Wada is Corporate Learning Correspondent for Metanomics

Metanomics launched in its fantastic new digs today. What a wonderful place.

metanomics

At 3DTLC, Rob Blooomfield asked me to become a correspondent for Metanomics covering the application of virtual world technologies to enterprise learning. I am honored and excited to be a part of this incredibly well produced show.

Today I covered the Expectation Gap and the Routinization Trap when it comes to the application of Virtual Worlds to Training. The basic message was that we need to reframe learning if we are to avail ourselves of all the incredible affordances that the virtual world brings. If content is king, then context is the kingdom. We need to become contextual engineers to create compelling immersive learning experience, not digital content conveyers in a virtual classroom. We also talked about how the twitter backchannel at the conference brought some of those affordances from the virtual world back into meatspace to enrich conference participant connectedness.

More importantly, Mark Kingdon, CEO of Second Life, goes over his strategic plan and addresses audience questions in today’s show. Lots of good stuff in the discussion. For those of us steeped in Virtual Worlds a great set of insights into where Second Life is headed. As a business prof, the conversation is also a great exposition of how a new CEO comes into a very strong culture and works to move the company from pathfinding, across the chasm to main-street.

You can check out the show by clicking here.

Training Leadership Summit Keynote

I had the pleasure of addressing the Training Leadership Summit conference this morning.

tlsjpg1

This is a group of senior leaders from Learning and Development that comes together each year to discuss and shape the direction of the industry.

Today the message was clear. Web 2.0 and 3Di are disruptive technologies to the profession and the do-nothing alternative is not in play.

Here are my charts from the session:

Lets get on with committing to the obvious!

3DTLC is a WRAP

Well, it is just about midnight, a perfect time to double-loop/synthesize what happened over the past 48 hours at the conference.

3dtlc

I am in that happy-but-exhausted place that is both sad it is over but glad at the same time. Sad because I think we managed to get a solid groundswell of positive energy going around Enterprise Virtual worlds, glad because channelling the energy of such passionate and innovative people for two days straight can drain your own reserves quickly ; )

We definitely had the right people in the room. We were not lacking in passion, or opinion, as a fledgling community that wants desperately to become legitimate in the eyes of the enterprise.

Taking a page from my research into MMORPGs a few years back we decided as a community to bring the affordance of backchat into the real world by leveraging Twitter. In fact at around 3PM today the ” #3DTLC” hashtag trended on Twitter – Ashton Kutcher and Oprah better be looking over their shoulders the TLC tweeterrati is onto them.

If you want to check out the whole Twitter Stream, this link should do the trick (warning over 100 pages worth of tweets):

Some Teasers from the Twitter Stream:

    “The Immersive Internet – Emerging technologies combined with a social culture that has roots in gaming and virtual worlds” – Erica Driver

    “The first-time user experience in virtual worlds, to put it bluntly, sucks.” – Steve Prentice

    “If you can’t get peple to use GoToMeeting, how r u going to get them to use VW? – Steve Prentice

    “Nobody can miss the irony that we’re the leading lights in virtual worlds and we’re having this physical meeting.” – Steve Prentice

    “The middle layer of the company is where the resistance is the greatest.” – Joe Little

    “We dont know where we are going but we are going to invent new things that do not compare to existing models of learning and working.” Dick Riedl

    “You should have to justify a lecture just as much as any other learning approach” – Intellagirl

    “Education abuses students when it is monlogic. Lets not treat students like receptacles that need to be filled.” – Intellagirl

    “Bad teaching is bad teaching no matter where you do it.” – Dick Reidl

    “We will have pedagogy that is purpose built for Virtual Worlds” – Karl Kapp

    “For Diversity Experience there is nothing Better than Walking in Another Person’s Shoes” – Margaret Regan

    “Trying to do training the old way in this new environment is not effective” – Debbie Dalmand

    “It is not about ME, it is about WE” – Randy Hinrichs

    “It is not about BEING there, it is about DOING there” – Randy Hinrichs

    “It is not about the DATABASE, it is about the HUMAN RACE” – Randy Hinrichs

    “The only actions taken by user should be ones that reflect end goals and intermediate steps should be taken automatically” – Sibley Verbeck

    “We need to move beyond “one size fits all” software and see specific applications of VW tech to much narrower use cases” – Sibley Verbeck

    “There is a gap in the maturity of virtual world vendor business models versus what enterprise expects in doing business” – John Hengeveld

    “We will have arrived when the tool becomes part of the workflow and dissolves the ‘virtualworldness’ away – Ian Hughes

    “The power of the immersive is in the emotional impact” – Robin Williams

    “In the recruitment sphere there is no better way to reach so many in so many locations.” – Keith Dugdale

    “The US Holocaust Memorial Museum was created in Second Life to educate via learning thru movement – Learning Kinetically” – David Klevan

    “Technologies succeed when they meet a need that people care about” – John Hengeveld

    “The last thing we want to do is increase the efficiency with which we’re ineffective.” – Your’s Truly ; )

OK, I gotta go to BED now. Thanks to the community for the coming, connecting, contributing and co-creating new insight.

