E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez


What Did You Get for Christmas? I Got an Avatar from Far Far Away!

While James Dellow, over at ChiefTech has put together a really nice and well thought out blog post under The Potential for Enterprise Metaverses where he is actually exploring further the role of virtual worlds (i.e. Second Life) to enhance the overall business collaboration and eLearning experiences in the corporate world, and while Jasmin Tragas has put together an incredibly enlightening article on Avatar Affinity, here I am again revisiting the world of the metaverse. Yes, that is right. Even though I have been in Second Life for quite some time now, in the last few months I haven’t spent as much time as I should have, or could have.

Well, things may change from here onwards, folks. Now it seems to be a good time. I think it is time to revisit it again and continue exploring its full potential within a working environment to help improve the way we share our knowledge and collaborate with other knowledge workers across the border in this distributed world. But to me there is one other special reason why I am going to hang out much more in Second Life this year. And that is my current avatar elsua Gaea. Allow me to explain further.

Back on the 6th of January, and while over here we were celebrating the Three Kings or Three Wise Men, I got pinged by Jasmin Tragas saying that there was a lovely present awaiting for me in Second Life and that I should check it out shortly. And I did. Whooooaaahhhh! I got a lovely new outfit for my avatar, which lately was a little bit left behind. Of course, I had to try it out and lo and behold somehow my inspiration to keep on making use of Second Life re-gained its full energy and commitment. So much so that I already got a couple of community events piled up for the next few weeks and I will be participating as well in a couple of interviews around the subject of social computing!

Earlier on today I actually spent a few minutes with Jasmin hanging out together chatting about a few things around knowledge sharing, social software and collaboration. First time we ever hanged out together in Second Life and before we knew it we went further with a photo shooting session, then we played drums and before we knew it time flew, when you are having fun!

Here are some of the pictures we took:


So, if late last year I lost the connection with my avatar, something that for one reason or another may have happened, I guess that thanks to Jasmin I got it back, not only for her spot on article on Avatar Affinity, but also because she spent quite some time and effort in putting together a really cool outfit for my avatar without asking anything in return. There you have it, the power of social networking and connecting with other knowledge workers regardless wherever they may well be!

And then they may say that virtual worlds don’t help get people together and connect, well, they may need to think about it twice now!

Fancy hanging out in Second Life some time soon? … I am ready 🙂

(Thanks ever so much, Jazzydee Raymaker, for the lovely present! It is greatly appreciated!!!)

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¡¡¡Feliz Año 2008!!!

You probably thought I would actually get busy writing another blog post where I would be summarising 2007 or sharing my views on some predictions for 2008, as we are coming closer to the end of another incredibly exciting year. Yet, I am going to save you the trouble of having to read about such things here, as I am sure there are plenty of other places out there, where you could have some exposure to some really good insights on various different topics. Instead, I am just going to take the liberty to wish all of you, who I have been in contact with through whatever the social software tool, as well as face to face, a Happy New Year and, much more importantly, a very very Prosperous & Healthy 2008!!!

Yes, that is going to be my wish for the New Year we are about to get started with. Lots of prosperity and good health, specially for the latter, because, without it, there isn’t anything we can do. Sometimes we take for granted the little things, those that keep us going day in day out. Health is one of them. We always take it for granted and yet we couldn’t survive without it. So instead of wishing all sorts of cool things to happen all over the place and to all those folks out there I’ve been in touch with, I am just going to keep things simple. Stay healthy, be healthy, and the rest will just come along nicely!

That is right! As simple as it would get. Lots of good health for the New Year and hope that everyone gets to fulfil whatever their dreams may well be. Mine is going to be to try to stay healthy, too, so that I can enjoy being in touch with those I love and care for, those who have given me another incredible year without asking for anything in return. Those who care enough to be themselves and allow me to be part of their lives. And, of course, wishing to stay healthy so that I can keep enjoying this wonderful place I live in.

