Our real-time sessions give us the opportunity to get the most from our explorations by joining in a conversation. The real-time communication tool that we will use is the immersive tool, Second Life. We can use voice chat to talk with interesting guest speakers and each other. And we can use text chat to carry on a lively back channel and share links.

There's a learning curve but it's well worth the effort because more and more professional development is being offered in this and other virtual worlds. Consider this a way to prepare for the next evolution of the Web -- the real-time Web with virtual worlds in your browser.

New to Second Life?
We will hold an orientation for newbies the night before each of our real-time sessions. So on Wednesday from 8 to 9 pm ET, October 20, please plan on joining us if you'd like some help. To participate in the orientation, follow these steps prior to the October 20:

Create a free account at www.secondlife.com Be sure to give some serious thought to your name. Choose something of special significance for you. After choosing your name and completing your registration, you will receive an email with instructions to download the Second Life browser.

Download the browser; sign on, and promptly search (top right corner) for "2B Writer" (that's me, Cris Crissman). You'll see my name pop up. Click on it and you'll see my profile. On my profile, click "Send message." Just say hi and I'll return your message next time I'm on with a landmark to the Bookhenge. You should receive an email telling you that I've responded. Then you're ready for Orientation.

Here's a direct link to the Bookhenge for those who are already familiar with Second Life.

UStream Option?
If you'd like to participate via UStream, then please check out any live stream on UStream ahead of time to make sure all is well with your access. There's always a live program.

The UStream link for the real-time session will be posted on www.bookosphere.net and will go live one hour ahead of time.

On the night of the event, be sure to interact by typing in the UStream chat. To chat, type your question/comment in the chatbox. Then you'll be asked to sign in with a username and password. Simply make these up on the spot and sign right in. This serves as your account. Then you're ready to join the action.