Linnaeus exhibition opening report

Wow.

It’s difficult to know beforehand what kind of turnout you will have for an event in Second Life. Because one sim/server can only really host a maximum of 60 simultaneous users, there is always the small risk that your event is way oversubscribed. But you also never know until the event starts whether anyone will show up. The hardest part to get right, I’ve found, is getting the word out about an event to the right people, so that you get the ideal group of 50-or-so enthusiastic collaborators.

And that is precisely what we got for the inauguration of the Linnaeus exhibition at the Second House of Sweden last Friday, November 2. I wrote “collaborators”, because a large number of visitors we’re fully dressed in 18th century period costumes, to take part in the costume competition. It was quite a sight to see the Linnaeus garden and room filled with such finery. The pictures do it more justice.

You can see my whole set on Flickr here. There are more shots taken by Linn here.

Another bit of technological finery was on display when we broadcast a 7 minute video interview with Anders Backlund, a lecturer on pharmacognosy at Uppsala University and a Linnaeus expert. Because Anders was on a plane at the time of the inauguration, I recorded a Skype video conversation with him earlier in the day — me in Cairo, he in Uppsala, then shown to everyone in Second Life. It’s a mash-up of existing technologies (I used Ecamm’s Call Recorder) but the overall effect worked really well. All this was broadcast “live” using Wirecast to a Quicktime Streaming Server run by Qbrick.

When the film was over, it was time for the judging of the costumes. Swedish SL builder Kaja Lurra and my SI collaborator Nex Canning and I were the judges, and after a lot of agonizing, we came up with three winners. Congratulations to the first prize winner, Kissowa Kamachi (who got L$20,000) second prize winner Freyja Nemeth (L$15,000) and third prize winner Ran Garrigus (L$10,000)!

Don’t forget, there is a plant-building competition running this whole week, with more prizes.

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