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 🙂 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, There.com, 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
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?