Virtual Worlds 2007 it was good for me

I am back safe and sound from Virtual Worlds 2007. The main thing I can say is how fantastic (personally) the entire conference was. One way and another I missed almost all the sessions but 3pointd has them very well covered, start here and work forward.
I was very proud to have not only a IBM stand, but Colin’s key note and Paul Ledak of IBM on one of the panels and lots of my IBM collegues in attendance.
I keep typing IBM because the mere fact IBM was there was the subject of many a conversation. I saw practically no sessions but at the stand lots of people either wanted to say “thankyou” for supporting and adding to the industry or ask ‘why IBM?’. The coolest ones were “we did not know IBM had people like you” where you was the entire IBM team there.
I went to meet many of the famous avatars and business leaders then realized I was one of them and people wanted to meet me đŸ™‚ However as Mark Wallace from 3pointd pointed out “I made this guy” so humble time :-).
I am not going to get into the politics of Second Life being mentioned too much or the constant questions of ROI, but some things got aired and I had hours and hours of discussion.
For me personally this was the most vibrant and exciting conference I have been too. A large percentage of us there were there out of passion. Many of us had never met in the flesh, and we all recognized one another and just got on with communicating.
I did a lot of press including an interview for a ‘youth’ section where the guys had previously covered an elephant coming into town for the circus. I have to say that that is not usual territory!
What important points got aired?
1. Its about people. Even Philip Rosedale/Linden said this in his opening speech. When he started SL he did not start it with that in mind, but now we have all learned thats the important part
2. Don’t focus on just marketing the real in the virtual, think new products. Sibley from(as in Founders and CEO of) Electric sheep put this so well.
3. “Millions is spent on a feature film when only 400 people watch it together in a theatre” Another gem from Sibley. The worry about concurrency in a single space.
4. We need things to be made “fit for business”, my collegue Peter Finn just said of all the work in Second Life “It’s great business but it closes on a wednesday”
5. Second Life is not the only platform to consider. Its there its public, its easy. Take a look at ProtonMedia there have been building for 10 years look like a great virtual world with desktop integration and a web services/web2.0 design ethic. Let alone Forterra, Multiverse,, kaneva et al.
The major media companies are also moving into the space. Games that are not games, films that are not films, Sony Home, MTV Virtual Laguna beach and pimp my ride to come. How to get people to choose to feel involved, and ways to keep them interested. Its got to beat a poster on a wall or a banner ad.

So, in 1 year exactly eightbar in Second Life moved from skunkworks to legit. I dont know where that will take us, but it is veyr exciting still. We can argue standards, platforms, motivations etc. However lots of people have a good inkling as to why the ‘metaverse’ is coming, and maybe some insight into why now. As Eric Rice said on his panel (I saw some of that on the screen) the next thing is to go and just implement, but he did have this gadget (Was still uploading when I posted)

Here he is rezzing in real life with said gadget.


Remember this stand in the future, early days but we woz there.

Just for comparison here is the Linden Lab stand

My view of the conference
Mark Wallace
Mark Wallace

Jerry Paffendorf

The conference was also powered by twitter though the phone signal was a little weak down in our room(s).

Either way, I think we all strengthened some bonds, there was a great deal of “Smeeting” going on, that weird molecular real life connection when you have only met in SL. Yes the conference should have been out in a virtual world or two, but its early days yet, and lets face it if it was in SL then there would have been complaints from some of the other sponsors.

So hi to everyone I got to talk too, looking forward to where this all goes next.

Can anyone imagine what this conference will be in 5 years time?

This entry was posted in Hursley, Second Life by epredator. Bookmark the permalink.

About epredator

Director of metaverse and emerging tech consultancy Former IBM Consulting IT Specialist with 18 years at the company Games player epredator xbox live tag. epredator potato in second life

8 thoughts on “Virtual Worlds 2007 it was good for me

  1. Pingback: for free online » Virtual Worlds 2007 it was good for me

  2. Hi, I was sorry not to get to meet you in RL but it was more than 600 people and I couldn’t be there for all of it. I agree it was a hugely important conference for this industry.

    >“Millions is spent on a feature film when only 400 people watch it together in a theatre” Another gem from Sibley. The worry about concurrency in a single space.

    Yes, he’s right at the literal level, and it’s important for people to understand that and not obsess about the sim capacity. However, there is something different about a movie: every time you press and play a movie, it’s exactly the same. It doesn’t change. Everybody in a movie theater sees the same movie. They aren’t supposed to talk and interact, and even if they break the social taboo, they only whisper to a neighbour. so the dynamics of push media and the setting are simply different.

    SL, because it is streaming, is never the same twice. And even if you try to build multiple instances or have a rock band interacting with multiple sims, you cannot make the experience uniform the way it is in old media. That’s all fine for those of us who are pioneers and trying to crack it. But for the mass audiences, uniformity of experience does matter, and the companies that can ensure them that are winning the ad contracts.

