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Community in a virtual environment

October 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

So today I was at the virtual worlds conference in San Jose. Tomorrow our very own Christian Renaud is the keynote speaker!One of the topics that kept popping up during the various sessions I attended was community in networked virtual environments and the idea that 2D, 2 1/2 D, and 3D spaces help foster community.0927_001.jpgCisco believes this to be true. Since our inception in Second Life we have created a Cisco News Group which is now well over 200 strong. There are also many non-Cisco created yet Cisco related groups in Second Life for example: Cisco User Group, CCIE Group, Cisco Italy Group, Cisco French Group, etc. I couldn’t tell you the number of times I have helped out newbs in Second Life; Cisco fellows as well as non-Cisco fellows. It can be intimidating when you are born in a virtual world; I remember it all to well. You have this awful skin, bad hair, and not so great clothing…and as a recent NY Times article stated even in a virtual world stuff matters when it comes to status and acceptance in the community. It is truly groovy that people do help each other in these virtual worlds and more importantly they want to help each other. After all isn’t that what community is all about? To that end Cisco is using virtual worlds like Second Life to extend our community. We want to help our community learn about us, each other and how we can collaborate with one another. One of the ways we foster this is to hold virtual events on subjects that we understand to be top of mind for our community. Tomorrow we will hold a TechChat in Second Life at noon PDT on Application Intelligence on Your Router: A Technical Discussion of Performance Routing. Read More »

The Virtual Trust Spectrum

Last Friday, I had the privilege of speaking to several groups of college seniors on the Cisco campus. They came to get a better understanding of Cisco and some of our technologies, and we get the chance to speak with them about their role in potentially changing the world. As the “speaker”, I approached it as a wonderful opportunity to be a student of this captive audience of soon-to-be colleagues or future customers. Read More »

Automatic Print Friendliness

October 8, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

Here’s something you might not notice at first on, but will surely appreciate once you discover it: Automatic print friendliness. Read More »

New Design for’s Support Area

October 2, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

Over this past weekend, the Support area adopted a new navigation model we call “Task Based Navigation.” We think this is an easier way to get around the support area, and this model is well suited for an audience that performs discreet tasks regularly as part of their jobs. We’ve been testing it over the last few months with lots of our support customers, and some of you saw it in person at our booth at Networkers. Read More »

Mass Extinctions and the New Math

465,003,915 That is how many aggregate subscribers are claimed by 44 of the top self-proclaimed virtual worlds.443,230,979That is the entire population of Mexico, the United States and Canada.Impact_eventWe are all accustomed to the early stages of any technology when individual companies attempt to set the rules and language that will be used for the ensuing battles. There have been expensive fights over simple things like rather to call the aggregation of ISDN B-channels ‘MLPP’ or ‘Bonding’, IP telephony vs IP-PBXs, and so on. There are very tangible benefits to defining the market you are going to compete in. This is Law 5, the Law of Focus, in the classic marketing work The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout, “The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind.”This is still going on in the virtual world sector, as every platform with an avatar calls themselves a ‘virtual world’, and attempts to define the rest of the market around their paradigm. What typically follows this Cambrian explosion of platforms and competing technologies (and semantics) is that there is a ‘great rationalization’ (a ‘KT Period‘, to mix my periods/eras/eons/epochs). This space is rapidly becoming ripe for it’s own. Read More »