Saturday, 8 November 2008

Election Night – Firery Broome

Just wanted to drop all of you at SLLU a word of thanks for your help with the Election Central event that took place on the real world University of Delaware campus on election night.

For those of you not fully aware of the event, here is some background.

The University of Delaware held a live event on election night in which students and faculty from Communication, Political Science and English departments covered the election in a newsroom type of setting. There were roving reporters off-campus reporting in from local polling areas and live on-the-spot student tv news programing hosts doing interviews and analyzing and commenting on the incoming results as they were happening.

The event was open to the public and attendance was estimated in some reports as being near 2,000.

One of UD's Communication faculty members and a former world correspondent for CNN, Ralph Begleiter, has an interest in Second Life for its educational possibilities and world wide outreach. He thought the time might be right to cover the election events in world as well. So, I escorted two student journalists in world for the event, both of which had never been in world before, other than a 1 hour intro on UD's own islands.

We set up laptops under one of the big screen televisions that was covering various news outlets and then went in world. We visited a number of events on both Republican and Democratic themed sims with my computer acting as the camera focused on the two journalists.

As the night wore on and more people started hitting the local computer network set up for the event, and more people entered SL, we ran into the usual issues. We got booted off the system a number of times, and then could not reenter sims as they hit their limits. Some of the sims we managed to get into were so laggy that once we got in we could not move or chat.

And I have to say, as the outcome of the election drew closer, we were all more caught up in the excitment of the real world events happening around us.

Despite all the issues, the students really enjoyed the opportunity to cover the event in world and really appreciated the list of contacts, links and group updates that SLLU folks shared with them. It was extra rewarding to hear the students explain to those who stopped by our booth what SL was and why they were there. As the night wore on they were very comfortable with the environment and its possibilities and the virtual world's broader implications for communications.

For more information included below are some links to articles by our student newspaper and our Office of Communications and Marketing (PR).

Special thanks go out to:

Plot Tracer of SL Left Unity

Any1 Gynoid - Sl Activism and Event Organizing

Hamlet Au of New World Notes

Wyatt Forster of Stright Talk Cafe

Many Thanks!

Firery Broome

Student publication: The Review

University of Delaware daily news: UDaily

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