Over and out.

Presentation at Irish Learning Alliance

On March 16 of last month (the day before St. Patrick’s Day) I had the great pleasure of meeting the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, Brian Cowen.

Here is what he had to say about e-Learning in Ireland and beyond just prior to my Keynote address to the group:

Here is a short video of the ILA meeting Highlights:

Also, per multiple requests from attendees, here are the slides from my Keynote from that conference:

They did tape my whole keynote so when it becomes available I will post it here also.

Virtual Worlds Conference at UT Austin

mccombs

I had the good fortune of keynoting the Virtual Worlds conference at UT Austin. The conference was broken into two days: Academic and Enterprise. You can see the agenda here.

On Thursday, the winning papers submitted to Management Information Services Quarterly (MISQ) special edition on Virtual Worlds. Over 60 papers were submitted to this special edition – a significant number to be sure. The papers spanned both MMORPG and Virtual Words and explored issues of indentity, place and space, and virtual trading/commerce.

There is some GREAT academic working going on in the Virtual World/MMORPG space and I would encourage you all to get a hold of the special issue when it comes out.

Last night Eilif Trondsen and I had the chance to walk around the campus and check out the famous bats in Austin. It was certainly a sight to see. Here is a shot of the tower at UTA. I just love campuses so much energy and curiosity. Wherever I go I always try to walk the campus to feed off that energy.

ut-tower

On the enterprise side, Craig Becker form IBM addressed a very large audience at the Business School yesterday evening. He did a great job of sharing the IBM story. Most notable to me, however, was when Craig asked how many people had an Avatar in SL, less than 10 folks raised their hands…and most of them were faculty not students.

This morning I addressed the group and worked hard to tie the research papers to the Seven Sensibilities of Virtual Worlds that I talk about a lot. Turns out that there was a very good mapping.

Here are the charts:

Panel 1: Virtual Worlds as a Platform for Commerce and Collaboration
Right now, listening to a great panel that includes Dell, Cisco, American Cancer Society, and U of Stockholm.

Laura Thomas from Dell mentioned how she leverages twitter to drive spontaneous virtual world interactions around emerging news. She simply tweets that she will be in the Virtual Cafe on Dell island and those who follow her on Twitter show up if available.

Anne Lange from Cisco, following on Laura’s theme, brought up some great points about Virtual Worlds being but one component of the emerging digitally enabled Human Network. I think she is right on. I have written on this before in this post where I ask “What is the Uber Web 2.0/3Di Mash Up for the Enterprise”.

David Neff had a great talk on how the American Cancer Society is leveraging virtual worlds and seeing significant value. In building their environment on a community model, ACS generated $2,000 in charitable donations in 2004. In 2005 that number rose to $5000, In 2006 it jumped to $41,000, in 2007 they were at $118,000, and in 2008 that number rose to $215000. David’s talk was truly inspiring and a GREAT example of how they are able to leverage the virtual world for a very noble cause. As he says Cancer never sleeps and neither will we.

Robin Teigland from University of Stockholm is talking about the commerce in Entropia Universe from Mindark. Entropia does not get near the visibility of Second Life but they are certainly worth checking out. Entropia is very much oriented around virtual commerce and they are now a real Sweedish bank, having secured a license in March 2009. Entropia is different in that virtual assets deteriorate. If you are a digger and you use a shovel, it wears out and you need to buy a new one.

Mindark is partnering with CHINA (yes China) to create a “Virtual Economy District – A Virtual World where millions will work, communicate and be in love.”

Robin’s View of the she explores two key uncertainties to set up a potential set of scenarios:

    In 2012 how advanced will the usage of virtual worlds be? Very Advanced or Less Advanced

    How integrated will virtual worlds be? Integrated or Fragmented

This analysis sets up Four Scenarios for 2015: Integrated Worlds versus Fragmented Worlds and Advanced Usage versus Less Advanced Use.

Scenario 1: In one converged universe (Integrated and Advanced)
You have a gigantic market of consumers. High penetration, easy avatar mobility, High scalability and Security and Business Transformation.

Scenario 2: Digital Divide (Integrated, Less Advanced)
Ease of mobility, self governance, dominance by gaming, traditional versus virtual biz.

Scenario 3: Virtual Silos (Advanced, Fragmented)
Many competing limited worlds, Difficult Avatar and Asset Mobility, Limited Scalability,

Scenario 4: Wild Worlds (Less Advanced, Fragmented)
MMORPG like context. More grassroots and not a lot of business traction.

Key question for panel, if Virtual Worlds go behind enterprise firewalls for legitimate security and privacy reasons won’t we be further fragmenting the VW space? This speaks directly to one of the key issues I see in terms of what kind of business model virtual world providers will use: Software as a Service or Enterprise License? If it goes enterprise license, we will end up with a lot of enterprise islands of collaboration but not an overall virtual market within which people participate wholesale in a 3D virtual economy.

