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Let’s Get Virtual

September 28, 2010
at 12:00 pm PST

It seems like everything can and is going virtual…including concerts, elections, contests, and more.  In this blog post I am going to ruminate on examples that are trying out virtual for the first time or pushing the virtual envelope further than before.

Concerts
uStream seems to be the winner in the live virtual concert race. Cisco and AT&T just yesterday hosted the Doobie Brothers live as a pre-cursor to their new album release.

My prediction (via my virtual crystal ball) is more of these mega concerts will take place, REO Speedwagon preformed later on the same day as the Doobie Brothers, but the game changer here will be the focus on exposure for smaller/indie bands. This is much like the way MySpace changed the music publishing industry forever by enabling a viable marketing engagement to a large and highly engaged audience of music fans around the globe, difference being this time it will be live ! For example, check out “Stripped Down Live with Curt Smith”. This weekly show, hosted by Curt Smith of Tears for Fears, features a different musician who comes on and shows off their acoustical talent. You can and will see these types of experiences happening on the web as well as immersive virtual worlds such as Second Life, which has launched many an indie musicians career. Take Keiko Takamura who recently debuted her 1st album which she co-financed with Linden Dollars from her Second Life Fans. Check her out below.

I’ll save mobile for a later date as that is a blog post in and of itself :)

Elections

Elections around the world are seeing the impact of new media. Tools such as Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook along with virtual worlds such as Second Life are being used to foster open debates on critical issues, educate new/existing voters, and most importantly drive people to the polls to make their voices heard. This goes beyond Obama, all though that was obviously impressive and a critical jump off point for this activity. New media is influencing elections around the globe; from Sri Lanka, to the UK, to Australia and beyond.

“Online campaigning is no longer seen as an optional extra; it is now a crucial political tool. But no candidate is immune. Fake Facebook and Twitter profiles have been created. Election parody blogs provide good entertainment, and more. I am thrilled by the way Srilankan parties are currently approaching new media for I see online organizing and campaigning as a way in which parties can change and renew themselves.”

Nibras Bawa, Groundviews

Sanjana Hattotuwa of ICT For Peacebuilding (ICT4Piece)  delivered a lecture in  the beginning of 2010 at the Sri Lanka College of Journalism on the use of social media in election reporting. He discussed how new media tools like Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia etc. are being used or can be used for the election campaigns. His presentation is below. 

Social media: An introduction to practical uses during elections

 

Contests
Major brands such as Kellog’s Pop-Tarts, Orbitz, and Belvedere are engaging in virtual contests. You can win a dream job, cash money, bragging rights, and more by engaging in these contests either on Facebook, micro-sites, Twitter, and the like.

The Cisco Borderless Networks team is taking the virtual contest to a new level, the 3D level! On 5 October you can take the 3D Borderless Challenge s, for a chance to win a trip to your wonder of the world or become 1 of the 100 finalists who will receive FLIP cameras.

To play you need to register for the live webcast so you can get your 3D glasses. Read below for more on the challenge or view the official challenge site to register and see the full terms and conditions.

How does the Challenge work?
After watching a short 3D movie, you will need to answer multiple choice questions about Cisco Borderless Networks and Data Center/Virtualization Architectures. You will also have an opportunity to suggest Cisco’s next technology innovation.

Prepare for the Challenge:

How do I win?
There will be two grand prize winners: 1 global winner and 1 from Europe.

The finalists are selected from those who answered the most questions correctly. A team of judges will select the grand prize winner based on the best idea for the next Cisco technology innovation.

What are the prizes?
The grand prize for the Cisco Borderless Challenge is a trip for two chosen from one of these exciting packages:

  • 8-day trip to the Grand Canyon, USA
  • 12-day trip to Kenya & Tanzania, where you can discover: Nairobi, Amboseli/Chyulu Hills , Lewa Downs , Sweetwaters, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater
  • 6-day trip to Peru, where you can visit: Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu
  • 13-day trip to Brazil, where you can explore: Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Recife, Olinda, Porto de Galinhas, Salvador, and Praia do Forte
  • 12-day trip China, where you can visit Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Lijiang, and Shanghai
  • 14-day trip to India, where you can see the wonders of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Nimaj, Jodhpur, Udaipur, and Bombay
  • Borderless Devices -- If travel is not an option, the winner can select a borderless device of equal or lesser value as an alternate prize.

In addition, 50 finalists globally, and 50 finalists in the selected European countries will be awarded HD FLIP cameras.

and More…

Those are just a few examples that came easily to mind when I was scoping this post. What are some great examples of virtual activity you have seen or partaken in lately? I think the idea that virtual is going beyond entertainment and into philanthropic and political arena’s is going to be a game changer in a big way. I get jazzed when I think of the opportunities ahead and the positive change that could be influenced by the world, for the world. What makes you the most excited about all of this virtual activity?

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