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  1. 1. Communication Management in Virtual Worlds: The Next Challenge Neville Hobson, ABC VP New Marketing, crayon EuroBlog International Research Symposium 2007 Gent, Belgium March 16, 2007
  2. 2. This Is Not About Technology <ul><li>Rapid, disruptive change all around us, largely driven by technology </li></ul><ul><li>Changing attitudes and mindsets influenced by technology </li></ul><ul><li>Shifts in trust and increasing demands for transparency facilitated by technology </li></ul>
  3. 3. This Is Not About Technology <ul><li>Relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Productive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constructive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evolving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engaging </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Changing Social Behaviours </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expressiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Co-creation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engagement </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Seismic Shifts <ul><li>Evolution from read-only to read/write and sharing/giving, aka Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Content creator” and “consumer” are being re-defined </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anyone with a point of view can talk with the world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Disrupting traditional businesses and models </li></ul><ul><li>Changing perceptions of image and reputation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New companies, new ideas, new behaviours appearing to leverage the shifts </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Virtual Landscape
  6. 6. Origins <ul><li>Such worlds began as the modern, interactive equivalents of Nordic myths and Tolkien fantasies </li></ul><ul><li>They allow participants to escape into their imaginations </li></ul><ul><li>Designed for deep levels of participation </li></ul><ul><li>Businesses now paying attention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some participating </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. What is Second Life? <ul><li>Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents </li></ul><ul><li>Opened to the public in 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Explosive growth in past 6 months </li></ul><ul><li>Today, membership is more than 4.6 million people from around the world </li></ul><ul><li>Top 5 countries: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>USA: 31.19% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>France: 12.73% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Germany: 10.46% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UK: 8.09% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Netherlands: 6.55% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Top 4 European countries = 51% of total membership </li></ul>
  8. 9. What is Second Life? <ul><li>A self-sustaining economy, where you can buy and sell goods and services and make real money </li></ul><ul><li>In November 2006, the first Second Life millionaire emerged, the result of shrewd virtual property dealing </li></ul>
  9. 10. Participating in Second Life
  10. 13. Why?
  11. 14. Why? <ul><li>The desire to create and develop a personal connection with people (customers, employees and others) in a place where there are no real-world manufacturing or service costs and few barriers to what’s possible </li></ul><ul><li>It represents a completely new way to interact and communicate with people via the internet </li></ul><ul><li>Experimenting and learning how to adapt business, marketing and communication models to a new and emerging marketplace </li></ul><ul><li>Breaking new ground, making connections with many of the early adopters among the Second Life community </li></ul>
  12. 15. Collaboration <ul><li>More than 2,000 IBM employees are members of Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share ideas and work together on projects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Alumni block parties” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current and former employees get together in ways that would be impractical in the real world </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Meeting places and technology showcases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experimenting in virtual reality business </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Set up stores as virtual commerce demonstra-tion projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Circuit City and Sears </li></ul></ul>
  13. 16. Research and Experimentation <ul><li>Starwood Hotels constructs a hotel in Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prototype of new hotel brand: Aloft, to be launched in the real world in 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use Second Life scripting language to make objects come to life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sliding doors, lighting controls, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create virtual hotel from real architectural plans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plans refined in response to feedback from architects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Overall plans adapted in response to feedback from Second Life users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responses actively sought and encouraged </li></ul></ul>
  14. 17. Relationships and Business <ul><li>American Apparel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sells virtual clothing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dell Computer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sells real computers for delivery to your home or office, in the real world </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Toyota </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Test drive cars </li></ul></ul>
  15. 22. The Virtual Landscape Today
  16. 23. The Transition is Coming <ul><li>If this really is the start of something big, those companies that explore the technology now may be in a better position later, much like the first companies to grasp the importance of the web in the early 1990s </li></ul><ul><li>The transition is coming, and you may not have as much time as you had with the web to adjust to its impact. </li></ul><ul><li>Sandy Kearney Director of the Virtual Worlds program IBM </li></ul><ul><li>Source: CIO Insight, March 1, 2007 </li></ul>“ ”