Panel speaks about alliance building in Second Life

Nonprofits are finding that one of the major benefits of Second Life work is alliance building. I had the pleasure of attending Monday’s panel on virtual world partnerships and collaborations. Moderated by Glitteractica Cookie of the Nonprofit Commons, the panelists included Gentle Heron and Eme Capalini of Virtual Ability, Buffy Beale and Ozma Malibu of the Transitions Project and Peterpan Slade of OneWorld island and soon to be EcoCommons.The panel was part of “Real World Impacts from the Virtual World”, an afternoon of events giving a sneak preview of MacArthur Foundation’s new island in Second Life and was sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the USC Network Culture Project and Global Kids.

Buffy Beale and Ozma Malibu discussed how their partnership of five core groups (Bridges for Women, Floaters, Amoration, the Vesuvius Group, and Community Voicemail) came together to begin working on the Transitions project. These five groups had been attending the Nonprofit Commons Friday meetings for some time, and had grown to know each other, Ozma explained. “We met one day to discuss issues of technology access for homeless and other displaced people. The first time the five of us met as a small group, our ideas flowed like water and we saw that we each had a piece of a larger puzzle.” It was at this first meeting that the Transitions Project was born.

The Transitions project is using a number of social networking tools in addition to Second Life, including Twitter, Facebook, Google applications, and are looking into online worlds such as Lively and Sakai that could have specific uses within the full Transitions program. They are starting to layer these tools with the goal of having all of these tech tools eventually available in Second Life to help further their mission of extending access to opportunities and technology to those in transition. Second Life has allowed them to connect with other like-minded groups and sharing information and resources that translate to real life impact.

Next, Gentle Heron of the Heron Sanctuary and Virtual Ability groups in Second Life spoke about collaborative efforts in the disability resource community. Gentle started off entering the online world with some friend specifically to set up a support community for people with disabilities after not finding many real world support options. She found that there were numerous disability support groups in Second Life already, but none of them focused on helping individuals venture in-world. Virtual Ability seeks to fill this niche by assisting newcomers to Second Life and providing them with additional assistive resources in Second Life.

While Virtual Ability started off as Second Life group, it has spurred all kinds of connections with other disability communities and groups interested in improving the accessibility of Second Life for people with disabilities. The community has grown organically and as membership continues to increase, they’ve found themselves involved with additional related projects in Second Life.

Second Life was a natural fit for OneWorld, PeterSan Slade explained, as their interest lies in tackling climate change – and what better way to meet with folks across the world then “traveling by laptop” without the carbon cost of flying. OneWorld’s in-world presence is closely linked with their online social network where people can easily find one another by geographic location to see events happening around them. So far the majority of their partnershipa have come from their web presence, but they are quickly creating in-world partnerships, including one with the Nonprofit Commons! The Eco Commons will be a partnership between OneClimate island/ and the Nonprofit Commons specifically geared towards groups involved with environmental issues. This third Nonprofit Commons location is due to launch in mid-December.

PeterSan also let folks know about OneWorld’s December event with live conferencing in Second Life across four islands of the UN Summit in Poland. This event offers multiple options for participation and interaction, as there will be participants at the real life conference, web streaming, and live conferencing in-world with both voice and text chat. While there are still technical challenges of real-time communication between the two worlds, OneWorld is expanding the ways that people and avatars can take get involved.

More and more in-world alliances are popping up in-world so it was interesting and informative to hear from these trailblazing groups paving the way for future alliances and positive real and virtual world impact.

You can check out the complete text chat from the panel here.

Written by: penguin kuhn

San Francisco Meets the Metaverse 3

Join in the Celebration of the Launch of the Second Nonprofit Commons Sim! Nonprofits and their supporters will be hosting a mixed reality grand opening celebration in San Jose as part of the NetSquared conference and in the metaverse on Wednesday, May 28, 2008, starting at 10:00 A.M. PST/SLT (Second Life Time), in the new second Nonprofit Commons location.


