Take a Quick Survey and let us know how the Nonprofit Commons is helping your organization

The Nonprofit Commons would like to know how it has helped your organization. Please take this quick survey. It’s only three questions long and will only take a minute or two. We’d really appreciate it as your responses will help us talk about the impact the Nonprofit Commons are having on nonprofits working for social change. So take a moment to fill out the survey–and thank you for your help.

Written by: penguin kuhn

Glitteractica Cookie talks about the Nonprofit Commons on SLCN.tv

SLCN.tv interview

This past Sunday, Glitteractica Cookie got interviewed for the Second Life Cable Network (SLCN.tv) as part of the Joysco Winter Festival. The festival included an in-world ice skating rink, living music performances, vendor presentations, and live SLCN.tv interviews. The event was hoppin’, but fellow avatars from the Nonprofit Commons managed to teleport in to take part. Buffy Bye, Zazoom Zimminy, Jani Myriam, Coughran Mayo and myself were among the avatars that were a part of the Second Life studio audience as Glitter discussed the Nonprofit Commons and the work of nonprofits in Second Life. Glitter’s interview was broadcast live over SLCN.tv and via voice in-world.

SLCN.tv audience

Be sure to check out the SLCN.tv coverage of Glitter’s interview.

Glitter's SLCN.tv interview

Written by: penguin kuhn

Meet Congressman Edward Markey In-World at the Virtual Bali Conference Tomorrow Dec. 11th

This year, Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, decided to avoid the carbon cost of flying and deliver his speech via Virtual Bali. Virtual Bali is the Second Life, carbon-friendly alternative to this year’s UN Climate Summit (COP 13) meeting in Bali December 3-14th.

You can meet Congressman Markey and hear his presentation in-world on the OneClimate islands tomorrow at 8 PM EST, 5PM PST/SL and 1:00 AM in the UK. Or you can watch it on the Web.

In the meantime, today at 12:30 PST/SL come interact with live with journalists and activists from Bali at OneWorld Meetings.

Written by: penguin kuhn

Take a Virtual Trip to Bali December 3-14

UN Virtual Bali Conference

Want to participate in the annual international conference of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) without the virtual cost of flying? This year you can with OneWorld‘s OneClimate.net‘s Virtual Bali Conference.


OneClimate Island

OneClimate.net is a OneWorld’s social networking site dedicated to finding solutions for climate change. OneClimate.net links directly to the OneWorld’s OneClimate Island in Second Life. When this year’s UN Climate Summit (COP 13) meets in Bali December 3-14th, OneWorld Island will offer an alternative for people to participate virtually. Participants from around the world can attend through the OneWorld Island in Second Life from their own computers and interact with live video feeds from the Bali conference. There will be communications between real-world and in-world Second Life attendees via voice and text chat. A live videocast will be streamed from the OneClimate.net site to reach a larger Internet audience. The virtual conference will include a daily interactive press conference and interview, and culminate with virtual ceremony giving out a Climate Justice award.

OneClimate IslandThrough the virtual Bali conference, OneClimate Island hopes to increase global participation and awareness of climate change and engage individuals in the UNFCCC process. In addition, this conference will serve as a pilot for the potential of virtual worlds to provide low-carbon ways of working and meeting with others.

Find out more about the conference at OneClimate.net or teleport directly to OneClimate Island.

Written by: penguin kuhn

Second Life Transgender Day of Remembrance

transgender resource center

The Transgender Day of Remembrance began nine years ago as a way to honor victims of transgender hate crimes and raise public awareness about such violence. Yesterday was the first Transgender Day of Remembrance in Second Life. Elysium Gardens, along with the Transgender Resource Center hosted the first Second Life service in memory of victims of violence against transgendered people. The event lasted all day and provided Second Life avatars worldwide a space to honor and remember victims, such as Gwen Arajuo.

The service included many Second Life residents and supporters sharing memories and their personal stories and experiences of those who were victims of suicide or transgender hate crimes. At a candlelight evening ceremony, Jani Myriam of the Transgender Resource Center gave a touching remembrance address.

You can find out more about the Transgender Day of Remembrance by visiting: http://www.rememberingourdead.org/day/.

Written by: penguin kuhn

Top 10 Reasons Why Second Life is Worthwhile for Nonprofits

This recent Second Life scandal has some nonprofit board members concerned about the value for nonprofits using Second Life. Much like the Web, Second Life also has some seedy people out there. But as many nonprofits can attest, the ever-growing community of amazing avatars working for good far outweighs the few “bad apples” or rather “bad avatars.”

Here’s a list of 10 reasons why Second Life is worthwhile for your nonprofit:

1. Over 2 million people use Second Life. That’s a large community of people–and potential folks that your organization can reach.

2. Second Life offers new ways to collaborate and get work done. Through in-world meetings, people from disparate parts of the globe can chat (by text and voice), share documents and information, and work together on virtual projects.

