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The Virtual World: A Compelling Place to Learn, Work and Network!

March 14, 2009 - 2 Comments

As we investigate virtual worlds for enterprise, we’re seeing that 3D technology takes Web 2.0 to another level in the way it supports synchronous interactions. Virtual world settings have a way of enhancing the collaborative experience by establishing a sense of cohesiveness, a feeling that you’re a part of a team rather than a lone participant on a remote call. Being in the same space, at the same time, in an immersive environment improves one’s sense of presence during an interaction that cannot be replicated in a 2D space.

According to former CEO of Linden Labs, Phillip Rosedale, there’s a sense of geographic place and personal presence in virtual worlds, even when users are miles or continents apart. In Second Life, as well as other Virtual World platforms you can see and interact the others in the form of their avatar character through voice chat, text chat, and even instant messaging. Rosedale points out that virtual worlds transform the way we collaborate and do business by providing a multi-tiered communication platform with dimensions that do not exist with e-mail, conference calls or other platforms.

Cisco, Intel, Sun, Microsoft, IBM and others are colonizing Virtual Worlds by holding global events, meetings and training sessions. In a recent Cisco VW pilot hosted by WW Sales Force Development Learning Technologies, Kevin Avery, Sales Operations and Business Development Manager, shared with participants how to use the Executive Engage and Discovery toolset to drive executive conversations.

image There’s evidence from a case study published by IBM that an immersive venue pays off in terms of travel, meeting costs and user experience.
Here’s what CNBC has to say about this study.
. The study below shows how two IBM events held in world saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel and meeting costs while providing a virtual social networking platform for global attendees.
Go More Indepth:How Meeting in Second Life Transformed IBM’s Technology Elite into Virtual World Believers

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  1. Great post - for some reason we always have to sell"" the benefits of virtual worlds for real life uses. Our last few sessions have made a few true believers in the actual uses of these tools for real life activities. We are making progress and have run a bunch of virtual profesisonal development sessions for CPAs (if you can believe CPAs in Second Life?). Thansk for reminding all of us why we are doing this..."

  2. Combining the best aspects of in-room experiences, Virtual world and other collaboration technologies creates a unique experience. We were able to:1. Project a WebEx session into the oom"".2. Use chat functions for back-channel communications, and for in-session Q&A where multiple people could be answerers, which is a far cry from ""take a few questions from a huge audience"".3. Perform a complex role-play w/ virtually no practice and no high-risk stagecraft, because the ""voice talents"" cannot physically be seen and can literally hold a script in their (real) hands. 4. In the blink of an eye create dozens of breakout groups w/ complete audio/visual capability they didn't need to ""set up"" or learn to use.--try that in your hotel ballroom or corporate auditorium!5. Administer a quiz to track uptake.6. Completely avoid travel inefficiency, cost, and time away from family as well as carbon emissions."