volunteered to lend their avatars, voices and stories to the video, Blue Linden for his assistance, and my colleague Kathy Vega, our in-house machinimist, for producing the piece.
I suggested to Kathy that "Fight the Power" be playing in the background. But I guess that would be overkill.
If you are looking for something fun to do this weekend, my roommate Swifty will be doing his first photo show tomorrow night in Bushwick. Independent filmmaker Derek Doane Deems is hosting a Photo Show and Dance Party at the Old Red Schoolhouse as a fundraiser for his short film "Landing." The Schoolhouse is at 330 Ellery St in Bushwick, Brooklyn. There will be pictures by a number of local photographers on display and for sale, cheap booze, and live DJs, which sounds like the makings of a fun party. The cover is just $5 at the door.
Swifty has some really tremendous photos ranging from historic baseball parks to street musicians to self-portraits, of which only a handful will be on display tomorrow. He tells me that the other photographers being showcased are equally talented, so it should be a good show.
Support for these reports was provided by the Digital Media and
Learning Initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation. MacArthur not only provided the financial support that made these reports possible, but also excellent feedback and advice that was essential to shaping them.
Huge thanks to my friends and colleagues in the SL non-profit community who provided much of the content of this report, as well as essential commentary on the first drafts, particularly my buddy Glitteractica Cookie of Techsoup. Of course, all errors, misrepresentations and inexcusable omissions are my own.
Oh and for those outside of the US, civil liberties = civil and political human rights. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of religion -- you know, the whole nine yards. Yes, it is confusing, but at least it is easier to pronounce.
This morning I was checking out the pictures on the Library of Congress' amazing new Flickr archive, and I ran across this startling photo of Japanese-american girls in an internment camp in 1942 or 43.
The smiles on their lovely young faces just breaks my heart a little. It reminds me of how far we have come in only a few decades. And how far we have to go to realize Dr. King's dream of a world without color lines.
My roommate Swifty announced three weeks ago that he's going to try and do the "52 self portraits in a year" challenge on Flickr. Here are his first three weeks of self-portraits, which are all gems. I hope he can do a full year's worth.
The bathroom one is awesome! Our shower curtain might be the nicest piece of decor we have in the apartment.