Thursday, April 3, 2008

Virtual Worlds Conference 2008, Day 1

Today was the first day of the Virtual Worlds Conference in NYC. I got in a little late (missed the opening keynote) because I was flying in from Orlando. When I got there, I was struck by a few things. First, its a pretty small conference. Second, men outnumber women something like 10 to 1. Third, some of the coolest people I've ever had the privilege to talk to are here. Total confirmation that I want to be doing what I'm doing at Tandem.

First session, I went to a round table discussion on social clouds. I was a little late getting in, and the tables were all full when I got there. There were a few other people late as well; we had a more informal discussion at our "overflow" table. Ironically, there were actually two guys there from a company that used to compete/collaborate with at my old job. Had some interesting discussion about virtual worlds for learning, how to incorporate community/collaboration features. The reports out from the other tables were really interesting, and I wanted to catch up with another company owner who sounded like he does what I want to do.

After that session, I did get to talk to him--he showed me some of his company's work over lunch. Really interesting design choices. I was totally energized.

Second session, I went to a platform comparison talk. Some good info. My favorite part was when the presenter said the apps "worked in tandem." I realized that I really need to have a better technical understanding to hang in these types of conversations, or bring someone with me who can.

I skipped the third session to circulate around the booths. I got some good info on artificial intelligence, companies who have custom platforms, platforms I could buy and share revenue. Companies all over the US, Australia, and the UK. I also realized that most of these companies work virtually. I asked a few how they managed it, no one had any better ideas than the ones we're already employing or putting in place.

The last keynote was great, forward thinking. I must have had at least a dozen new product ideas while I was listening to the presentation. Good storytelling, good insight into future trends.

After, while in line for a drink, I met another woman that was from a UK company that designs training for Universities in Second Life. Also really interesting. And a really nice guy from a CA company scored us a soda.

Then I walked back to my hotel, exhausted. The 3:30am wake up this morning to catch my flight finally caught up with me. Can't wait for tomorrow.

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