For the last two weeks I’ve been working on a research survey and report on virtual worlds – things such as Second Life, OpenSim, OpenCroquet and the like. I’ve just now finished tidying it up, and sent it off, with much relief; it’s 50 pages long, and the longest writing project I’ve engaged in since completing my Masters thesis two years ago.
It marks a bit of a milestone for me – it’s the first fully independent, paid research contract I’ve done. Though stressful, it was actually quite a lot of fun and taught me a lot about rapidly gathering together notes from lots of sources and cobbling them together in a report. I learned quite a bit more about virtual worlds, in the process, too.
It was also the first time I’ve had to hire and manage my own subcontractors – in this case, I hired Morbid Curiousity to help out by writing research notes and helping a little with reviewing. This also was quite illuminating – in hindsight, the small amount of extra work was certainly worthwhile; getting someone else involved me with a second perspective on the topic and helped me formulate my own ideas for the document’s structure and content.
I’m going to keep the report embargoed for a week or two; I’ve been assured that despite the contract, I maintain copyright over the work, but I want to wait until my client has had a chance to review it first. After that, I’ll be making the whole thing available as well as posting and expanding on certain parts of it that I think people might find interesting..