  • Grand opening May 28 of the Nonprofit Commons 2/ALOFT, our second sim housing a large community of nonprofit organizations Mixed-reality event, to include a live presentation, a demonstration of the new Second Life Nonprofit Commons island to attendees at the NetSquared Conference in San Jose, and events within Second life
  • Live peformances all day within Second Life, with over 8 hours of music from musicians around the world
  • Media is invited to attend in-world event as well as to San Jose, and phone interviews are available upon request

This second of two Nonprofit Commons nonprofit sims was generously donated by TakingITGlobal. Like the first Nonprofit Commons sim on Plush, a virtual space for nonprofits, managed by TechSoup, Nonprofit Commons 2 creates and houses a community of social benefit organizations in the online virtual world of Second Life. This community of practice is entirely volunteer-run and hosts organizations from across the globe. To date, they have created a community blog, Twitter account, and a resource-rich wiki, and have held mixed-reality events, workshops, and regular weekly town hall meetings. This international community is a hub for charities to share best practices, work together on innovative ways to benefit their causes, and network with organizations from across the globe.

The Gala event will be a mixed-reality launch party, complete with networking, a panel of speakers, and tours of the Nonprofit Commons. This live event will take place in the real-world of San Jose, California as part of the NetSquared Conference, and within the virtual world of Second Life. These events will occur simultaneously and will also feature interactivity between the two worlds. Following the mixed-reality event, we will have an afternoon and evening full of live entertainment in Second Life. Audience members in the Second Life portion of the event will include Nonprofit Commons residents, their invited guests, and media representatives.

Don't miss this interactive collaboration, connecting the virtual world with real-world issues.

Event details:

Event activities:

10am- 11:30am PST/SLT (Second Life Time): Nonprofit Panel and Q & A session
11:30- noon: Tours of the Nonprofit Commons offices in Second Life
Noon–>: Activities continue in Second Life throughout the afternoon and night with major concerts, poetry readings, tours, dancing, and games.

Please RSVP via email to Megan Keane ( for in-world attendance to this event or IM Penguin Kuhn in Second Life. Join the TechSoup group, in-world to receive announcements about this event and future nonprofit events in Second Life.

Written by: penguin kuhn

Dancing in the Streets Tomorrow, May 17th to Benefit Ophoenix, Nonprofit Commons and China earthquake relief

Ophoenix logo

Don’t miss Dancing in the Streets–well, virtual dancing, that is– on the streets of NPC2 this Sat. May 17th from from 2-6 pm SLT/PDT.

New Nonprofit Commons resident, Ophoenix will be having an in-world dance party/fundraiser in conjunction with their real life fundraising event. Come and enjoy music avatar DJ Namov Abramovic, dancing, and tours of the second Nonprofit Commons location, NPC2.

Want to help the fundraising efforts? Click on one of the virtual images of artist, Shirley Pinchev’s artwork and you can show your support by donating real-life dollars. All proceeds will be split evenly between Ophoenix, the Nonprofit Commons project, and OxFam America’s support for earthquake relief in China. As a thank you to supporter, contributors who give $40 USD will receive a copy of the image of their choice You can see all of the photo landing pages here.

Come show your support for Ophoenix and the Nonprofit Commons tomorrow afternoon at the Dancing in the Streets event and spread the word to any interested avatars!

Written by: penguin kuhn

Purpose, Benefit, and Successes in Second Life for your organization

Anika Pastorelli gave a presentation at our weekly meeting last Friday about the need to help the Nonprofit Commons (NPC) better articulate the rationale and benefits of nonprofits participating in NPC. Measuring impact, both qualitative and quantitative is a crucial part of our development efforts, so please take a moment to add your input to help support NPC:

1) Add your nonprofit experience on The Case for Non Profits in SL wiki page.

2) Take a brief survey about your NP’s impact in Second Life.

