Category: Columns

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New life for enterprise virtual worlds

There are many reasons why I believe that virtual worlds are not dead, dying or disappearing. In fact, I believe that they are gaining momentum and are becoming more and more impactful as the...

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6 cheap ways to market your virtual business

Launching, maintaining, and expanding a virtual business — a new grid, design firm, hosting company or consultancy — can be an overwhelming task. While start-up costs are often not too high, it is difficult...

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DaseinGrid fails to launch with SimHost

[Note from Editor: SimHost‘s James Stalling responded to this review with the following: “He was a difficult customer who did not give OpenSim a good evaluation before he got involved, and didn’t give it...

Zoe, a prototype AI bot, lives in her own house on OpenSim. (Image courtesy David Burden.) 2

Bots get new life in OpenSim

[Editor: Recent OpenSim upgrades have substantially expanded support for NPCs — non-player characters — also known as bots or AIs. NPCs are typically used in games, as enemies for players to defeat, or characters...

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Moving from Second Life to OpenSim and back again

Over the course of two years, we designed and ran a simulation for the University of Richmond based upon Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” in the virtual world of...

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Where to build in OpenSim

If you like building — or need to build for your work or school — and you find Second Life cramped and expensive, OpenSim is a great option. But where do you start? There...

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How educators can benefit from Kitely

Kitely — an OpenSim-based grid that runs its regions in the Amazon cloud — has a unique system that gives educators some interesting capabilities and advantages. To appreciate those features that are most beneficial requires...

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International collaboration — in 3D

Here is a little vignette describing how 3D collaborative environments can impact large organizations. Just as technology has advanced in almost every field, so has the technology surrounding learning and collaboration. Three-dimensional virtual immersive...

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Prof: Schools moving to OpenSim should pay for hosting

In November, I led a well-attended three-hour workshop, Second Life is Dead – Prepare for an OpenSim Future at the 17th International Conference on Online Learning in Orlando, Florida. My basic point was that,...

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Second Life is Not a Game

One of my teeny tiny pet peeves is when people harp about Second Life being a game. This is often followed by declarations that games should not be taken seriously. Therefore, Second Life should...

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OpenSim needs a viewer of its own

Even as OpenSim implementation continues to grow, a constant remains: there is no viewer tailored specifically for OpenSim as it comes direct from OpenSimulator.org. It’s discouraging, and it’s easy to cite the nearly million...

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How real is real enough?

How real does a virtual environment need to be for users to feel presence? This is a question educators have been researching in the attempt to implement virtual spaces to expand the classroom. For...

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Virtual Events: The New Marketing Frontier

The economic downturn has put a damper on tradeshow activities worldwide. Travel budgets have been tightened across the board. Attendees are less willing to hop on a plane halfway around the globe for a...

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It’s time to move all grids south

Hypergrid is probably one of the greatest and unifying features for OpenSim, and virtual worlds in general. Basically, virtual worlds cannot be what they should be without the hypergrid. It is the same unifying...

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Avaya trains sales reps virtually

The flight simulator celebrated its 100s anniversary a couple of years ago. A training rig was developed in 1909 to help pilots operate the control wheels of the early monoplanes in a safe environment...

Image by jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 12

OpenSim needs an installer bundle

I attended UMass in the early eighties when access to DARPAnet first became available to students. In the beginning, all we had was terminal-based FTP access to download TeX markup documents that we could...

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11 tips for successful virtual training

Over the last three years I’ve planned, designed, and orchestrated a dozen learning events in the virtual world of Second Life. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with extremely experienced and talented programmers, producers,...

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Five steps to OpenSim at your school

I have been using OpenSim since October, 2008. The software is still in an alpha stage of development, but it has come a long way, and its usage has exploded, and will continue to...

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Putting SpotON3D’s patent into perspective

The recent furor over patents by SpotON3D is understandable. However, we may be overemphasizing that issue while staying naïve about other formidable developments. Let me begin with a specific illustration. Back in December of...

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Educator calls for college enclave on OSGrid

I am looking for volunteers for an OSGrid Academic Consortium — somewhere between four to eight schools who want to have free regions in an education-oriented community located near to one another on the...

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Are virtual currencies becoming real?

Many people view virtual online currencies; the kind used in online websites such as Second Life for example, as being wholly different from their real life counterparts. Many online games have their own currencies...

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Why my autism project left ReactionGrid

[Editor’s note: We encourage groups using virtual worlds to tell us about their experiences — both good and bad — in order to educate the public about this new industry segment, and to encourage...

