Virtual Social Media Surgery for the September 27th NonProfit Commons Meeting

This Friday, September 27th, TechSoup’s Nonprofit Commons in Second Life meeting will welcome back past NPC presenters Opal Lei and Jeroen Frans, along with our own Joyce Bettencourt, to answer your social and digital media questions.


Want to figure out how to connect a database to your virtual or web project? Have questions on what software to use for capture of machinima or editing video footage? Curious on how you can integrate various social media tools into your nonprofit or organization’s strategy? Then come to this week’s NonProfit Commons in Second Life meeting to ask your digital and social media questions to our panel of media surgeons.


Immediately following the meeting we will take a virtual field trip to the third annual International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference. More details at: and schedule at:

About our ‘Surgeons’:

Opal Lei (aka Lea Tesoro in real life) started her virtual life on August 31, 2006 as Opal Lei.  In the following years, she learned the different aspects of content creation, including scripting, prim torture, terraforming, clothing/texture creation, sculpting, animations, machinima.  She delved into various industries, including product creation, fashion, visual arts, music, non-profits.  Her diverse experience ranges from content creation, to building micro-businesses, to marketing, to fundraising strategy and management, to fashion styling, to teaching, to virtual photography and filming.


Opal Lei’s first machinima was a 30-second ad for her Mer Betta brand in 2010. Turning down an offer from a friend to produce it for her for a mere US$50, she chose to learn the basics of machinima filming in Second Life to create her own ad and immersed herself in a new form of creative expression. She helped film and edit MODA Primetime fashion shows and eventually taught machinima to new models at the MODA Modeling School. In 2012, she started two machinima series: “Talk, Like Dim Sum,” a talk show that is a follow-up to her book, and “Splo On The Go,” short clips which document the exhibits at the Splo Museum in SL.


Opal also now calls herself an author after publishing her book “Love, Like Dim Sum” ( But, once upon a time, she called herself a techie. Prior to discovering SL, she worked in the software industry for 14 years, including a stint at Microsoft, where she documented APIs and coded basic snippets for the .NET SDK. Her first LSL scripting project was a docent game for the International Spaceflight Museum. As her alt Treasure Box, she had also choreographed and coded the burning of the Burning Life/Burn2 temple for four years.   


Jeroen Frans (Frans Charming in SL) is a developer and programmer located in the Netherlands. He has been a Second Life resident since January of 2005, and in 2007 co-founded the company The Vesuvius Group, a development agency focusing on virtual worlds, immersive learning environments, and interactive media, for community building, nonprofit and educational projects. Beyond being a programmer, web developer and 3D modeler, his work has included integrating virtual spaces with web 2.0 tools, social media web portals and streaming of multimedia content.


Through The Vesuvius Group and elsewhere, Frans has worked for a range of clients such as Morpheus Media, BeliefNet, YmereExploratorium, Chicago Field Museum and the World Bank Institute; educational organizations like Arizona State University, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, University of Southern California, New York City Department of Education, and Ramapo Middle School; and non-profit entities Virtual Ability, Global Kids, Waag Society and Kids Connect. 


He has also been at times an active blogger and lent his social and technical expertise to events such as Metameets, Second Life Community Convention, and the OpenSimulator Community Conference. 


Join us in Second Life!


Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting

Friday, September 27th, 8:30 AM PDT / SLT

Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater  


AGENDA (all times below PDT)

  • 8:30 am Introductions
  • 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements
  • 8:45 am Mentors Central – Zinnia Zauber
  • 9:00 am Featured Presentation – Social Media Surgery
  • 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements
  • 9:50 am International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference Field Trip 

The mission of the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is to create a community for nonprofits to explore and learn about virtual worlds, foster connections, and discover the many ways in which nonprofits might utilize the unique environment of Second Life to achieve their missions. 

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir