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 and its predecessors have been a mainstay of pilot training ever since. Translating this concept toRead More →

Image by jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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 send to the batch printers. It wasn’t until almost ten years later that Mosaic based graphicalRead More →

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, content experts, scripters, and machinima artists from whom I have learned volumes about planning and stagingRead More →

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 do so. Linden Labs has basically stopped focusing on education — which has also included droppingRead More →

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 2010, Hypergrid Business ran an article that indicated IBM had filed a patent on sim designRead More →

The good folks at the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable are training new people to host our meetings, and they’ve asked us veterans to share our ideas. The following  principles have worked fairly well for me over the past few years. 1. Open forums are not completely open When I host one ofRead More →

For years I have been wanting to see 3D on the web become ubiquitous and with Katalabs‘ OurBricks, I am closer than ever to seeing that dream come true. Leveraging the power of WebGL and its supported browsers, OurBricks allows users to examine a full 3D version of any modelRead More →

There have been several attempts over the past year to create a viewer for Second Life and OpenSim based virtual environments that would run in a browser. I’ve tried to write about them all, from Linden Lab partnering with GaiKai to provide a server-side rendered and streamed experience of SecondLife to TipodeanRead More →

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 non-profit OSGrid. Here is how it will work. I will take care of the setup —Read More →

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 with their own currency conversion rates but until now they have not been viewed in anyRead More →

[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 platform and hosting vendors to improve their services. If you would like to contribute a review,Read More →

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 dinosaurs and Spitfire replica to the latest Trainspotting and Medieval replete with “Helms Deep”-esque bridges andRead More →

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 our local system of incentives and rewards for faculty had discouraged any use of virtual worldsRead More →

While most of the attention within our industry has been on the 2D and 3D platforms for virtual events, I envisioned that a simpler, website-like interface may begin emerging for digital events. My post last December postulated that this website interface would be widgetized, allowing users to add or removeRead More →

In the early days of virtual events (i.e. a few years ago), we used to say that users could attend a virtual event “from anywhere.” Of course, that wasn’t entirely true, as “anywhere” usually meant at a location with “fixed” (vs. roaming) Internet connectivity and “chained” to a desktop orRead More →

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 structure. They are developed within each serious game to allow management and training coordinators to haveRead More →

The world of computer or web-based training has evolved rapidly over the last several years. In particular, a large amount of interest has surrounded the world of interactive 3D simulation training and the several advantages it brings to hands-on training. The question: Are people really learning here? The answer: quiteRead More →

Machinima, once banished to the realm of the basement dwelling geek, is now being let out of the closet and into the company of professional society. No longer relegated to fanboys, the cinematic art is finding a new life as a highly effective method of marketing. A few factors haveRead More →

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 of what a virtual event is today and where it should be tomorrow. My partner atRead More →

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 for Second Life to continue to flourish as a developing world and be a viable blueprintRead More →

Now that you’ve settled on the title, topic and date of your virtual event, it’s time to rally the sales team to go out and sell sponsorships. We provide six tips on how to approach the selling process. 1. Target wisely. As with any sales effort, categorize your accounts basedRead More →

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 dancer?” For one thing, it would never happen. And if it did, the rest of theRead More →

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: “Remarkably, an extensive benchmarking study reveals, it isn’t necessary to bring team members together to getRead More →

Corporations are comfortable with using WebEx-like solutions for their virtual meetings, with some using pseudo-3D platforms for large-scale virtual conferences and trade shows. When they need more sense of presence and more interaction than the typical alternative is face-to-face meetings, even at high transportation costs. Immersive 3D solutions fill inRead More →

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 virtual events require a similar effort as promoting a physical event, but there are several differencesRead More →

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 about his — or its — speed on the buzzer as for his knowledge. As competitor Brad RutterRead More →

According to a new report, virtual conferences are not longer a novelty for associations and are expected to triple in number this year. And while reducing costs remains a major driver for virtual events, organizers are now looking at ways to use them to generate revenue. Virtual events emerged asRead More →

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 the case of education, I expect no more than a gradual decline in participation.  Other worldsRead More →

In early December, I wrote about the cease & desist order sent by lawyers representing the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum in Second Life – which had recently been granted a licensing agreement by the same Foundation, and later attained official 501(c)3 non-profit statusRead More →

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 is a relatively easy tool to use. My focus has shifted to our current endeavor forRead More →

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 and ideas for how they can improve their signage overall. Although most of the organizations, unfortunately,Read More →

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, we have gathered user analytics from international online events, virtual communities and the TinierMe game centerRead More →

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 Expert Network posted a question last week, “What are/will be the biggest impediments to the VirtualRead More →

Every year I look forward to attending the Virtual Edge Summit online. Not only is it free to consume the content online and saves my travel budget (one of the keys for virtual events) but it also showcases some of the top vendors and trends in the virtual event industry.Read More →

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. AND they will reap long-term benefits. Why I Am Not There On Pure Virtual Events Yet However,Read More →

On a recent trip to London, I found myself sitting in a Yo! Sushi. As I watched the colored plates winding their way around the room, I noticed a poster on the wall advertising “Blue Plate Mondays” (any sushi plate for £2 as opposed to the usual £3-5). Since gameRead More →

Event management is tough… really tough. In fact, if you are an experienced event planner, you are probably one of the only people in the world that knows how to ship an elephant from Dallas to Alaska, negotiate with three vendors at the same time, or find 200,000 Lego bricksRead More →

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 was fresh out of college.  I worked for a company that sold Internet connections to corporations. Read More →

The numbers are in on virtual. After being immersed in all things virtual the last four months through my work with the Virtual Edge Summit, it was interesting to attend IAEE last week and be brought back into the world of association and for-profit trade show producers who still haven’tRead More →

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 the reasons are simple. They are absolutely the best way to build relationships and a senseRead More →

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 the most difficult to change, because the change impacts the userbase and economy of the systemRead More →

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  Lync Server 2010. The Lync server is a software product that unifies enterprise voice, instant messagingRead More →

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 software programs.  Today, WonderSchool offers live Alice workshops for teachers in the Netherlands and Germany. AliceRead More →

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 trend, reporting that speaker program activity is down 30 percent or more at most pharmaceutical companies.Read More →