Monday, April 9, 2012

Working in Virtual Worlds

Dear Linden Lab,

            I agree with you fully that Second Life is an important tool in developing virtual work environments. In this day and age, technology has made it easier for us to communicate and making distance not a factor. Last week, I visited a Second Life island that was a hub for non-profits to meet.  They were able to directly work with people, more so than other social media outlets, as they can get a better idea of a person.
The President of IBM Academy of Technology states, “The meeting in Second Life was everything that you could do at a traditional conference-and more-at one fifth the cost and without a single case of jet lag.” I saw this statement in action as the non-profits working to save the environment used spaces to demonstrate visually what could happen and by using Second Life, people can connect globally reducing the carbon footprint by not flying to have a meet up. 
 No matter how a meeting comes together, there will be distractions. People using Second Life will probably be also viewing a website at the same time, which I don’t think is the main concern. The only downside to consider when meeting virtually can be Virtual Distance. Virtual Distance is the subconscious feeling that people working in a virtual environment get thinking they become farther and farther apart from one another. This occurs when virtual teams rely too much on email, instant messaging, or using virtual worlds too much. In order to prevent it, the team must establish context, cultivate communities, and co-active leaders within their teams. 

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