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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 »

Web 2.0 Beyond the Hype

On the team, we’re often asked by colleagues in other companies “what are you doing with Web 2.0?” The answer depends in part on how you define Web 2.0. At Cisco, we include a wide range of elements, like user participation, engagement, user-generated content, short-form videos, and a mobile platform. We’ve made a concerted effort to include these in over the last year. Some of the efforts have been quite successful, and we’ve learned a lot in the process. One key thing we’ve learned about Web 2.0 features is that it’s important to integrate them into the total experience. is a large corporate website that serves many purposes for many different audiences--customers seeking pre-sales information, others looking for post-sales support, analysts seeking financial data, and/or press seeking the latest news ASAP. It’s a site that inherently has many purposes. I think about it as a manifestation of the entire company online, communicating to and with the market. So, when we can use 2.0 devices to improve communication, integrated within the overall experience, we’re going to be all over it. Here are some of the more popular 2.0 elements we’ve integrated into our pages: Read More »

Hello World: The Web Experience

September 28, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

This is a new blog about, from some energetic members of the is comprised of around two million total pages, covering 6,000 products in 470 families in 18 categories (with 20,000+ product-related pages alone). Our sites sport hundreds of embedded videos (a number growing all the time), countless podcasts and subscription videos on many interesting topics, and scads of technical discussions. And, there are 74 country sites… hosted in 35 languages. As you can imagine, there are some mighty challenges to running a web site like this and keeping the design and content fresh: We’ll be writing about these, and we’ll give you some ideas about how to solve similar design and development puzzles you might have on your own web sites. Some of the things we’re planning to write about are: — All of the continuing improvements we’re making to the site (so you can keep track and make sure you’re not missing anything) --Behind-the-scenes notes about how we design and develop things with you in mind --Trends on the web, especially around the human network and user experience --Periodic sneak previews of early beta features on Cisco.comPlease feel free to chat with us via the comments on this blog, and via your continuing comments into the web sites. We’re listening!

Virtual Worlds 2007 Conference- San Jose

For those of you who will be on the left coast, we strongly encourage you to attend the Virtual Worlds 2007 Conference and Expo on October 10-11 at the San Jose convention center. We have the honor of presenting alongside some very smart people in industry like Jeff @ Amazon, Cory at Multiverse, Ron @ Proton Media, Edward Castronova, Ian Hughes @ IBM, Christian and Reuben from Millions of Us, Tony O’Driscoll, Jerry Paffendorf, Paul and Matthew @ Intel and the unstoppable Ren Reynolds. The last VW Conference in New York in March was an excellent event that was standing-room-only.imspeaking.gifWe’ll be kicking off the second day of the conference with a keynote presentation on getting serious with virtual worlds as a collaboration technology for businesses. We also will be hosting the attendee lounge, so please stop by and say hello, lounge, and enjoy the free drinks!

It’s about the user experience!

I will start with a quick introduction of myself, as I’ve not yet posted to the blog until now. I am Randy Sisk, another one of those Technolgy Center folks working in networked virtual environments. Most of my efforts are centered on Cisco’s use of Second Life as a platform and environment for engaging with our customers, partners and other interested parties. As a result of this, a good deal of my time is spent in Second Life and facilitating Cisco groups and employees in accessing and utilizing SL. Having looked at and used several virtual worlds, I’ve noticed that acceptance and adoption are in part a function of how easy it is to get the tool running and then to be able to utilize basic features. Read More »