Dear Linden Labs,
Your article "How Meeting in Second Life Transformed IBM's Technology Elite Into Virtual World Believers" had some interesting points.
IBM seems to be in love with SL, how could they not, according to the article they were able to host a three day conference for one fifth of the cost in real life.
Facilities included “a reception plaza, picnic area, three theaters, several gardens, support library, green data center, and community gathering spaces, as well as a whimsical dessert landscape with glowing plants."
I really liked that in this event people were able to do things that are not common in real life, such as "one presenter used a 3-D model of a server to show participants in more detail how to service the machine."
The people at the conference loved it as well, "People used the space to network and socialize...The ability to see the others there and the sharing of an interesting space together did contribute to a feeling of attending a event in a different way than simply dialing into a large conference call."
It is obvious by your article that Second Life should become the new craze in the corporate world, environment that seeks to get more and spend less, but I wished that it had explained others ways in which IBM or other companies use or plan to use second life.
I am curious if IBM would make a big money deal over SL or if they would fly someone over. I personally would do a big money contract face-to-face because in these type of instances non verbal communication counts for a lot. One needs to be able to read people to see if the deal is good or not and there is no other way to do it than face-to-face.
In addition, I am curious how people that knew each other were able to recognize each other, if they used their real names, if there was a dress code.
Finally, I would like to know if people from the conference decided to bring SL into their everyday lives and how they would consider using it in the future.
According to Edward Castronova in “Synthetic Worlds”, he thinks that the middle ground for users in the future is one like so: “Large number of people, especially those marginalized by the pressures of the economy, spend most of their working hours online. Most of them earn their keep doing work online; these who work outside the house tend to rush home and log in as quickly as possible. Their offline existence is pretty bland; no friends, a crummy, small apartment in a low rent district, cheap food. Their online existence, however, is marvelous; it is fair, just, and beautiful. Friends and family are there, and our protagonist are powerful, respected, and quite accomplished.”
How will people in the future use SL whether in their day to day lives or in business?