  3. Hi Prokofy, I saw on 3pointd you managed to grab our new VP Colin đŸ™‚
    I do agree with the subtle difference, movies are made to be the same, without the human interaction. Though the audience of 400 do interact, (booing, clapping, hiding, leaving early, throwing popcorn etc) with one another and make it a different experience.
    Games have been crafted to become more open ended expereinces, but the same for everyone, freeform storys with set pieces as an example.
    SL itself is a streaming service, it is a wiki that is open to change but it is also able to be stable as it is not completely random.
    If we are all exploring new models of interaction that include people then uniformity of experience at one level is impossible and at the other is much easier. Bots and AI fail the turing test all the time, people dont but act in very odd ways.
    I think we are seeing objections to not doing things in virtual worlds based on people being too literal in their mapping to real life, however all these arguments only apply if the metaverse is there to replicate the real world. The real world does not rez (except in the transfer of light) if our current understanding of the physical instantiations is correct, so therefore copying it will always fall short using processing power to regenerate.
    What we need to focus on is the deeper human experience and triggering those deeper elements that cause us to engage with one another.
    That though is a step too far for people just coming to this so that why I like Sibley’s simple and disarming movie quote đŸ™‚

  4. Ian, the conference was locked out when I tried to get tickets and so I missed the show. Not only that, but they didn’t check the existing IT-based conference schedules, and are booking October’s smack in the middle of Gartner Fall Symposium. I wrote to them to see if I could buy a copy of the materials and presentations, but nobody is responding from the show. Was there anybody recording? Was there going to be a post-show web-based repository for all the presentation material? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated!

  5. For the ?th time, it was great meeting you at the conference! You guys have really been trailblazers here. I was encouraged to get back to work only to find a customer question about Second Life and corporate network security. The metaverse is clearly coming to more and more enterprises. I don’t think its just brands that want exposure, but the cumulative result of thousands of evangelists following your path to drive the adoption of this communications and collaboration medium.

  6. sysengr, I had the same question, and the organizers said they would be putting the videos of the panels up on the web.

    epredator, people in movie houses pretty much act the same. I don’t think you can take the experience of 400 people at something in SL, with all the facts or SL (anonymity, creativity of presentation, interaction at different levels of IM, or picks, or links, or p2pability, or 100 other things, and compare that to throwing popcorn or booing. In some countries, a movie plays one way. In others, it plays another way. But it’s the same movie, with variations in reaction.

    I don’t think you can try to rationalize clients’ fears of lack of an audience by trying to sell them on the idea that a movie theater is some kind of unique individualized experience without a lot of eyeballs, either. That’s because the ads in the moviehouse are going to reach millions because there are thousands of movie houses. There’s ONE movie house on your island or my island. So you simply have to be selling something different; a very unique and special experience; an asynchronous experience; a rollout that gets a big old media hit; a rollout that starts a community inworld that spreads and interacts, etc. etc.

    You really, really are reaching by saying the real world does not rez and can never be identical — please, let’s not be overly technical and wonky here when you have a really simple problem: clients who don’t get why they can’t reach eyeballs. You cannot reach eyeballs in Second Life. End of story. You can reach hearts and minds. 40 at a time, one at a time, not in real time, not in direct ways. The job is more like a ward heeler or a Mormon going door to door, reaching people, than it is like a quick fix of a spot at half time on the most-watched televised football game of the season.

  7. prokofy, I do understand what you are saying. We do have to consider though if the mass market is the sole consideration. I give the example of corporate hospitality. Millions of $ of deals are made and business done in more initimate environments.
    Ideally we would have a metaverse platform that had everyone on at the same time as an extension of RL. This will come, but without the current crop of businesses and residents in SL then there is no impotus to create that sort of environment.
    So I think we are talking about different timeframes and motivations. Something is here now, and by learning what it actually is and isnt we can then get to where we need to be.
    Also SL is but one channel. It does not have to be the cornerstone of the entire experience, but a facet.
    Inside our company we have started to reach 300,000 people, it started with 2 and is now 3,000 plus many others talking about what this industry can become. The power of the supporting channels, blogs twitter etc all form part of a single conversation. Until people at least experience a metaverse they tend not to get it.
    Clearly different markets, different levels of creative input, the needs of the passive massive, the long tail are not all one solution.
    I do still think though that people need to consider the size of the experience. A website the owner considers how many visitors they get, the visitor is not bothered about that number. In a metaverse will people stay away from a crowded place? Gigs, some people prefer back room initmate concerts others the buzz of the stadium.
    I am not really trying to rationalize the fears of anyone, I know this is the right thing to be pursuing. Everything has limitations and problems. If people want to reach n million people with one ad then in Second Life or any of the others right now, they wont be able to do it. The question is, is that the right way to approach this? Do you want to reach the passionate activist consumer. The 20 people who will start a viral buzz in all media about your product/service/content. Is it still worth first mover advantage in SL right now? Can you invent something that will become the killer app/product/content for the metaverse?
    Lots of options, lots of ways to explore new business ideas, new marketing ideas and in reality at a very low cost at the moment.

  8. I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100% regarding Virtual Worlds 2007 it was good for me, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong đŸ™‚

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