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Notes from Virtual Worlds 2008

April 11, 2008

Thursday April 3, 2008 – 10:30am – EST

“Was sitting at table with Philip as he was interviewed by a woman. She is publishing a book about business in SL and I got her card so SLENTRE.COM can interview her when her book is released. I was even asked to take the picture of the two of them for her article. Philip is really a down to earth philosophical guy–he has a great vibe.”
Philip Rosedale, Second Life creator

(Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale interviewed by Sue Mahar)


Thursday April 3, 2008 – 2:18pm – EST

“There is a clear divide in the world of virtual worlds between entertainment and business needs. Never before have these lines been so starkly defined and, in my opinion, it’s a refreshing development. Coming to VW08, I feared that the primary focus would be on teen and children’s virtual worlds. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to see many product launches and discussions geared towards “adult” business needs.
Nonetheless, the field is still blurry–both from a company usage perspective as well as the yet to be clearly answered ROI perspective. There were some clever ideas addressing the issue of the integration of “social capital” within a company. Some of these suggestions involved pulling in the collective intelligence of a firm’s employee base so as to provide additional value and potentially increased revenue. Other arguments involved layering social network elements in 2D around the 3D VW to assist in capturing multiple aspects of the discussions and ideas expressed. Most of these suggestions revolved around the idea of using the VW engagement to encourage discussion with a geographically dispersed team, and then circulating the resultant ideas through company blogs and other types of social networks. The application would basically frame the VW in the center of a screen wrapped by the 2D social network tools.

CyberExtruder offers the ability to take a picture of your real life face and upload it into SL and apply to your avatar. They have an island in SL Called Avatar Island.













(CyberExtruder offers the ability to take a picture of your real life face and upload it into SL and apply to your avatar. They have an island in SL called Avatar Island.)


Some of the more pressing issues at the conference involved rapidly transforming management challenges and–oddly enough—the question of avatar identities. Justin Bovington, CEO of Rivers Run Red, eloquently explained his approach to the avatar issue. He has two avatars; one for business purposes and one for social activities. When logged on with his business avatar, he follows strict business protocol. As the CEO of a company, he is expected to behave in a certain way. When using his social avatar, the rules change, allowing for looser, less rigid interactions. This dialogue was triggered by the provocative question: ‘Does your avatar need an avatar?’
There was a lot of discussion regarding tools designed to assist business people with VW access and use—tools like a presentation software that leverages a 3D platform and allows for a choreographed experience-style presentation with the potential to span multiple locations. The software provides the presenter with the capacity to control audience avatar perspectives. This could enable a built-in HUD to allow people to follow the path of the presentation and revisit it as needed–or possibly as a way to take notes within the VW.”

Thursday April 3, 2008 – 10:00pm


SLCN TV after party streamed live into Second Life’s North Point.

Keren, aka Star Song from SLCN









(Keren, aka Star Song, creator of SLCN TV)


SLCN after hours party. Was fun talking to people in-world as we partied in NYC

(SLCN after hours party as viewed by those watching the live stream within Second Life)

Virtual Worlds Conference 2008 streamed live into Second Life












(SLCN TV after party offered party goers a window into Second Life via a laptop and webcam)

Virtual Worlds Conference 2008 streamed live into Second Life

(The simulcast was riddled with technical difficulties making it less than optimal for Second Life viewers. Beer anyone?)

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