Here you have got some pictures I took yesterday from one of my favourite places in Gran Canaria: Roque Bentaiga. If you have taken a look in the past to the ones I have shared already in my Flickr account, this particular series is a special one, since I got to visit the monolith and climb it as far as it is possible. Quite an incredible experience, I tell you! Here you have got some pictures and hope to share some more later on. And, yes, the place is as mystical as you could have ever imagined!! And quite humbling, too!

¡¡¡Feliz Año 2008!!!

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¡¡¡Feliz Navidad 2007!!!

Over the last few days I have been having one of those technology withdrawal moments that will indicate a before and an after in how I get to experience it from here onwards. I am sure very shortly you’ll be able to find all of the different details on why I have come to that situation. However, that is another story. For today though, I just wanted to create a short blog post where I could share with you those special wishes we all get to exchange at this time of the year. I know that quite a few of you would be in full celebration mode by now and to all of you let me take this opportunity, if you are celebrating, to wish you all a Merry Merry Christmas!!! I bet that by now you are all engaged into preparing everything for a lovely evening with your loved ones and just wanted to share some of that spirit sharing with you some pictures I took last weekend from what’s starting to become a custom, and a tradition, for myself.

Yes, I am talking about the "Belén de arena" that every year takes place in Las Canteras beach, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and which this year is just as spectacular as ever. So in the spirit of keeping things short, so that you folks can continue further with the various different preparations, and, like I said before, a Merry Christmas to everyone out there who may be reading this and to everyone else I have crossed paths this year!!! It surely has been an exhilarating experience, as always! And look forward to an incredibly exciting 2008!

And here you have got some of the pictures I took last weekend with my Nokia N95. The rest of the series you can always find them at my Flickr account:

¡¡¡Feliz Navidad!!!

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What It Once Was … Presa de Soria (Soria’s Dam)

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Continuing further with the weekly series on What It Once Was here I am again at it. This week sharing with you folks some pictures from one place in Gran Canaria that I have always found very very special. Not just because it is the largest reservoir dam there is in the island of Gran Canaria, with a capacity of 40.288.625 cubic meter (m³) of water, but also because some of its surroundings are just spectacular. Truly spectacular!

It may take a while before the area would recover from the fires, but it would certainly be one place that I will keep coming back and see how little by little it would recover. It is going to be a slow process, I know, but precious gems like this one do leave a mark and always make you come back. Yes, indeed, I am talking about Presa de Soria or Soria’s Dam. One of those magical places that will show you nature at its best in a magnificent and breath-taking surrounding.

I have taken lots and lots of long walks over there over the course of time, and time and time again I keep having that strong feeling I need to come back again. Yes, I know, one of those special places. Thus here I go sharing some more pictures I took not long ago, and before the recent fires created havoc all around the area, so that you get a chance to admire such incredible place while it slowly comes back into shape.

It kind of makes you wonder what people were thinking about when provoking those fires. After seeing some of these pictures, and the whole lot more I have shared over at my Flickr account, I still cannot find the words. Seriously. Still can’t … And here is why:

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What It Once Was … Ayagaures

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As I have mentioned in the first weblog post of the series, every week I am planning on creating an entry over here under the heading What It Once Was … to share with you folks some of the different pictures that I have taken over the course of the years from some of the different areas affected by the recent fires here in Gran Canaria, as a way to help remember what it once was and what will be again over the next few months / years. It may be a slow process, it will take plenty of healing, but I am pretty sure that we would eventually get there.

Over the last few days, I have been getting lots of positive feedback comments on this series of posts, specially from folks who keep reading of my weblog(s) and who live in the island, as a way to help  us remember the immense beauty that most of these places used to have and which I am sure will blossom again very soon! So while I understand that this series may not have much to do with the main theme from this weblog, at least, for the time being, I hope you can understand how I am planning to continue with it as a way to help me release some of the pain that we have all gone through, specially for those of us who feel those burnt areas had a special place in our hearts.

