Printalution Island launched in Second Life

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Boston, Mass. — The Education Summit for Graphic Communication has launched Printalution, an island in the virtual world Second Life, created for the Graphic Communication community to connect, educate and reach out to anyone interested in understanding the print and graphic arts industry. It is a tour location that can be explored by Second Life ‘residents’, as well as a location high school teachers can take students to learn more about the printing industry. The Printalution project was announced at the 3rd Education Summit meeting at Graph Expo in Chicago.

Printalution Island was developed in efforts initiated by the Education Summit, a group coordinated to develop a cohesive effort and message to youth, the public and the educational system about the needs of our industry. It is also supported by efforts from The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF). The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation administers scholarships for the Printing Industries of America and its affiliates, litho clubs, organizations, companies and individuals. Currently over 230 students attending 84 schools receive financial assistance through PGSF. PGSF manages more than $8.5 million in endowments for its donors. 

Printalution Island in Second Life
Printalution Island was created to reach Generation Y prospects in places where they congregate. In doing so, they have added classes for teachers, community events, reach-out programs, a tour of all the stages of printing and a “print is green” exhibit.

Within the site is:
- A facility that accommodates 144 people for large demonstrations and presentations.
- An area where educators can meet and discuss curriculum and direction with industry leaders, and communicate with other speakers in the print industry.
- An ‘introduction to printing tour’ of all the phases of printing.
Typically, registration to Second Life itself includes a somewhat tedious member orientation. To make the introduction to the print community as easy as possible, visitors to the Printalution web site (, can register, create their own account avatars, download the Second Life software, start off on Printalution Island and complete the orientation there. There are also weekly classes available to help people learn about Second Life, from basic orientation to how to build things and basic programming.

“Printalution Island is much ‘greener’ than an educational conference. People can visit Printalution ‘virtually’, and yet still interact with everyone,” explains Brian Regan, Semper International president, Education Summit member, and primary developer of the new location. “We hope to create a community of educators and students for discussion groups to explore the attractiveness of careers in the print industry.”

The Education Summit has ambitious plans for the future of Printalution. The next phase of the project will be refining the information found on the tour. As discussion groups grow, technical training where visitors could learn how to use the interface for running a press, for example, or receive ‘Print 101′ training for equipment at a printing plant, or help to understand a workflow, will be explored. There are also plans for an area that teaches green processes a printer may use, based on the Sustainable Green Partnership, the ‘green’ certification from the Printing Industries of America, and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) initiative. Industry vendors are also encouraged to build their own, non-commercial ‘exhibits’ at the site.

Graphic Communications Network
Printalution Island is just one piece of the education process. An effort has already begun to market Printalution Island to the industry and educators, and to develop user groups. 

To that end, The Education Summit has created the Graphic Communications Network (GCNet) at GCNet is a social network for parents, teachers, students and print industry leaders to talk about timely topics and share thoughts. Visitors to the site can utilize the group to engage in live discussions, upload relevant pictures and videos, or find valuable links to industry associations.

There is also a print industry Facebook account at 

“The Education Summit has been pioneering activites in Second Life – a practice we have pursued for a while,” comments Regan. “We have learned how to create working exhibits, presentations, and live discussion groups that are not only logistically successful, but strategically as well. We’re happy to extend this knowledge to help attract new members to the print industry – as well as to help promote the value of print. We look forward to working with the Education Summit and PGSF to build a successful presence in Web 2.0.”

Printalution was written up in a Second Life magazine

Brian Regan, aka PrinterBrian Dowd in SL, is a driving force behind the Printalution ( project in Second Life. Regan is the president of Semper International LLC, a highly respected placement firm for the graphic arts and printing industry. Semper has recently opened an Interactive Media and Virtual Worlds Development center inspired and informed by Regan’s experience and expertise in the realm of virtual worlds.

(PrinterBrian Dowd aka Brian Regan welcomes visitors to Printalution, the printing community’s new island in Second Life.)

The Printalution project’s main goals are to foster graphic arts and printing communities in the virtual world – focused primarily on educators and industry – and to provide information to prospective Graphic Communications students.

