Fly, Teleport, AND save $320,000!

That's me!
I thought that since this story was extremely interesting, and involves me if only tangentially, and hasn’t gotten much exposure except for two items on the obscure “official Second Life weblog”, I would mention it here. :)

You should read the case study for details, but in the last few months them wacky IBM folks have had a couple of significantly big meetings of wacky technical people in Second Life (once because it seemed like a cool thing to do, and the second time because the first one worked so well and there was travel money to be saved). I was involved just a little, since my day job was very busy; I made a couple of little builds (one multi-sim tour-floaty that I’m rather proud of) and gave general advice, and poked my nose in just to say Hi now and then. Certain other folks in my general social circle were considerably more active in the whole thing.

And as it turned out, it worked great! Now I’m a Virtual Worlds addict of course, and a Second Life addict in particular, but even I was impressed by how impressed the AoT folks were by the whole Having a Conference in Second Life experience. I mean sure I’ve been saying for a long time that there are all sorts of tangible and intangible reasons that SL meetings are ‘way better than teleconferences or phone calls or really anything I can think of except for (expensive and inconvenient) face-to-face meetings; but seeing someone who was initially either a blank slate or an active skeptic experience the thing and come, very quickly, to actively agree with me on that is quite a thing.

Turns out what we evangelist types have been saying for all this time is actually true! :) Even though we still haven’t found the Killer App for virtual world collaboration, just doing pretty much the Same Old Thing (sitting in a room, looking at mostly static mostly 2D visuals, and talking) in a virtual world really does work. And you can save a few hundred thousand dollars compared to the only thing that works any better…

(Oh yeah, and that’s me very very tiny in the picture on Page 6. At least I’m pretty sure it is.)

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2 Responses

  1. am i the only one who hates meetings and conference calls?
    given the choice to do that in SL instead makes so much sense. it saves money, yes, but really it’s more productive too. i can multi-task at my desk instead of dropping everything (half the time spent in meetings is wasted introductions and small talk).
    i’m a believer.

  2. @Seraphine : you’re not the only one by any means! The downside of the effect you mention is that if someone has enough clue to manage their AV right, they can pay no attention whatever to the meeting, and still look as bright and attentive as anyone (whereas today if someone is in a meeting and busily doing email, you can sort of tell from where their eyes are looking). This is good if the meeting was a waste of time to start with, but maybe not so good if it was actually important.

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