Practice makes better – IBM press conference at Wimbledon today

Ian Hughes, Mark Alexander and I are joining Andy Burns and the rest of the IBM team at Wimbledon today, helping out at two mini press conferences. Excitingly, they’re taking place in…

  • Wimbledon itself (in the physical realm of London’s SW19),
  • a conference call,
  • Streaming video (on ustream),
  • Second Life (at the IBM 7 sim),
  • Flickr (mine and Ian’s),
  • … and probably more.

The first one happened this morning, but you can join the SL portion if you come along at 8:20am PDT (4:20pm BST) for the second event today.

In attendance in the real world this morning were Dr Ann Quinn (Head of Sports Science at the Lawn Tennis Association) and Ian Ritchie (Chief Executive Officer of the All England Lawn Tennis Club). Joining on this morning’s conference call was tennis star Ivan Ljubicic, though he’s playing a match this afternoon so I don’t think he’ll be able to make this afternoon’s event as well. In fact, I’m delighted he made the time the morning of a match to join us today.

Of course, all of the web-speed work can mean instant results; the first press coverage from this morning has already been blogged by the New Scientist.

These mixed reality press events are always a little improvisational, but are something we’ve been practicing for a while now. As early as November 2006 a bunch of us ran something similar with Irving Wladawsky-Berger, which was attended in the real world by several journalists – including Tim Guest, whose recent book actually covers that event in some detail. In the months since then, many more journalists seem to have already become users of Second Life (and some, of course, of several other virtual worlds too). Certainly, the general level of knowledge of virtual worlds is much higher now. So much so in fact, that today’s event was largely not even about virtual worlds, but simply used Second Life as a medium to extend the public reach of the event, just like the conference call, the web stream, and everything else.

Update: Ian has posted his own thoughts on the event too.

Update: coverage from New Scientist,, vnunet, Le Monde, Times Online, Sporting Life, …

4 thoughts on “Practice makes better – IBM press conference at Wimbledon today

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