I was asked a question recently that made me pause-the question was”does content matter in a virtual world?” Honestly, I paused because I couldn’t believe it was being asked. However, after asking a clarifying question I got to the heart of the matter, which was really about where should one dedicate the bulk of budget to: content creation or tool development. Basically the person asking was trying to determine if they should spend some of their precious dollars on enabling a virtual tools/heads up display (like a chat relay from virtual to web) within the virtual environment they are programming in or if they should hold that money for creating future content offerings. They basically felt they wouldn’t get money for both. Now this is an unfortunate situation but for most folks this is fairly standard dilemma when it comes to programming for a virtual environment.Of course the above is if you have gotten over the hurdle of demonstrating the value of programming in a virtual space. If you need some proof on why one should even go down the route of considering a virtual environment I think the below excerpts from a in-world note I got from a customer recently tells it all-
Dear Dannette:I and my staff at iFiber Communications would like to thank you, John Chambers, and the rest of the folks at Cisco Systems for bringing Cisco Live! to Second Life. We really enjoyed the presentations, tour, and the customer appreciation party. If it had not been for your bringing these events to Second Life, we would not have been able to attend Cisco Live. We are in a very rural area of Washington state, four hours away from SeaTac Airport, making both travel time and budget a limitation–We hope to attend more Cisco Second Life events in the future, and we look forward to Cisco’s expansion of its Second Life presence. It is a great way for us to keep up with technological changes, and it is also an excellent educational medium. And, we would love the opportunity to increase our Cisco training through Second Life events, if/when that becomes available.Lastly, I would just like to mention that although we attended through only one or two avatars, there were, at times, five of us watching the presentations at our NOC. So, there were actually more folks attending virtually than just the avatar counts!Sincerely,Cassandra HeideDirector of Information Technology
OK so what to do about that dilemma-? I recommend one take the following steps when thinking through this process:
What has been your biggest challenge when programming for a virtual environment? I welcome your thoughts regarding how one should go about establishing program priorities in a virtual environment.