A second meeting in Second Life

After venting about last week’s meeting in Second Life, I feel obligated to give an update after this morning’s experience there.

This time around was much more pleasant, even though the meeting format was, again, basically a PowerPoint presentation. The timing of the meeting was certainly better (one hour at 9am beats the hell out of three hours at 5am), but there were some other improvements.

For one thing, this time there was only one main speaker, which avoided the problems we’d had the previous week with people moving to and from the stage and wildly variable audio levels. And almost everyone kept their audio off during the meeting, so we didn’t have the feedback loops. The audio was much better during the Q&A, too, even if I wasn’t “near” the avatar speaking.

There was surprisingly little text chat during the meeting (there might have been another back-channel going on — I hadn’t fired up Sametime before the meeting, so if someone set up a back-channel there, I missed it).

We still suffered from slow slide changes; I tried alt-clicking on the slide, as Caliburn Susanto suggested, but it didn’t seem to help much (could it be a different keystroke on a Mac?). But the slides weren’t all that critical (which is good, because people kept getting between me and the slides!) — the real information was carried in the speaker’s voice

I wouldn’t say that this meeting took particular advantage of Second Life as a venue, but it didn’t suffer from the choice, either. It was nice to be able to see who else was in the meeting (thank goodness for virtual nametags), and the higher-quality of the audio in SL made listening much more pleasant than it would have been on the phone. But I am definitely still waiting to see the value of SL.