At a recent Cisco virtual event there was a comment put forth about how we are all living the future and I heard others refer to being pioneers in a virtual world. Cisco wants to venture forth with you into this new frontier which is why the later part of 2007 has been and will be jam packed with virtual events and activities. If you haven’t been paying attention, have been too busy, or have been under a rock for a while (JK ; let me bring you up to speed.Upcoming Virtual Event:1) This coming week on November 15th at 12pm PDT we have our monthly TechChat. I anticipate a lively discussion as our topic is ‘Why Unified Communications and Collaboration Are the Next Trend for the Internet’. Our speakers are Alan Cohen, Vice President Enterprise and Midmarket Solutions, and Joe Burton, CTO, Unified Communications. Hope to see you out at the Cisco Bandwidth Stage.Recent Virtual Events: 2) In October the winners of the Cisco Connected Life Contest where announced in Second Life with the grand prize winner and several of the finalist joining virtually to attend the gala festivities. The additional value-add for the attendees was the demo of the grand prize winners ‘Personal Digital Butler‘ concept. There where some truly serendipitous moments during this event for me. Such as on of our finalists who attended in world commenting, “Not to sound corny but we are living the future as we speak…..only a few decades ago who would have thought virtual communities in cyberspace.” Our main speaker, Thomas Barnett, Senior Manager in Service Provider Marketing, summarized the value of using a virtual environment in this sound clip. The grand prize winner also provided a sound clip on why he found this event to be, ‘the wave of the future.”3) A Virtual Partner Career Fair was held recently. It was a really successful experiment with recruiting in a virtual space with more than 60 attendees; view some pictures of the event. There was a lot of interaction between our partners and the possible recruits. One of the effective (and fun) things we were able to do in a virtual space was once a booth was staffed we could send up a poof (think smoke signals in real life) so the attendees could easily see which booth was now online with representatives able to talk to them. I don’t think the majority of career fair venues would let one even light a fire. This is a great example of what you can do easily virtually in comparison to real life. Here’s a link to Nobody Fugazi’s post, where he says,”The combination of technology oriented individuals, a virtual world setting and a chance to shop for employers and employees at the same time seems to have been a fitting use of Second Life. Perhaps some other businesses will learn from this example.”4) CSI, CBS and Cisco teamed up to bring TelePresence, Second Life and TeleVision together in a CSI Episode. In addition you can continue the story by becoming a virtual CSI in Second Life using a Cisco TelePresence HUD to communicate with HQ.To quote John F. Kennedy, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” We hope to see you out living the future with us in the virtual world. When you arrive give me a shout out, my avatar is Dannette CiscoSystems.