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Archive for the ‘search’ Category

Islab

Islab is described as the official search tool for Second Life and is the latest addition to my list of slashups: mashups for Second Life. This is the best out of world search tool I’ve found so far making finding people, places and information so much more efficient and accessible than relying on the search in-world.

The joy of Islab is that it can search in-world as well as search through wikis, blogs and forums on the web. This is really handy if you are researching something but for some reason can’t get into SL to use the in-world search tool. I suspect for many that it may be the search option of choice as well as it is easier to use than the search in-world and also saves jumping between the client and the web when looking stuff up.

Although the search was only launched in November the Islab Community has been around since 2006 working away to help users better learn and experience the 3D internet and promote open source development. Islab is Chinese owned and run and aims to act as “a bridge between the chinese community and the outside world”. It’s an interesting irony that the Islab community sees itself as a bridge between the Chinese community and the outside world and yet is a bridge between virtual and real worlds.

If you want to find out more visit the Islab community in-world or check out the Islab blog. If you’ve used Islab, leave a comment, I’d be interested to hear what you think.

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Slashups , Second Life mashups, are the answer to merging your existing web content such as photo’s, music and bookmarks into Second Life. Objects within SL can get data from, or post data to, the web. Conversely your networking sites on the web can post data to, or get data from, SL. It’s kind of similar to Facebook where you can interact with your favorite sites by adding them as applications, streaming data from your Flickr, LastFM, delicio.us and blog accounts.

I like the whole idea around slashups because not only does this provide a fast track to accessing content in world and on the web making it all more accessible, it also allows you to seamlessly reuse and merge what you have already created online linking it back to your SL self.

I wrote about Sloog recently and that got me thinking: what other slashups are out there? Having had a look around I thought I’d start listing what I’ve found:

  1. Sloog: A bookmarking service, similar to del.icio.us you can tag, share and access locations in SL via your bookmarks saved on the site. To use it pick up a HUD in-world, attach it to yourself from your inventory and away you go. You can post to Sloog via channel /7 using the chat feature in world.
  2. BlogHUD: This is a tool that enables you to blog directly from SL to bloghud.com. As a PRO user you can post to your own external blog if you use WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, Friendster and TypePad. Posts come with a map location of where you posted from in SL, along with RSS feeds to subscribe to for your favorite people or places. BogHud uses channel /9.
  3. Slurl: Second Life URL provides teleport links from web pages to locations in SL. When you click on a link you’ll be taken to a map page which shows you the location of the place, a teleport button or the option to sign up to SL if you’re not already a member.
  4. Gridmarker: A lot like Slurl Gruidmarker allows you to create SL urls that you can access anywhere.
  5. TwitterBox: It seems only fitting that if Twitter has an application in Facebook that it should also be accessible in SL. Twitterbox enables you to post to and receive updates from Twitter, when inside Second Life. Use channel /282 to tweet.
  6. Last Sound System: Stream in your favorite music from Last FM directly into SL.
  7. Facebook: You can pretty much access all your networked content via Facebook so it’s no surprise that there are a couple of applications that support SL: Second Life link and Second Friends. Both enable you to see if your SL friends are online, share your virtual home and favorite locations in-world.

Eduserve Island has a slashup space, an area for experimenting with learning orientated web 2.0 mashups within SL and is worth a visit if you want to start playing around with ideas. I’m sure there are many more examples of slashups out there, this is the kind of thing that’s just going top grow and grow and is representative of the potential SL has. If you know of any more slashups then post a comment and I’ll get them listed.

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tagging the new world

Find searching in Second Life a bit tricky? Frustrated with digging around in your inventory and friends lists for landmarks or avatars you can’t remember the name of? Well help is at hand with sloog.org, a bookmarking, or tagging, service for Second Life.

Sloog works in the same way as del.icio.us, Digg, and Magnolia with the only difference being that you are tagging and saving stuff in-world rather than tagging and saving web pages. What I particularly love about it is that you can use it as a research tool to find and share places of interest to you in-world as well as find out what’s popular.

On my journeys through Second Life I’ve been seeking out people and places who have an interest in accessibility but one thing that I’ve noticed is that while there are a few of us with an interest there isn’t enough promotion of accessibility in Second Life. Sloog is an ideal tool for doing this. By just simply tagging appropriate landmarks and places with “accessibility”, for example, you can add to the body of collective knowledge that is slowly accumulating. So if you come across people or places that are worth sharing with the community then tag for accessibility on Sloog.

Sloog is also a great tool if you find the SL viewer difficult to navigate. You can easily find a particular landmark either through your bookmarked places or by searching the Sloog website and then use the teleport function to go right to it. This means you bypass the laborious process of opening up the SL search panel, finding the right search tab, typing your search, then navigating to the one you want.This is really handy if you find the accessibility of the viewer hard and a great example of how something that wasn’t intended to be a tool to help access has in fact facilitated accessibility.

Sloog really is a very cool example of where the real world meets the second world, a Web 2.0 mashup delivered in Second Life giving rise to a whole new term: slashup.

To start using Sloog visit the Miso Miso headquarters in-world, to grab a sloog HUD, follow the easy to install instructions and away you go.

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