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Getting down to business in Web.alive

Hypergrid Business is one of the very few publications you can safely categorize as virtual world platform agnostic. Editor Maria Korolov has visited our Avaya Web.alive environments from the earliest “MellaniuM Dome” with the...

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One university’s pioneering OpenSim journey

The last four months have been tumultuous ones for our university. With the end of educational discounts for our island in Second Life, we faced a tough decision. Second Life’s steep learning curve and...

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10 keys to a successful training presentation

There are several different components to consider in designing and developing interactive 3D software that will ensure that your training simulation will get the results you want. These components aren’t random in design and...

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19 Definitions of a Virtual Event

Technology improvements have allowed us to meet, connect and engage online. The 2008 financial crisis further drove the adoption of virtual events for organizations. But even to this day, there is no standard definition...

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Does Linden Lab put its economy first?

The evolution of the Linden Dollar from a strictly virtual currency and economy to a currency that intertwines with recognized currencies and economies has created many issues that need to be addressed in order...

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Is the username dying?

What would happen if at a school’s talent show some parents stood up and started heckling the child playing the piano or dancing in front of them? “You’re awful!” or “You call yourself a...

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The Many Advantages of Virtual Collaboration

The results of this Harvard Business School study, and many others like it, provide ample and compelling evidence to suggest that virtual collaboration is a powerful means of achieving new levels of efficiency and effectiveness:...

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Successful virtual engagement marketing

Sometimes, people new to the concept of virtual engagement ask: “How do you market a virtual event? Is it necessary to drive attendance with email and other tools?” As experienced marketers, we know that...

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Watson On Jeopardy: One small step for AI

They say it’s not the winning that counts but the taking part. Watson managed to do both — but perhaps the winning actually counted for less. All the indications are that Watson’s win was as much...

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Failure to Disrupt: Why Second Life Failed

Am I being premature? Second Life has outlived its many obituaries. This is not an obit. At the same time, only the most ardent SL-cheerleaders would deny that the virtual world has stagnated. In...

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3D text effect with OpenSim

OpenSim makes for a good, and free, tool for 3D animation work. I have spoken at conferences and webinars on the use of Second Life for creating video for branched scenario-based eLearning because it...

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No Excuses for Poor Signage

It was an honor to present to the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life. A wide range of organizations were represented by their avatars in the central arena. There to discuss signage, I discussed tips...

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American, Japanese virtual habits differ

Online virtual worlds boast an expansive global fan base, and effectively communicating with and marketing to this diverse user base can present opportunities for professionals. At TinierMe, an avatar-based world focused around Japanese anime,...

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Bringing Virtual Events into the Mainstream

It seems like more and more marketers are looking into virtual and hybrid events. With tight event budgets and opportunity to scale reach online, virtual events can look attractive. Craig Rosenberg from the Focus...

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Virtual Event Strategies for 2011

I’m a believer in hybrid events and the benefits of extending reach through that strategy. Associations that go down the hybrid road, and make it financially attractive, are putting their profession ahead of profit....

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Generate Sales Leads With Virtual Events

The following is an excerpt from a new book, Generate Sales Leads With Virtual Events. I can vividly recall my first experience exhibiting at a trade show.  It was the early 1990’s and I...

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Why face-to-face meetings are here to stay

Sure we’re advocates of virtual meetings. But we’re not foolish enough to think a day will come — soon or ever — when face-to-face meetings go away. That’s just not going to happen. And...

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How to Price Your Virtual Currency

One of the key early decisions to game design or creating a virtual currency platform is designing the price and exchange rate of virtual currency. Unfortunately after it’s been released, it’s also one of...

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ProtoSphere and Lync: more than voice

Last week, ProtonMedia made a formal announcement about a project I first reported on in September  of this year that ProtoSphere, the 3D enterprise collaboration and learning tool, is  now fully integrated with Microsoft’s...

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WonderSchool makes Alice immersive

WonderSchool, a startup formed by Els Von Tol and myself, is a portal for schools where they can build their own virtual world, or use an existing one, and give their users access to...

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How to make virtual speaker programs work

Like many aspects of life sciences today, speaker programs are being cut due to budgetary constraints and the tightening regulatory landscape. I read a recent article by Bill Cooney in PharmaExec that highlighted this...

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Avatars key to equal contribution and opportunity

Much has been discussed and written about virtual environments achieving levels of immersion and interactivity that rival (and some believe exceed) face-to-face meetings. Much has also been written about increasing the retention of information...

