Saturday, April 5, 2008

Virtual Worlds Conference 2008, Day 2

I am happy to have made it through this week, and frankly, I feel like a different person. A lot of things that were fuzzy and unfocused are crystal clear, and things that I hadn't even thought of before yesterday are filling my brain with so many decisions to be made that I'm not sure where to start.

But I am ecstatically inspired. So much so that I can't think of anything else for too long before I get back to one distinct mantra: I am going to lead the way for virtual worlds and learning.

So, day two at the conference. Got there in time for the morning keynote. I was totally impressed with what MTV is doing, and the presenter was good. Neopets and Nicktropolis,, the woman who spoke for them sucked. She was very much like an egotistical, self-promoting robot. Quite creepy, actually.

I went to the first session in the enterprise track, a panel discussion. It was during this session that I had my biggest epiphany of the show: the technology is being developed and virtual worlds being pushed by people too disconnected from corporate applications and their needs. I had numerous conversations where someone from a company would say: we want to do this or we need a virtual world to do this, and they're developing them to do that. We don't want that.

Here's where I got excited--I can be the bridge. I understand this and that. I can make that work for this. And I can see what it looks like in my mind. I just need to pull it all together. I can feel the excitement welling again as I write this.

I skipped the second session to do a final loop around the exhibits. I understood a lot more on Friday than Thursday. I was on a mission. I collected an enormous amount of information and I can't wait to debrief with my Rockstar Wednesday cohorts.

I went to the third session before I skipped out of there to get home at a reasonable hour. Gaming and social communities panel. Actually wasn't too relevant to what I do, but the moderator of the panel was from IBM, a younger guy (maybe even younger than me...). He mentioned during the session that IBM had just launched its own internal virtual world, including training. I approached him after the session and asked about it--he asked for my card and said he'd put me in touch with the guys who are heading up the learning efforts. I am totally stoked.

Then I hopped in the car to get home to my fam. I had enough self-awareness to realize that I had just had a life-changing experience. One that will shape my future, the future of Tandem Learning. Oh, I cannot wait to rock this out. And I can't wait to go to the next conference in September.

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