Reflections on Walk the World Fight Hunger Second Life Event

From Fight Hunger’s Flickr Stream.  More photos of real life and virtual world event here.

Susanne Thornqvst of Fight Hunger shared a report on the Walk the World Event on May 13th.  Rik Riel has blogged it over t here.

I did a follow up interview with Susanne to find out what they learned.

1.   What took place in Second Life for Walk the World on Sunday? 

On 13 May hundreds of thousands of people all over the world joined in an effort to raise awareness about child hunger and funds to WFP’s School Feeding Programme. This year we wanted to find new ways of spreading the word, and decided to also use Second Life. We had two walking paths on the island Dragon Moon for people to walk and we had live entertainment for 24 hours to cover all the time zones and reflect the events that were going on all over the world at the same time. Almost 400 avatars showed up and we raised over 1000 US dollars.

2.  What were the benefits to adding a Second Life component to the established event?

By adding the Second Life component we were able to reach people we would never have reached with our traditional events. Especially in the US and Europe were you have so many fundraising events, activities and walks for various causes it is difficult to gather and enthusiasm people to join, but in Second Life these activities are rather new and therefore people are eager to help and contribute.

3.  What was your strategy for promoting the Second Life component?

We mainly promoted the event within the Second Life community but also in various real world blogs. We also got some advertising for the Second Life walk thanks to being mentioned as a new approach in various newspaper articles covering the real world walks.  (Beth’s note:  Rik Riel has some tips about promoting virtual events)

4.  Did anything surprise you about the Second Life event component?

What surprised us the most was the friendly atmosphere and all people wanting to help us with our goal of ending child hunger, especially Ariel Finsbury, Nyna Slate and Demian Caldera who worked very hard to make the event a success.  We also had about 20 musicians who played live for us during the event, even though many of them live in the US were they the same day were celebrating mothers day.

5.  Based on your experience, what advice would you give to others doing an inworld fundraising event?

We were completely new to Second Life, and we could never have done it without the help of our wonderful volunteers. So my biggest advice is to gather a group of dedicated volunteers that knows about Second Life and they can give you advice on what would work or not in Second Life. It also helps to be open minded to new technology approaches and using your imagination.

6. Do you think based on your experience and the results, you’ll continue to have a Second Life Component? 

Yes we will definitely look into having more activities in Second Life! Our list of ideas just keeps growing! We would like as many people as possible to join in and Fight Hunger in the world, and Second Life is excellent for community building and reaching a new audience.

Written by: kanter