Old School in a New Media World
I’m old. Or at least old school.When someone on my team asks me to look at a document they’ve written, I usually print it out and then mark it up old-fashioned style with a red pen -reminiscent of my days as a copy editor at Network World in the early 90’s. When I hand my co-worker back a hard copy with my notes in the margin, they look at me like I just walked out of the caveman exhibit at the Natural History Museum.At dinner the other night, I was joking around with my 15-year-old daughter, Sheighlin, and I said,”Don’t get all up in my grill.” Just trying to show her that the old man could still bring it in this funky world we now live in. She had a look of terror on her face that would have rivaled a young Jamie Lee Curtis from the first Halloween movie (see, even my pop references are old). My other daughter, Ariana, then leaned over to me and said,”Dad, don’t ever say that again. That expression is sooo yesterday.” She shook her head dismissively and sighed heavily. My wife merely laughed and said,”Honey, even I know that.”Half the time, I can’t even read the text messages I get from my two girls as I’ve never quite mastered the truncated, thumb-based lexicon of texting. When I have to ask the high school kid stocking the shelves at the local grocery to help me translate a text message, well, let’s just say it’s not the highlight of my day.OK, so you get the idea. I can be out of touch sometimes. No big deal, right? I’m college educated. I can learn. I can be hip and cool. (Sheighlin, stop laughing.)That’s why when the director of New Media here at Cisco, Jeanette Gibson, sent me a meeting invite to discuss how we could leverage Second Life at C-Scape, I eagerly accepted it. We met yesterday, and Jeanette started probing me on several things. It became apparent to her about two minutes into the discussion about islands, avatars, teleporting and flying dragons that I was having a pretty successful audition for the new season of Lost.”OK, let’s try this another way,” she said with a smile that one typically reserves for that strange cousin who shows up at the family reunion with one eyebrow shaved off and black fingernail polish. She then spent the next hour walking -and at times flying -me through this virtual world.It was captivating and very intriguing as it got me thinking about the myriad ways we could leverage this social networking model to increase our reach into the influencer community and develop new ways to engage. With nine million registered users and some of the biggest companies in world making big investments of time and resource in this space, it seems to have the feel of the future to it.But my question to you is do you see value in this model? Have you explored Second Life and the other virtual worlds out there? Is this simply a passing fad or just the tip of the iceberg in terms of future collaborative strategies?And most importantly, if I get proficient in Second Life, will it let me play the hip/cool card with Sheigh and Ari?