Social And Collaborative Aspects Of Virtual Worlds


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From World of Warcraft and Second Life to Myspace and Bebo, what are the governance issues?

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  • There is (currently anecdotal) evidence that immersive environments such as Second Life are losing their mainstream popularity, as incidentally, are such social networking sites as Facebook. Together with such technologies as telepresence, the potential for such collaborative technologies is great, in terms of how it enables stronger relationships to develop with the subsequent impact on productivity; virtual worlds also offer the opportunity to interact physically and collaboratively, for example to demonstrate a product prototype. But there are plenty of downsides – not least the potential for abuse which is leading many corporations to ignore, if not avoid such technologies. This presentation considers the benefits and challenges of socially enabled virtual worlds, gives examples of where organizations are using them for corporate benefit, while minimizing the governance risks and operational challenges they cause. Also, if Second Life is indeed losing its sheen, what's Third Life going to be like?
  • Social And Collaborative Aspects Of Virtual Worlds

    1. 1. Social and collaborative aspects of virtual worlds … And their impact on corporate behavior Jon Collins Freeform Dynamics Ltd
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>What’s going on out there? </li></ul><ul><li>More corporate trends </li></ul><ul><li>What of corporate governance? </li></ul><ul><li>Applying governance to the virtual world </li></ul><ul><li>The changing enterprise boundary </li></ul>
    3. 3. Virtual worlds don’t have to be 3D/immersive <ul><li>Facebook – a social infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Bebo – a social experiement </li></ul><ul><li>Convergence of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social tools – Facebook, Bebo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simulation tools – Flight Simulator X </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gaming environments – MMORPG’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual environments – Second Life </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A work in progress! </li></ul>
    4. 4. A social network within a game, or a game within a social network?
    5. 5. (c) MMOGCHART.COM
    6. 6. From (c) MMOGCHART.COM
    7. 7. More corporate trends...
    8. 8. Do you regularly use any of the following for personal or work/education purposes?
    9. 9. Do you regularly use any of the following for personal or work/education purposes? (Social networking)
    10. 10. Corporate attitudes to social sites...
    11. 11. ... Vs corporate attitudes to social sites ...
    12. 12. What of corporate governance? <ul><li>Governance exists in a number of places: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In-world behaviour, of individuals and companies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>External corporate behaviour relating to the virtual world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behaviour of the holding organisation – Blizzard, Linden Labs </li></ul></ul>Sam Palmisano, IBM – invested $100M
    13. 13. To what degree do you consider these specific risks during business planning?
    14. 14. Applying corporate governance to the virtual world <ul><li>“ Governance is an antidote to working with stupid people” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anon, via Paul Hammond, via Roo Reynolds, via Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>&quot;The law doesn't distinguish between the real and virtual.&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rutgers law professor, Greg Lastowka, via Google </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Legal/regulatory exposure <ul><li>Is advice kosher? </li></ul><ul><li>Do “products” have guarantees? </li></ul><ul><li>Are agreements sound? </li></ul><ul><li>What is possession? </li></ul><ul><li>What about minors? </li></ul><ul><li>“ But is it harassment if a 14 year old girl pretending to be a 21 year old male is stalking and making outrageous suggestions to a 35 year old building worker who’s pretending to be a 25 year old supermodel?” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Robin Bloor </li></ul></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Failure of service <ul><li>Organisations are slow on the uptake of external services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interoperability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Immersive environments hold promise, but yet to be proven “live” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3D IT management tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal collaboration </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Information governance challenges <ul><li>Who owns the data? </li></ul><ul><li>What about surveillance </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy vs declarative living </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility and interoperability </li></ul><ul><li>Records management and retention </li></ul><ul><li>Business continuity </li></ul>
    18. 18. The Changing Enterprise Boundary
    19. 19. The lines get thinner
    20. 20. The distances broaden
    21. 21. The boundaries disappear
    22. 22. Thank You Jon Collins, Service Director Freeform Dynamics Ltd [email_address] 2007