Schultz is in the top 10 of the most common German surnames, and of course, Ryan has been in the Top 20 of popular boy’s names for well over three decades now. Hence, there’s a lot of Ryan Schultzes out there on the Internet, all of whom are at least 15 years younger than me… so please, ask for the original Ryan Schultz, 1964 vintage. 😉

Canadian academic librarian, queer geek, Winnipegger, and relentless social network tire-kicker since the Friendster heyday of 2003. I was an early user of Flickr, Facebook and Google+, and I’ve tried out most Internet social networks over the years.

I have been lucky to be a part of Linden Lab‘s Sansar beta since December 2016. Ever since I first ventured into Second Life 13 years ago (in a story I relate here), I have been a passionate virtual worlds enthusiast: obscure, older failed ones like Cloud Party, Twinity, and Blue Mars; shiny new ones like Sansar, High Fidelity and Sinespace; and perennial favourites like Second Life and its many Opensim-based spin-offs. Recently, I’ve also been checking out the new social VR worlds like AltspaceVR and VRChat, as well as the brand-new blockchain-based virtual worlds like Decentraland and Virtual Universe.

During the day, I’m a reference librarian at the Sciences and Technology Library at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, Canada, and for many years I was the liaison librarian for the Departments of Mathematics and Computer Science. As of April 2019, I am the liaison librarian for the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, and the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Physics and Astonomy in the Faculty of Science.

As my multi-year academic research project, I am creating a user-navigable, three-dimensional version of the Mathematical Atlas website (a guide to the mathematics literature for undergraduate and graduate students created by Dr. David Rusin) using Sansar as a software platform. I am doing this research in order to try and answer the following questions:

  • What hurdles do academic libraries face in providing access to a pre-existing reference/research tool in a virtual reality environment to students?
  • Are the software tools currently available (for example, those in Sansar) sufficient to build effective, efficient VR experiences for reference? If not, then what else is needed? This research project would be among the very first library and educational uses of the Sansar platform.
  • How will patrons use reference and research tools in VR? In the specific case of the Mathematical Atlas, will the use of a three-dimensional landscape model help users better grasp the various areas of modern mathematical research and how they relate to each other, as opposed to a traditional flat, two-dimensional webpage? Or will the 3-D model simply get in the way of imparting useful information?

I’ve also done a bit of work on the local gay and lesbian history of my home city, Winnipeg. And I was the saviour of the Manitoba Gay and Lesbian Archives, which were mouldering away in a downtown Winnipeg warehouse.

A bit of computer history: In 1982, I was part of the final first-year class of Computer Science students at the University of Manitoba who had to use the 80-character punched card keypunch machines to do their programming! My first personal computer was the TRS-80 Model III, which I bought in 1984, if I remember correctly. It had a whopping 16KB (that’s kilobytes) of RAM, a 300-baud acoustic coupler modem, and a Radio Shack tape recorder for program storage and retrieval!

TRS-80 Model III (my first personal computer)

In 1994, I was one of the people who worked on setting up the University of Manitoba’s first public Gopher/web server. I set up my first personal website back in 1999, and I first started blogging in February 2002. Yes, I am really that old!

Oui, je parle français, et mes amis franco-manitobains me disent que mon français est en fait assez bien. Aber mein Deutsch ist nicht so fließend 🙁 I’m also teaching myself Chinese using the wonderful free Duolingo app and website! 你好!

I’m a fan of personality typing systems. I’m an ENFJ on Myers-Briggs, and in the Enneagram (Riso-Hudson system) I’m a Social Type Two with a Three Wing. The Two with a Three Wing (2w3) is nicknamed “The Host”, while the Social Two is “Everybody’s Friend”. In other words, by nature I am a natural-born social networker and people/resources connector.

Quite often, my online handle is Quiplash — short for “quipster whiplash”.  I am known for my snappy comebacks 🙂

After all, social networks are a form of applied graph theory