Saturday, April 26, 2008

vBusiness Expo day 3 - Session fragments

Today is saturday, the third day of vBusiness Expo. A saturday is, however, also a family day, and so far I haven't been able to catch more than a few fragments of presentations.

First, I managed to attend quite a chunk of todays keynote by IBM's Sandra Kearny. A few of the gems she shared with us:
-We're growing from 2D internet to 3D internet. Even though it's a really fast paradigm shift, it's evolution, not revoluton.
-Personally, she sees no difference between real life and virtual life. Both are just places to be or work.
-Nobody owns the 3D internet, which is obviously a good thing!
-The 3D internet is 'broadband to the mind', it's the sensory web. You can feel a sense of human connectedness over the internet.
-Machinima will be to this generation, what Powerpoint was to the previous.

Unfortunately I had to leave here; I returned more than an hour later, only to catch the closing remarks of Eilif Trondsen's presentation on "Collaborative Work in Virtual Worlds". He was talking about research they had done; they collected real world data on how people from different industries thought about adoption of virtual worlds in their own sector, for instance in the oil industry. Even though I only caught the last sentences, I'm definitely going to download his slides, which will be made available for download - probably at Clever Zebra.

After a short break, the next speaker hits the stage: Scott Randall, Brand Games. The agenda doesn't tell what he will be speaking about; it turns out to be on employment issues and virtual worlds. Throughout Scott's session, I have to tend to the kids, so I may have missed something here and there.

As wasmentioned in other sessions as well, Scott talked about the babyboomers, on their way out of the workforce. The new generation is smaller, and literate in a completely different way; they can multitask, looking at multiple information sources on one screen etcetera. As Scott said: most of you are probably multitasking while listening to this presentation.
So how are these companies going to engage the new workforce, while still being led by those babyboomers? We need knowledge transfer; perhaps the transfer of knowledge from traditional media to interactive media. You need to provide your employees with information in a way they see fit!

Scot mentioned a project his company Brand Games did for Deloitte. They built a dedicated mission based virtual world. Game roles were modeled after Deloitte's top performers; a great way to check out wether you would fit in such a role, if you would fit at Deloitte. A risk free simulation of what will happen in the real world.

Scott likes to work with proprietary worlds; a female executive of a customer was once harassed in world, leading to that companies' withdrawal from SL. Also, if it's your own virtual world, you have more control over availability etcetera.

I'll grab a cup of coffee now, bring the kids to bed - meaning I will miss the next session, a panel on "Perspectives on the future of Second Life and other virtual spaces for education". Interesting subject, good panel, but you can't have everything..

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