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David White :: Blog :: The Beauty of Ad hoc Project Meetings

April 03, 2008

On Tuesday evening the Habitat project had one of its most dynamic project meetings. It was ad hoc and spontaneous but what was said was very useful. It reminded me of those happy students days when I'd find myself in the pub with all my friends talking about 'interesting things' almost by accident. These days I need to plan 3 weeks ahead to get in to the pub with people I actually like who all have families and jobs (what can you do?).

Anyway, 5 of us happened to be in Second Life (yes, I left this fact late in the post deliberately) at the same time and a discussion took off. In fact it took off so well that I'm still having trouble (with my project managers’ hat on) working out what it all meant. In this way it is very like those student pub sessions :-)

The Habitat team is based in  Leeds, Canada, London, Oxford, Essex and Brussels so we have more chance to get together online than face-to-face. The Second Life platform was great for us because we shared some visual designs during our discussion which were projected onto blocks that we could all stand around and muse over. Plus, we did all feel 'together' which is important for any team. When I logged out I personally felt like I had spent time with a bunch of people rather than a stream of text.

So, what of those in the team who didn't happen to be in Second Life? Well I suppose I can mail round the transcript of our discussion. Also, how do I get the best value from this’ happening’ for the Habitat team and for JISC? Plus, let’s not forget the question: ‘What is the relevance for our users/students?”.

Overview for Keywords: Ad hoc, Habitat, Meetings, Second Life

Blogs with Keywords: Ad hoc, Habitat, Meetings, Second Life

Posted by David White


  1. There is a pattern in there somewhere I suspect! This is just the kind of observation that the Planet project is interested in - the things that work (and don't work) in terms of the way we communicate through technology is one area we are looking at. From these observations we can try to identify the common factors - the elements that made the thing work. In this case - was it the appropriateness of the context? Or the serendipity of a chance meeting?  Or the informality? Or all three combining? And could this only happen in SL - or might those same conditions occur elsewhere with smilar effect?  Would love to talk more about this and other examples that people may have experienced!


    Janet FinlayJanet Finlay on Friday, 04 April 2008, 13:18 UTC # |

  2. I our case it may be because some of the team actually prefer to talk in SL rather than RL. I'm sure the informality helped a lot as well.

    David WhiteDavid White on Friday, 04 April 2008, 16:07 UTC # |

  3. I think (being one of the project team members at this particular ad hoc gathering) that the key to this working well was that the 'interesting conversation' - on designing and building orientation activities for students new to Second Life - span off from an unrelated practical activity ... where, after finding each other in-world we gathered on the new Habitat Island for a photo shoot.

    Steven WarburtonSteven Warburton on Monday, 07 April 2008, 21:27 UTC # |

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