Reading on virtual worlds can be very difficult. It is actually an intermediate skill because you have to know how to zoom in and use your view. It also can distract the tour participant from the tour because it takes more time to read. Generally, avatars don’t like to spend time reading. Like all electronic media, users expect the environment to be interactive. They want to experience, communicate with others, and control the environment. Therefore, it is wise to put supporting materials in other locations. Keep the action on the virtual world and the reading on other media.
Web pages allow you the opportunity to put up text, links to other resources, pictures, and videos. They also allow the participants a way to discover more about the subject of your tour.
Google docs are a great organizing tool and a replacement for the old paper handouts. Because they are on the Internet, you can use them both inworld and in real life with little fuss. You have all the functions that are available on Microsoft Word.
Spreadsheets for organization Use the spreadsheet as a sign up sheet to get the name of each participant’s avatar and real name. This lets you prepare for the visitors and invite them to join your Tour Group. You can also give them advance information like the SLURL to the meeting place, a reminder of the date and times. Participants can also leave you notes.
Presentations You can upload PowerPoint presentations into Google docs and then like them to your inworld presentation as well as participants can access them as a pre or post activity.
Graphs and charts You can use the spreadsheet to create charts or graphs. They can be shown right from Google docs or they can be saved as a texture and put on prims.
Supporting blogs can keep the participants up to date as well as provide comments. These are especially effective for pre and post activities. Many of the places you go and the organizers of groups maintain blogs. This is an emerging technology and news is important to keep avatars up to date.
Make a video of your tour You can video parts of your tour, edit it and put it on YouTube. The participants love to relive the experience.
Make a video Virtual worlds make great environments to create a video. Create a pre activity by videotaping your avatar giving an overview of your tour.