Claus Nehmzow revises my views on Virtual Worlds
Nov 26, 2008
I started lunch a Second Life skeptic: Virtual Worlds are a dull waste of time that I have not looked at in more than a year.
One lasagna and Mocha coffee later, Claus Nehmzow has convinced me of the power in using Virtual Worlds, especially during this economic crisis.
While most web tools are great for asynchronous communication (websites, email) or semi-synchronous (Twitter), virtual worlds offer a very strong way to communicate synchronously.
The advantage over a conference call or skype is that relatively large numbers of people can be shown the same information at the same time in a format that allows them to interact with one another and the presenter.
Rather than a slide presentation that participants see online while a voice drones on, virtual worlds allow an immersive and interactive experience.
For example: A salesman for a company could present an overview of products and then allow those attending to choose the product room they wished to visit. As each participant visited the products rooms and look at demonstrations, the salesperson could drop by and offer advice and ideas.
As someone who has spent many meetings pass a laptop across the table to show web pages, I do see advantages to presenting information in a virtual world. All websites could be preset for the presentation and you could readily poll people to make sure they are all still staying awake.
Another idea: By combining collaboration with virtual worlds, you could create a nice environment for colleagues to build shared knowledge from across multiple countries or disciplines.
As for the effectiveness of virtual worlds, just look at World of Warcraft. I am not saying we will all get addicted to work, but virtual worlds clearly have strong drawing power.
Anyone used Virtual Worlds for successful collaboration?
(The video below starts with the demo Claus gave of Shazam, a company he used to work with that finds songs on your iPhone simply by listening to a 10-second snip of the song. Not only did Shazam correctly identify the song as Indonesian artist Anggun playing David Bowie’s Life on Mars, but it showed us this YouTube video of the song. Impressive!)