About two months ago, our class heard some of the worst news that we had ever heard. Our beloved program, Lively, was being shut down. I was furious! How dare Google shut down a program just because it did not bring the money that the other programs brought. Instead of just standing back and letting Google delete Lively, we took action. We became the Digiteen Dream Team. Together with a group of Lively activists called the Livelyzens, our class started protesting Google in hopes of stopping Lively's shutdown.
One of the major tools in the protest was our blog. We used our group protest name, Digiteen Dream Team, and created an account on Blogger. Digiteen Dream Team became a huge success! We posted many blogs from 10 Things About Lively to 10 Ways that Lively can make money, and much, much more. Our blog is rapidly growing in its popularity. We have twenty-eight readers and are ranked 427,628 in the world. Read Write Web, the twelfth ranked blog in the world also linked to us. I had many jobs in this protest.
I posted many blogs. In these blogs, I expressed my feelings about Lively's deletion. Here are some of my best posts:
New Protest on Lively
10 Things About Lively
Letter to Google
I also wrote a letter to Google telling them how we used Lively and why they should keep it. When we had the protest in the Lively Protester Room, I moderated the speeches. My roles were simply pieces of the puzzle of trying to save Lively. Everyone worked together to have this wonderful protest.
Because we had created avatars to teach the seventh graders digital citizenship, we decided to use them in the fight for Lively. We used our avatars to speak for us in the virtual world. We devised speeches for them, and also formed a group of Lively-loving avatars.
There were so many rooms that we created in Lively, but my favorite one has got to be the Lively Protester Room.
Many great things happened in that room. One of the first protest that was held in a virtual world was held in our protester room. It was such a big space, and it really set the mood for our protest. Tyler R. did a great job of designing the room. He his an amazing virtual world designer.
I created many things in the last two weeks. I sent an email to Google to express my thoughts of Lively's deletion. I sent the email about a week ago to the multi-billion dollar company. I posted the email as a blog post on the Digiteen Dream Team Blog. They have yet to reply. I posted many blog posts. New Protest was a blog that I posted to inform Lively users of the new protest on December 18. I also added Support From Our Digiteen Friends. This post thanked Mr. Ken Ronkowitz for making another blog about our fight for Lively. Another blog post that I helped write was 10 Things About Lively. In this post, we gave ten reasons for Google to keep Lively. These reasons came from our experiences with Lively. While we were participating in the protest in our protester room, one of our supporters took a picture of us. The picture is example of a lot of hard work and a lot of heart.
There are many things that you must do to have an effective blog. First, you must be very frequent in your posting your blogs. The more you post, the more people will visit you blog. Another thing that you must do is comment on other peoples' blogs. If you show respect for their blogs, then they will most likely come to your blog. You also need to write about something that you are interested in. If you make your blog interested, you will get more readers. Another great idea is to write your blog in Google Documents. This allows you to proofread your blog and catch your mistakes.
Analyzing a blog is not hard if you have the right programs. Our class used a great program called StatCounter to keep up with all the traffic and views of our blog. StatCounter is a great tool because it gives you the number of unique and returning visitors everyday, and the number of page loads everyday. In keeping up with our ranking, we used Technorati. Technorati is a wonderful program that allows you to not only see the ranking of your blog, but also see the comments that other people left on your blog. We were able to see the good and not so good things that people said about us.
The statistics showed that blogging is a very effective way to reach other people. Because blogging is on the world-wide web, it is a better way to get your ideas to a particular group or company. We were very surprised at some of the countries that viewed our blog. Many of them were from the Middle East, which we all now is not very democratic. We were fighting for something that we believed in and a change that we wanted to make. This shows us that people in those countries care about democracy and are interested in other peoples' beliefs and ideas.
In order for bloggers to have a popular blog, they need to make their blog interesting to read. When you want people to listen, you need to include many links to sources. Adding links gives support and back-up to your cause on the internet. Another idea is to post pictures and videos. Bright, colorful pictures and videos give blogs appeal and attracts more readers. Posting blogs daily also makes more people come to your blog. By giving more information about your cause every day, more readers like to come and see what is new. Commenting on other peoples' blogs makes them comment back. In this way, more readers will come to your blog.
I believe that every single minute of every single hour of every single day spent trying to save Lively was worth it. We put all our efforts into saving this wonderful program. We protested for a cause that we were very passionate about. We loved Lively, and we did not let it die without a fight.
I have learned many useful tools that I will be able to use for the rest of my life. I have learned how to blog. Blogging is something that you can do anytime to express your ideas to the rest of the people in the world. I also learned how get publicity to your cause. We contacted many news centers like CNN and NBC to tell them about our fight to save Lively. One of the most important things that I learned was how to make your cause known. I am so glad that we got a chance to learn protesting be because it will give you the ability to stand up for you beliefs in the future. This protest has given me confidence to let my voice be heard.
I believe that students should have the ability to work with Web 2 technologies. Their is a risk of their work being deleted, but their are risks everywhere! Everyday students face the risk of losing a project offline. Why should it be any different online? Most students also know more about Web 2 technologies than adults do. If students are passionate about the project that they are doing, they should be allowed to do it despite the risks that it might bring. Many people respond better to students taking a stand than they do when adults protest. When our class started protesting, some people thought that a group of students could not make their voice heard. A lot of people; however, supported us because we were passionate in our beliefs and just in our protesting.
Lively was an absolutely amazing virtual world. I do not think that any other virtual island will be as good. Lively was very kid-friendly. Lively did not allow adult actions such as talking off clothes or making really rude movements. It was perfect for what we did. We are testing a new Open Sim. Because of the protesting that we did, we acquired an island free for one year. The island that was designed for us was beautiful. The only problem with it was that we met a predator on the first day of testing. When we make the rooms private, I believe that it will be safer and more fun.
I am very glad that we decided to protest. We used Lively so much and to let it die would be an injustice. Our main goal was to save Lively. Despite all our efforts, I think that Google is still going to shut down our beloved program. Our efforts were not in vain. We made Google realize that you cannot delete a program that other people are using without a fight. We made the world realize that it does not matter how old you are or where you come from, you can still make a change. If you are passionate about something, you can change the world.
Thank you once again for all the support that you have given us. On behalf of the Digiteen Dream Team, I say thank you on a great protest. I hope that everyone has a happy holiday.