It's great to be at the beginning of a new semniar series - and on my birthday, too! Thank you ESRC , for the present. The series is called 'Children and young people's digital literacies in virtual online spaces'. Today Julia Gillen will be giving a history of the virtual, Jackie Marsh will explore the nature of virtuality and Sheila Webber will talk about her life in Second Life. And, just before Sheila, I get to talk with Michele Knobel via Skype. Wow! I've also set up hash tag for tweets and that's #virt09. You can check out the web-site here, which we hope to develop as the series progresses.