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A big news day in Norway

How to make a fool of yourself at a press conference

You arrive more than legally late due to practical problems and just want to sneak in quietly and find a seat somewhere in the back without anyone noticing. Yet, once you arrive, you end up basking wildly in the air, unable to control your movements, for several seconds. Finally on ground, you miss your chosen chair and almost sit down in someones lap.

Yes, I was in Second Life (SL), and it was all because the software was so slow to respond to my instructions after I'd spent ages downloading the latest updates (which crashed once or twice, hence my late arrival in the first place. And I'm far from blaming SL as such, my internet connection is volatile and just suffered a major internet blackout the day before).

But since this was the first Norwegian press conference in Second Life, for the launch of Kamimo, the virtual campus of Molde University College, and partners University of Kalmar and Central University of Missouri, there was a story even in the failure of some journalists to handle this environment (some didn't even take the trouble of creating their own avatars, just followed the launch safe behind the computer screens of more SL savy folks, while I was out there making a fool of myself).

I certainly let myself down here, big time. Particularly since I've navigated SL well enough for interviews, seminars and launches on previous occasions. Next time I'll make sure to check for SL updates before the day starts, or at least two hours before the event.

My avatar, lost in dark thoughts


We've all been there, and made ourselves look incompetent at things we can damn well do properly. :( If mistakes weren't humiliating, we'd never remember them, and we'd never learn. And *I* only worry that, as I become smarter, more respected, and just plain older, I find myself increasingly reluctant to make all those naive newbie mistakes, to expose my ignorance, and to take all the risks that are necessary to learn.

Hmm... I actually find that as I grow older I'm more relaxed about making mistakes, not being able to control everything etc. Not that I go easy on myself now, but I was much harder on myself +/-ten years ago.

That might be a personality thing, but could also be due to events (I miraculously survived a car accident when I was 17, and felt nothing could touch me for a few years + started working as a columnist when I was 18. I was quite a controlfreak back then, and also quite arrogant in my own way, perhaps life has taught me better).

As for this conference: I did start trying to log on quite some time ahead of the conference, but misjudged how long the updates would take to download. Need to spend more time in SL + need a better internet connection fundamentally.

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