Written by: penguin kuhn

NEA Funding Increase Approved by House Committee

Today, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, approved a budget for the National Endowment for the Arts of $160 million. This is a proposed increase of $35 million over funding in FY 2007. This represents the largest increase in many years.

This is great news for Arts nonprofits in the United States.

The American Arts Alliance has posted a summary and a way to say "Thank-you" the committee members.

Written by: Creech


I was asked by a colleague if I would write a "How To" on Qumana.  I’ve been using Qumana now for several months to post to three different blogs–,, and
What is Qumana?

  1. Qumana is a free blog posting package that allows you to craft offline and post once you have completed editing your narrative.
  2. Qumana is a tagging tool that allows you to easily control what tags are used.
  3. Qumana allows you to insert ads if you want.

The software includes a very simple text editing menu bar that allows you to colour text, use bold, italics, underline, and crossout.  You can justify to the left, center, right or full block.  You can use bullets or numbered lists.  You can quote and indent.  It makes embedding pictures simple, will link for you and has spell check.
Qumana allows you to manage as many blogs as you like.  The process of adding a blog is simple.

  1. Choose "Blog Manager"
  2. Click "Add Blog"
  3. Enter the URL of your blog
  4. Let the system know what kind of blog you utilize
  5. Enter your username and password
  6. BLOG

When you are ready to compose..

  1. Fire up the software
  2. Choose "New Post"
  3. Craft your text
  4. If you have tags already set on your site, click "Refresh" in Categories.
  5. Click "Save" to come back later
  6. Click "Publish Post" to post your text.

It really is that simple.  So, download Qumana.  It is available for Mac and PC.

Written by: Creech

Tagging Tutorials–Part II Blogs

Tagging on blogs can have multiple benefits.  The first is, if your blog is searchable, the tags prove to be a way for readers to find like content.  For example, on this blog (built on Drupal), if you click on a single tag it will return all results that match that tag.
Try clicking on "npsl" and see the result.  In Drupal, a function called Taxonomy makes this magic happen.  We could, in fact add navigation to the site that would match a given tag essentially creating navigation to content that will for ever expand.
The second benefit is allowing your posts to be easily pulled into tag based feeds.  Technorati allows easy setup.
Many blogs will have a field for tagging.  So, as an example we’ll use Drupal as an example.
How do you tag a Drupal Blog post?

  1. You need to have rights to post to a blog.  In the case of the Nonprofits in Second Life site, contact Creech Antwerp (Matthew Saunders) at matthew.saunders [at] or at matthew [at] if you are a member of the project and want to become a blogger.
  2. Underneath the "Title" you will see a section called "Tags".  The Drupal database collects and saves all tags and will attempt to auto fill it for you.  If you see a similar tag match it so your post will be referenced with other like posts.
  3. Separate tags with commas.

Who can tag a Drupal Blog post?  In general…

  1. The author.
  2. Someone with administrative rights

If your post is related to the Nonprofits in Second Life project, please tag your post with npsl particularly if it is on your own site.

Written by: Creech

Good Samaritan Group Gathering

I would like to invite you to this fun event during 1st week of May, 2007. Featured events of educational classes, product demo, book reading, video stream/footage of the US legendary rock bank Journey will happen on May, 5th and May 6th.

With over 40 of the most dedicated exhibitors ranging from businesses to nonprofit groups, RL musicians and artists to educational groups, this is a great opportunity to network and to see what you haven been missing in SL in a friendly and professionally designed building of Joysco Convention Center. Located on region/sim name: Convention Center.

Meet and chat with each exhibitor. They will be on site at various time and will be very glad to see you. Unlike other trade shows, we are looking for interaction more than just static prim displays. This is a FREE event(open to public) determined to benefit all visitors, as well as all exhibitors.

Please IM Johnny Austin for any additional information about this community event.

Thank you,
Johnny Austin

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Written by: Johnny_Austin