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Corporate uptake of collaborative 3D spaces

Much has been said in recent years regarding the benefits and substantial returns an organisation can achieve by integrating an Online 3D Environment into their everyday operations. Indeed, examples and demonstrations of the power...

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Avatars ‘compelling’ in nursing training video

We just found out about a wonderful write-up on the real-time animated training video we recently created for the Exergen Corporation.  The magazine, Executive Healthcare Management, is a well respected trade publication for healthcare...

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Is your grid a safe harbor?

One of the things every grid owner should be concerned with is the possibility that one of the grid’s users will be using, selling or transferring content that infringes upon another’s copyright. While both...

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Legal names in virtual worlds

Until recently, it has not really been possible for residents of virtual worlds to use their real life name. While Second Life™ has had its Custom Name Program for some time, residents have understandably...

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Ireland’s gifted kids explore 3D

MissionV – 3D Immersive Technology in the classroom for the support of exceptionally able and twice exceptional students What if you were told of an amazing untapped, sustainable national resource that has been discovered...

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Virtual Justice in virtual worlds

I spent the last few days reading Virtual Justice by Greg Lastowka. Lastowka outlined some legal issues that arise in virtual environments. Who owns what? What rights — if any — do you have...

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How many avatars can OpenSim handle?

Exactly how many people can a region in OpenSim support? How many people could meet for business meetings or presentations in an OpenSim region? Allow me to illustrate with this piece of string and...

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Virtual designs lack graphical appeal

The power of first impressions is either ignored or overlooked. Perhaps the poor state of design in Second Life is due to myopia—no one can see his or her own face objectively. A stroll...

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Green Your Meeting By Going Virtual

Everyone wants to go green these days, including meeting planners. And while there are many ways to green a meeting, one of the greenest approaches to meetings is to not meet in person. This...

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Community in Distributed Spaces

I have lost track of the number of times over the last few weeks that I have been somewhere in the OpenSim grid and heard someone say “This is like Second Life in the...

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Avatar: Your key to equal contribution and opportunity

Much has been discussed and written about virtual environments achieving levels of immersion and interactivity that rival (and some believe exceed) face-to-face meetings. Much has also been written about increasing the retention of information...

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Bring on the Virtual Bar!

Virtual events are undoubtedly effective… but can they also be fun? Over the last several years, many companies, squeezed by tough economic conditions, have looked for alternatives to in-person events. At the same time,...

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Make Your Events and Expos a Virtual Reality

Last month I attended one of the most engaging meetings I’ve ever experienced and I was not even there.  The event was EventCamp Twin Cities.  This was a one-day conference for event professionals.  It...

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Trends in the Virtual Worlds Industry

How do you keep up with industry trends?  You hear from the people setting the trends.  On September 24th, FountainBlue held its annual virtual worlds conference on Cisco’s campus in Milpitas, CA.  The event...

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Trends in the Virtual Worlds Industry

How do you keep up with industry trends?  You hear from the people setting the trends. On September 24th, FountainBlue held its annual virtual worlds conference on Cisco’s campus in Milpitas, CA. The event...

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Virtual worlds use Facebook to gain users

You might be interested to learn that virtual world IMVU has almost 1.4 million fans of their Facebook fan page. Why do they use Facebook? Lots of reasons… It’s a marketing and communications channel:...

Mark Szelenyi (Image courtesy On24) 0

Virtual event best practices

Webcasting is seen by many professionals as an ideal marketing and communications tool, offering the effectiveness and efficiency that enterprises require in today’s business environment. These best practices can help you easily run a...

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Avoid disruptions with virtual events

The world is about to turn nasty. I don’t mean the world is about to turn nasty on you, personally, but its going to be a much harder world to do business in, as...

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How To Generate Virtual Event Registrations

International Freelancers Day is “the biggest ever (FREE) online conference exclusively for solo professionals.”  Want to know how to effectively generate virtual event registrations? Follow this event’s lead.  They make it easy for you...

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Virtual appearance can affect employee behavior

As businesses look to cut costs, one technology that they have begun adopting is the use of 3D virtual immersive environments or virtual worlds to hold meetings, trade shows and even conduct training. This...

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The Virtual and Mobile Workforce

The way we work has changed dramatically over the past few years.  I’m relatively young…turning 27 in a few weeks – yet even I can recall working for previous employers where there was just...

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Using machinima for real business

Editor’s introduction: Machinima refers to animations filmed inside virtual worlds or video games. Machimina is cheaper and faster than the alternatives — traditional filming using real actors and sets, hand-drawn animation, or computer-generated animation.   ...