One of those places is the area known as Ayagaures, specially the upper part of the area, where you would be able to find a couple of dams and some stunning views! In the past, I have been sharing a couple of weblog posts to detail some of that beauty, but over the weekend I have been uploading some more pictures into my Flickr account from the last time I was there. To me, it is one of those special places from the South of the island, where in less than 15 to 20 minutes you are in the countryside enjoying lots of green, the mountains, the dams, a wide range of different birds stopping by here and there. Ideal for long and extensive walks. And if not judge for yourselves. Here you have got a couple of the pictures I have shared just yesterday:

I am surely going to miss this place for those eternal and peaceful walks, while it starts its slow and lengthy recovery, but one thing for sure is that I am planning to come back, perhaps this very same winter with the first drops of rain, and check how nature has started its healing process, hoping that everyone out there would have become by now much more conscious of the serious damage that just a single match can create in a matter of hours!

Oh, and if you would want to find out some more about the catastrophe that this has been for us all, check out the following YouTube video that Manu Moreno has put together (Perfect combination of tunes and pictures to reflect how most of us feel at the moment) and which I am sure will make people think of the fatal consequences of provoked fires.

Don’t forget as well to check out his photo and video Web site over at GranCanariaFotos, where you would be able to find lots of other pictures and videos about the fires at the same time that you would get to see some other stunning pictures of the island itself with all of its beauty.

Speechless! Yes, that is right, that is the only word that comes to mind at the moment… Thanks, Manu!

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What It Once Was … Palmitos Park

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As the fires from Gran Canaria and Tenerife continue towards making really good progress and be completely extinguished, still with some minor, completely isolated and under control patches here and there, I thought I would go ahead over here and start something that I have been thinking quite a lot about during the course of the weekend and most of last week as well. During the last few days, there have been a number of folks sharing their thoughts and opinions on the outcome of the fires. And a lot has been said about it whether the catastrophe could have been avoided or not, but instead of just following that thread I am going to take another approach to it all. At least, for the time being. Perhaps at a later time I would share as well my two cents and what I have learned myself from this tragic experience.

However, this new approach is going to be a lot closer to me than whatever I could have ever anticipated. While doing a recap of the recent events, over the course of the weekend, talking to some friends on the outcome of the fires, I realised that quite a few of the emblematic places from the South of the island of Gran Canaria have suffered tremendously from the fires. I get to visit those different places quite often and have got tons of pictures from what they used to look like, but not what they look like today with the devastation.

So what a better way to pay tribute to those special places from Gran Canaria that got burnt than to create a weblog post every now and then over here, and share a bunch of pictures that I have been taking before last week’s disastrous set of events and which I will be uploading into my Flickr account as well as time goes by. I think it would be really nice to share with you why those different places are special, at least, to me, and why I am really looking forward to when things would go back to normal, like a whole bunch of us have been sharing thus far, and see those stunning places come back to an re-energising life, the same one they have always had.

So to get things started here is the first of a serious of weblog posts that I am going to tag as "What It Once Was …", where I will be sharing with you a couple of comments about the particular space and then share some pictures of what they used to look like and, I am hoping, that when the right time comes, I will be able to share with you all the dramatic change, for the better, I am sure, that they would go through over the next few weeks, months, years, etc.

Without much further ado, the first place I will be talking to you about is one of the most emblematic tourist attractions from the island: Palmitos Park. Half zoo, half theme park that used to host an incredible amount of flora and fauna and which, unfortunately, has been so severely affected that it would be about a year before it would open up to the public again. Most of the animals survived the fires, but the different buildings and the flora have been very badly damaged. So this is one of the wonderful places I will be looking forward to when they re-open again. I am sure it would be much better, much bigger, much more impressive and just basically focusing on what matters, the flora and the fauna of not only the island of Gran Canaria, but from all over the world!

Here are the promised pictures…

You can find more pictures from the series related to Palmitos Park and What It Once Was… at the following URL, or look also at a previous weblog post that I have shared some time ago.

So, will you join me when they re-open the place to check out most of the beauty that has been left behind? … And so much more? I surely hope so…

One year goes by lightning fast. I just can’t wait for it!

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