It sounds like a great time was
had by all at last night’s Greater IBM virtual bloc party. Bloggers are already on the case, with Andy
Piper and Eric Mariacher beating me to it. You can also see Wayne Smith’s pictures on snapzilla. Wayne was filming all through the event (note the video camera in the screenshot below) and is busily editing as we speak.
The meeting was set up in SecondLife on our new skyPOD on
Almaden island and on an international, operator-assisted conference call. We had 43 attendees in
total or which 29 were guests, with the rest made up of helpers (thank you very
much!) from IBM’s Virtual Universe Community. We had guests to the skyPOD from as far away as Chile, Brazil and Afganistan. Other countries represented included USA, Canada, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany and Austria.
Guests were welcomed at SpacePort Alpha and Austin
islands for orientation, before they were teleported to Almaden island. Jean Paul, Mayor of Almaden enabled this to be an exclusive event by limiting access to his island to party guests. Once on Almaden, despite our best efforts to make directions to the skyPOD clear, some people got a little disorientated and went exploring other parts of the island before we herded them all back to
the teleport point and beamed them up to the Greater IBM skyPOD.
Our fears that the system might slow down due to the large numbers
of people using it thankfully proved unfounded. This enabled me to take the entire group on a tour around the skyPOD together, which I was concerned may not be possible.
Our guests were shown Steven Harrion’s Amazon bookstore application, which demonstrates how users can order books from within SecondLife.
They also saw an
IBM share price ticker which pulls live stock price information from the internet. During this tour I gave a demonstration of my “Do Not Disturb Sphere” (a tool I created for future use to ensure that IBMers giving client presentations in SecondLife are not disturbed by other passing SecondLife visitors).
As the sun went down, guests were invited to
take a look over Almaden island from the observation deck. They were then encouraged to practice the
skills needed for the following part of the meeting – using gestures,
sitting down, and standing at a microphone.
We moved through to the adjoining Seminar Hall, where Ian Hughes
(ePredator Potato) presented on IBM’s virtual world activities. As part of his presentation he showered us
with tennis balls (Ian is a veteran member of IBM’s Wimbledon Tennis Tournament project team), and showed off his new
customised virtual Reebok training shoes to demonstrate how well known brands are experimenting in SecondLife.
Mathew Georghiou, CEO of Mediaspark took us through what his
company is doing in the MMOG education software space, and how worlds like
SecondLife may impact this market in the future.
Jack Mason of IBM Strategic communications, presented on what we are trying to achieve with
The Greater IBM Connection,
and then led us into a breakout session where each table discussed one of these
* What will make Greater IBM most valuable for IBM alumni?
* How can Core Connectors ignite network growth?
* How can IBM become an engine for collaborative innovation?
* What part can virtual worlds play in helping to build
A member of each table then reported back to the entire group,
before I formally ended the meeting and thanked everyone for coming.
Most people stayed on for a while to chat with other guests
Guests were each given a Greater IBM gift pack containing a branded T-shirt, cap and flag, all designed by Judge Hocho. I also presented guests with a Greater IBM
keyboard gadget which we had commissioned especially for this event. These were very well received and one guest told me that he worked for Logitech on keyboard development, so he was particularly impressed!