• Where did the name “Fleep Tuque” come from?

It’s a silly story!  I discovered the internet in 1994 as a college freshman at Indiana University.  The first time I had to create an online nickname, Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” was playing in the computer lab, so I chose Deep Purple as my name.  Over time, college friends started calling me Fleep Turple to be silly, and somehow the name stuck and became my online username for many different services.  (Do any of us choose our college nicknames?)

Several years later, I joined the Second Life beta, and that service allows you to choose whatever first name you like, but you must select your avatar’s last name from a provided list.  Fleep Tuque was the closest name I could find to Fleep Turple, so my online identity changed again.

I should note, it never occurred to me in those early days that a silly college nickname would become associated with my professional life – otherwise I might have made different choices along the way!  Nevertheless, Fleep Tuque is a fairly unique identifier on the web, and so I’ve stuck with the name as a way to tie my online activities together around a common identity that is easier to find in search than my very common real life name (Chris Collins).


  • What is Second Life and why are educators using it?

The quick answer is in this 2 page document from Educause “7 Things You Should Know About Second Life“.

  • How can I find you in Second Life?

My Second Life name is Fleep Tuque and you can click the “Search” button at the bottom of the screen in SL to do a search for me. When you locate my profile, click the “Send IM” button to send me a message. If I am not online at the time, your message will get routed to my email and I’ll get back to you as quick as I can.

You can also visit the town I founded on the mainland, called Chilbo, by clicking on this SLurl (Second Life URL): http://slurl.com/secondlife/Chilbo/112/230/121 If I’m not working, you can usually find me hanging out in the Town Hall.

  • I’m an educator new to Second Life. What should I do first?

1. After you create an account, go to the New Media Consortium’s Orientation site for educators. This will teach you all the basics of using the interface to get around.

2. See how others in your discipline are using Second Life for teaching and learning at http://sleducation.wikispaces.com/educationaluses. This site has landmarks, links, and tons of places for you to visit to see what’s possible.

3. Check my SL Calendar to see what live events are happening in Second Life today – this includes events related to education, science, libraries, or other “serious” uses. You can also “Search” in Second Life for live Events, including live music, discussions, and more.


  • What is Twitter?

View the Twitter in Plain English video for a quick, simple, perfect description of Twitter.

  • Do you really tell people when you have a cup of coffee on Twitter?

Not unless something seriously weird is happening with my coffee. I use Twitter as a professional networking tool, which means I try to post things that my professional network will find useful, helpful, or informative. I also sometimes “live Tweet” events that I attend so others can benefit from my experience. Everyone uses Twitter differently, and everyone’s experience of Twitter will depend on how they use it. It’s one of those things you have to experience for yourself to really “get it”.

What Twitter applications do you use?

1. I primarily use Twitter through the Google Talk instant message window embedded in my Gmail account. I find this more convenient than using the web, a desktop application, or SMS. Watch this video if you want to use Twitter through Google Talk. This isn’t working anymore.

2. I use Twittermail.com to make sure I don’t miss reply messages. This isn’t working anymore either.

3. I use Summize.com to search Twitter for anything I’m interested in. Twitter bought this and it’s now available at http://search.twitter.com.

4. I use the Twitter Tools plugin for WordPress to automatically send a tweet any time I make a blog post.

5.  I use Seesmic Android on my Motorola Droid super-smart-phone.


  • What consulting services/presentation topics do you cover?

For a full list of my previous speaking engagements, see the Professional page on this site. My area of specialty is virtual worlds and education, particularly Second Life, but I also cover Web 2.0 (general), podcasting, blogging & wikis in the classroom, and social networking. My primary audiences are faculty and administrators in higher education institutions, but I’ve also spoken to K-12 audiences, businesses, and community groups.