3. It’s a carbon-friendly way to connect with people worldwide. Imagine the carbon (and cost savings) of participating in a global conference from the privacy of your own computer. OneClimate‘s OneWorld Island is offering just that with their Virtual Bali conference this fall, offering an alternative for people to participate virtually in the annual UN conference without the carbon cost of flying.

4. Low cost. The basic Second Life account is free, though there are additional costs for purchasing land. The Nonprofit Commons virtual space is donated land that allows nonprofits to set up virtual shop at no cost to the organization.

5. It gives your organization the opportunity to be thought leaders and innovators in your field of expertise. For example, Global Kids has run a series of virtual workshops on global issues and leadership to teens and are developing best practices for bringing this type of education into Second Life.

6. Second Life can provide a virtual sandbox for NPOs to experiment with different ways of building awareness and support for their cause. For Lower Eastside Girls Club of New York, developing a Second Life presence was a pilot project as a new program to contribute to their mission. Just as you have to try out a new fundraising or membership strategy, organizations can experiment with Second Life as another approach for meeting its goals.

7. Second Life awareness often translates into real-world donations. Consider the case of the Digital Campfires Foundation. Through connecting with others in Second Life, Digital Campfires received nearly a semi truck load of real-world donated monitors and computers.

8. Virtual worlds offer a level of interactivity that the Web can’t match. Take the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) developed the Gone Gitmo project. This Second Life representation of Guantanamo Bay gives avatars a temporary simulated experience of what it’s like to be imprisoned in Guatanamo Bay and to teach about issues of habeas corpus.

9. Second Life fosters innovation and creativity. Nonprofits are continually coming up with new ways to gain awareness and touch people. Whether that’s through in-world concerts, virtual political debates or art exhibits, Second Life offers endless possibilities for creatively combining visual, text, and audio technologies.

10. Second Life is continually evolving and becoming increasingly sophisticated as technologies are developed. The possibilities for technical and social innovations in virtual worlds abound!

Written by: penguin kuhn

Oleander Health Fair raises dollars and awareness


This past Wed. Nov. 7th, Oleander Island was host to the Womens’ Health Fair/Expo. This event sought to educate women on the health issues that concern them in their everyday lives, share ideas, and talk to professionals in the field. In addition, the health fair helped raise linden dollars for the organization, Drive By Agony/Life Learning programs, a non-profit organization that helps victims of crime.

The event featured a variety of speakers involved in health issues. In-between speakers, participants could check out the dance floor, refreshments from the bar and buffet table, and visit the variety of projects on display.

Highlights from the speakers included:

PCOSGurl Infinity of Project PCOS on the importance of education and awareness about PCOS, a hidden syndrome that many women have.

Coughran Mayo of Preferred Family Healthcare speaking on issues dealing with body and mind.

MB Chevalier of the University of Plymouth discussing concerns surrounding Sexual health education

Carmen Gray of Drive By Agony/Life learning programs speaking about the thousands of youth victims in America and why the organization made the decision to come to Second Life.

Jacmacaire Humby of Humanbe highlighting his organization’s peace project and a need to create more peace in the world.

This Penguin stopped by and said a few words about the Nonprofit Commons, and was very impressed by the event and speakers.

Written by: penguin kuhn

California Association of Nonprofits Broadcast from Second Life…in Voice Chat


Yesterday Glitter, Jessika, Ine Kenzo, and Beth Kavka were all presenting in-world for the California Association of Nonprofits conference. As a last minute idea, I decided to join the conference in-world as an audience member. Glitteractica Cookie sat across from in the real world as her avatar fielded questions and answers from the presentation.

I’m a relative newbie to Second Life and this was my first trying out voice chat. It was a challenge to get the audio to work just right. We experienced some connectivity trouble at our end, which meant we had trouble hearing the speakers; other times, it sounded like voices were gargling when they spoke and a couple of times we lost audio completely.

However, when the audio did work, it was this amazing experience. There were so many levels of simultaneous communication: audio from Second Life, the visual in-world slide presentation and text chat conversation. Then in real life, I could see and hear Glitter speak in the room with me, then hear her voice echo back in-world. I couldn’t hear the questions from the live conference in Los Angeles, but that adds yet another layer to the multiple communication channels.

I was nervous because I was trying out many things for the first time in-world. In addition to juggling the audio, I played around with taking pictures of the event and even teleported another avatar into the session. I’m finding that Second Life is a lot like learning a new sport. It’s hard not to get discouraged at first because you don’t yet have the skills or the rules down to be a competent player. But just as exciting as it is when you make that one catch or hit that one ball, when I’m successful in doing a new thing, it adds to my confidence and interest in wanting to keep practicing.

I can see where many people might try out the voice chat and after finding the configuration and sound quality to be frustrating, dismiss voice as something too problematic to use. There were certainly a few times where I felt the same way, but then I thought back to the earlier days of the Internet. I remember when it took fifteen minutes to send an email or I’d have to try to dial up multiple times to get an Internet connection. Technology has come a long way since then, and I think voice chat is the same way–it’s still a relatively new feature in Second Life and it will gradually become an easier tool to use over time.


Written by: penguin kuhn