Tag Archives: neat stuff

A Virtual World Meeting

Yesterday I took part in a meeting with approx 100 people from a multinational company. It was a regular meeting with regular outcomes but there was a twist. The meeting was held in a business equivalent of Second Life. 100 people from around the world immersed themselves in a virtual environment for 3 hours to chat, see presentations, hear from the ‘boss’ and to see how this technology could be leveraged to run large meetings/workshops.

Once inside the environment there was 15 mins of familiarisation by the waters edge before heading off to the main conference centre. The main presentations were shown in a large room with a podium in the middle. The presenter would walk over and control his PowerPoint presentation from there. Yes, PowerPoint in a virtual world….it doesn’t seem right for some reason. There were multiple screens where you could view the presentation, and if you stood on a blue circle you would see the presentation in full screen. As the presenters went through their slides they were talking over the teleconference (just like you would with WebEx etc). Attendees could ask questions via the chat panel at the bottom, whisper to each other or just sit back and watch/listen.

Overall I was impressed. Although it looked like a old video game, just seeing the other attendees move around and talk to each other made it feel like you were really there, all in one room. I even had someone whom I’ve never met, but worked with for a long time, rush over and wave at me before saying “it’s good to finally meet you!”

Elsewhere in the environment you could wander into break out rooms and watch videos that had been uploaded in advance.

Here are my conclusions from the virtual world meeting:

• people still rush over to the boss after a presentation to get his ear (seriously, it must be human nature)
• people feel more confident to speak up
• fooling around does happen but not like I thought and it was over with quickly
• someone needs to facilitate, it’s like any other meeting
• technical barriers were not really a problem (users on a whole got to grips with it very quickly)
• the likes of WebEx do the whole presentation thing a lot better
• the likes of WebEx lack the ability (at the moment) to make you feel like you are really with the other attendees
• drop the corny avatars (knights, princesses, cow boys etc) please – you just don’t need them in a business setting
• you do actually feel like you are in a real meeting with real people – something you don’t quite get in a telecon/videocon
• I can see companies really going for this kind of technology but not just yet

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Let us kick-start your own DIGWWW

So I’m in San Francisco from the 4th to the 7th September, speaking at the Office 2.0 Conference. The subject of the talk will be around the DIGWWW, a grass roots group who has brought social software into a global health care company.

I’ve been thinking what would be better than to go into a company in SF (small or large) for a few hours and kick start their very own DIGWWW group. It would work best for a company who currently does not have too much in the way or web 2.0 or is struggling with their current processes and systems. So any business is in scope, as almost any business can benefit from exploiting trends from the WWW.

There are many unique qualities to the DIGWWW, and we’ll set you off down the path just as we started. It will be a fun, energetic and perhaps culture changing.

So if you are part of or know of a company who would like to benefit from our experience, either email me or leave a comment!

Pownce

OK, so in my last lazy blogger post I referred to Pownce. Now I’m not in the business of narrating on just any old start-up or beta, but Pounce is intriguing me from a business use point of view. It has similarities to Twitter but supports threaded discussions, links, attachments and events, something I think is a must in the business world.

CenterNetworks has a pretty good review of the site so I won’t repeat it all here, just head on over to http://www.centernetworks.com/pownce-its-pretty-freakin-sweet .

I don’t have enough friends in Pownce yet to ascertain whether a corporate version would be a good idea. However I like the idea of a web based networking, communication and presence detection tool behind the firewall. It looks neat too. I have four invites if anyone wants them.

Get Fuzzy

Whilst this is not specifically enterprise 2.0 related, I think the slideshow below describres some of the cultural aspects required for an organisation to embrace flexible web 2.0 platforms. So I have now heard the phrases ‘get scrappy’ and ‘get fuzzy’ in relation to shifting organisational culture. Are there any more? Good work David Armano.