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Why play in the Virtual World schoolyard?

One of the first questions I’m typically asked when I show people various aspects of Virtual Worlds, besides “what’s that?”, is “why would I use that?”. It’s a fair question and one that I can’t always provide a direct, succinct answer. Sure, I have a list of 4-5 bullet-points I could rattle off (collaboration, serendipity, distributed teamwork, etc.), but recently I keep coming back to a quote I read several years ago from Juniper’s CEO Scott Kriens. I don’t recall the exact wording, but it was around the time that Juniper was beginning to win a few deals (before the Cisco CRS-1) and other “Gigabit Router” companies were announcing their intentions. When asked if he was concerned about those companies, he said “..no, because the only way you really learn in this market is to be out on the playground.” Read More »

Virtual Worlds Web 2.0 Or Not Web 2.0

eWeek’s article “5 Steps To Next Generation Web Applications” got me to thinking about the virtual world offerings. And if these two hot topics are really running 180 degrees apart from each other. As I went through the 5 steps I tried to determine how VW vendors might respond.Step 1 -- Build Rich Web Applications. “…hghly interactive and intuitive user interface…”Virtual worlds have the interactive down cold, the ability to create objects, manipulate them in the space and interaction only limited by the builders imagination. The intuitive is still a little vague, it depends is probably the right answer and most world developers will say that they ‘got it right’. Navigation and interacting is still not as standard as the OS or even web page type implementations. All in all give a check mark to the virtual worlds for the richness. Read More »

Making ‘Over the Network’ better than ‘Over the desk’

In 1998, when we were building the original Cisco IP Phones, we spent a lot of time talking about ‘better than’ features that would improve the voice communication experience over the standard PSTN/PBX voice model. At the time, we ran into an established hardware chain that didn’t support wideband handsets, DSPs without G.722 support, and so on. Give me a hand.jpgWe are at the same point in Networked Virtual Environments today, with a few caveats. Read More »

Gaming your job – Will it be adopted?

An interesting area of study is the motivational factors behind Collaborative Environments. In looking into this, we started looking at how Online Gaming, specifically Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) and Virtual Worlds create environments that motivate the players to actively participate and collaborate with others.Some of the things we’ve learned are that there are several main motivations for users to engage in these activities: Read More »

How to ‘Engage’

Mitch Wagner at Information Week is one of those rare technology writers who can step back from a new topic and provide some perspective. In his recent article “Five Rules For Bringing Your Real-Life Business Into Second Life‘, he crisply articulates the secret sauce for what differentiates a useful presence in Second Life to an empty island, with an emphasis on ‘Engaging’.He gave us more credit than we are due in his article, as we are all still learning, but he did mention how we re-tooled our presence in Second Life to make it more about talking with people than talking at people. This, for us, is ‘Engaging’. Read More »