During GRAPH EXPO® 2007, a task force was put together to address the problem of reaching out to youths and to the educational system, incorporating Graphic Communications industry requirements. The Printalution project was conceived as one of many projects and initiatives planned through many teleconferences between the members of the task force. The Printalution project was subsequently announced at GRAPH EXPO® 2008. Printalution is also a part of of a larger initiative from The Education Summit Group.


A major goal of the Printalution project is to form communities made up of educators and industry practitioners. The size and activity of these communities will certainly be a consideration when measuring the success of the project.

(The reception area of Printalution is fashioned to be welcoming and user-friendly.)

The Printalution project is designed to be self-contained. This means that visitors entering Second Life for the first time can choose to join the Printalution orientation community when they sign up. After completing the Printalution orientation and spending some immersion time on Printulation Island, visitors need not engage with any other aspects of Second Life, if they so desire.

What does the project offer students?

Students will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the project. Tours will be led by educators – secondary and post secondary teachers – through a specially designed tour building located in Printalution Island in Second Life. In addition, there are many locations throughout Printalution Island and its neighbour, HumanResource Island, with static information, billboards and links to websites with further information regarding the Graphic Communications industry. In the future, training seminars will be held, featuring topics including basic skills for Graphic Communications and interview skills.

(The Printalution tour building houses 3D representations of real life printing equipment.)


The Printalution tour building, located here - - is an impressive undertaking. It contains all the equipment and people required for a complete printing operation. In each area, there are posters with information pertinent to the equipment situated there or to the “primatars” (representations of people built from basic Second Life building blocks) located there. Each primatar has a label stating that you can click it for further information, but this feature does not yet seem to be complete. The Administrative area has a Receptionist, CSR, senior CSR, Buyer, and Estimator. Other areas include the Design, Pre-media, Digital Production, Press, and Binding and Finishing areas, and around the corner there is a career centre.

(The SP Green Exhibit built to inform students about ecologically friendly printing practices.)

Also on Printalution Island are the SP Auditorium for seminars and demonstrations, the SP Green Exhibit which informs students about ecologically friendly printing practices, a sandbox, the orientation area, and the teacher’s building (yet to be completed).

The companion island, HumanResource Island  has a whole host of information about Semper International LLC, Graphic Communications groups, and about jobs in the industry.

In conclusion

Printalution looks like a fantastic endeavour. It’s creators have obviously invested plenty of time and thought

Printalution announced at GraphExpo 2008

The Printalution project was announced at the 3rd Education Summit meeting at the GraphExpo in Chicago this week. I had the opportunity to present to 150 people from the industry. In attendance were educators, association personnel and industry.

The next phase of the project will be refining the information found on the tour. Start to market it to industry and educators and develop user groups. One such group will be High School educators using it to tour potential GA students around the tour building.

All and all a great start.


Second Life and Google Lively – Want them to work together

After feeling left out for the last few days as I was on vacation and Google decided to launch Lively… I have been catching up this weekend.

There are some cool features to Lively and I see a lot of potential in this platform. Would like to be able to have more than one video playing in a room and be able to control when they play and stop, but I am sure those are going to be fixed soon enough. 

This VW is nothing like Second Life, not really in the same ball park. I would say at this point it is a great way to introduce a larger audience to virtual worlds and then they can graduate into the amazing world of Second Life or some of the other more powerful VW’s out there.

Really like how the avatar movement is done, very intuitive. In fact as I was bouncing between SL and Lively I kept wishing SL movement was the same as Lively’s.

Was driving home this morning and thought, why not have one of the projects I am working in SL connect to Lively?? Went home and tested out the concept, hoping the in SL browser would open lively (Would have also solved the Mac issue of no Lively option). 

So I made a prim, added the web link script and the URL to the room in Lively I wanted and……  NOPE, platform not supported. Only way to do it was have a separate browser open up which defeats the purpose a bit. 

Would be interesting if this concept did actually work at some point.

Not 100% sure how to leverage the two platforms together in one immersive experience, but have some ideas…….

Project update 6/19/08

The Ning will act like the events and community control panel.

1) People can start their own groups, so we get a few key people interested to create focus groups or what ever and they drive that groups agenda and use of the Island.
2) We will have a Calendar so people see what times are available and to book time or attend a cool event
3) Interested parties can read up on what the community is doing and connect to each other and it allows each user to have their own friends list, pictures, videos etc
4) We can make announcements to the user base nice and easy and maintain the dbase of contacts.