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Before you start to do your research in Second Life… 5 Observation

  1. ALWAYS record SLurl! The best way to record where you have been is to record the time and date you were there, land name, land information, and at least one snapshot to remind you what the place looks like.
  2. Take as many snapshots as you can. If you think you will use these snapshots for research in the future, be sure to save as high quality as you can. SL is not stable; maybe the island you love today, tomorrow it will be gone.
  3. When you take snapshots, try to change the environment setting into sunrise, midday, sunset, or midnight. Every builder when they build there is a  perfect environment setting in their mind. If you didn’t try it, you might never see it!
  4. Snapshot problem. It is easier to take snapshot in SL than to take a computer screenshot. However, snapshot ALWAYS makes noise, and people around you notice you are taking snapshots. So, when you do the participant observation, using computer screenshots will be better.
          The solution of quiet snapshot can be found at http://www.inaea.org/post.aspx?id=18cd8187-a751- 44c7-9238-95e0922d5f71
           When you have the quiet snapshot on, when you tell your object you are taking snapshot, they might be confused why they didn’t see or hear anything. Be sure to let your object know that you finish taking the shot!
  5. To do research on other avatars. Be sure to have their permission to take their snapshot. And it will be better if you can save the snapshot name as their AV name. (Most people change their avatars constantly, and maybe they didn’t even notice where or how they changed it.)
  6. Checking the “Disable Camera Constraintswill help you to zoom in to see farther. (For more info: http://www.inaea.org/post.aspx?id=033da618-81f7-4451-ba30-4efe2a77669d) If your graphic card and computer support your SL, and you set up the graphic setting to ultra. You can see more than one island with all details on your screen!
  7. Graphic setting is very important for observation in SL. Be aware everyone’s view in SL is different. If the computer is good enough, try to set the graphic setting to ultra. If the computer is not able to be set as ultra or high, click the custom. On your SL screen at least you need to check the “Bump mapping and Shiny” and select “nearby local lights.” (Because most of the residents can see that. And most of the builders when they build use this function.)

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Next time I will introduce some tips about how to do survey in Second Life with SurveyMonkey. Stay tune! :)

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