Keynote: Eilif Trondsen – Virtual Worlds for Work and Learning

Eilif gave a great overview of enterprise applications and again echoed that virtual worlds are but one of many collaborative technologies. Business people do not like to bring in disconnected tools. They need them to be connected and integrated. Eilif also mentioned that there are 100 lawyers holed up in Silicon Valley working on the IBM/Sun deal and that could set up a lot of opportunity (or threat) for enterprise virtual worlds.

Eilif also had some very good analysis of the different platforms available. I will ask him to post the charts. In looking to the future Eilif proposed five possible futures: Grand Unifying Theory (Habbo and Disney say no), Balkanization (Where we are today), Semi-Unified Theory (Sun and IBM), De-Facto Standard (Microsoft), Web as a hub (sending data back and forth between worlds via the web).

All very interesting stuff and I leave the conference pumped up for 3DTLC!

Hope to see you all there!

Interview in New Online Journal

A colleague from IBM interviewed me for a new online journal called Transformative Works and Cultures.
twc

A few quotes from the interview to whet your appetite:

    Whether you come at it from the gaming industry perspective or from the perspective of gaming sensibilities making their way into industry in general, at core is the fact that as we move from a world where we connect to the Web to one where we connect through and within it, the enriched communication and social interaction is changing how we live, work, and play.

    In the services-driven, information-age economy, the need for collaborative cocreation of new offerings at the edge of the enterprise is becoming increasingly important. This in turn raises the question whether the bureaucracy that was created to optimize efficiency in the industrial age is the best enterprise governance system to drive innovation and creativity in the information age

    I believe that as we become further immersed in the information age, it will become increasingly important to invoke play into daily work to cut through the routine and mundaneness associated with many analyst-type roles. We are already seeing this pop up in different industries where gaming techniques and incentive schema are being applied for everything from recognizing and naming craters on a newly identified planet to coming up with a commercial spacecraft.

To read the whole interview you can read it here.

Three Minute Overview of 3DTLC Program

Want to hear more about the program for the upcoming 3DTLC program?

Got three minutes to spare?

If so click here to see what we have in store for you in Washington D.C. This is the FIRST conference totally dedicated to the enterprise applications of 3D technology to drive business value.

I hope you agree that this promises to be a very energizing conference! So go ahead, sign up and plug in to get POWERED UP to become a 3D Champion within your entrprise.

Hope to see you all in Washington DC

Uber Mashup Update: Thanks Chuck Hamilton

Chuck Hamilton (aka Longg Weeks in SL) and I go a long way back. I have always enjoyed his keen insights and easygoing nature. He was kind enough to send me a very thoughtful reply to my plea for help.

Here is what he said:
To create the Uber Web 2.0/Web 3D we need to sort out all these collaboration tools and processes into some sort of participation era filter ― a blended matrix of options that we can use to weed out the tired pieces and expand the use of more evolved pieces.

Below is a sort of filter I have in mind.

2x2-chuck

This is a sort of old and new ideas/models across a time and space axis. If we started to fill this matrix out with all available options, we would see that we can not only narrow the field, but also understand what the blend of activities and approaches will be most applicable.

I feel that there will always be a blend ― a mix that makes sense in the context of our life/work/play balance. When we are collaborating and working there is always a time/space context to consider and there are different approaches that work best in each case. Certainly the spaces are converging, but we are a long way from the sort of ‘one size suits all sort of Uber landscape’ you are hoping for. Let’s embrace mixed media and just position it properly and see if that starts us down the right path.

Right on Chuck! Funnily enough a number of us at Fuqua started building this very matrix as a foundation to allow us to understand how and when to integrate/build bridges across the time/space continuum (Watch out Einstein).

Also, another fellow IBMer, and “tribe” leader for Eightbar, Ian Hughes recently pointed us to the video showing ST integration with Forterra. You can see it here:

Right around 1:37 in this demo there is a jump from 2D (Sametime Conversation) to 3D a Room in Forterra. What I am trying to figure out right now is HOW that Interface looks. Is is simply a “Go 3D” button within the Sametime Client and there is a standard issue Room on the Other End? At timestamp 3:36 one of the engineers asks the others to hold on while he brings up a chart. Again, what I am looking for is the interface that makes it intuitive do do this.

Most of what I am seeing out there, including my own initial forays into this space, it appears are all about what things look like once you get into the 3D space. At Fuqua we are coming at this from a more nuanced (I hope) perspective. 3D is but one modality and even when that modality might be optimal, there will be ACCESS issues the do not allow certain participants to “GO 3D.”

The trick here, we believe, is to create an interface that marries 2D and 3D interface taking into account the most important and value added Time/Space connections to afford more immersive and engaging collaboration. If ANYONE has seen such an interface….please do let me know.

My students in Management of Innovation and Technology this semester were tasked with evaluating the disruptive potential of 3Di for a given set of industries. The team focused on Education highlited WiloStar3D . While focused on collaborative home schooling I found this diagram useful in emphasizing all that must go on in terms of Content, Contacts and Connections (thanks to Lisa Bobbitt from Cisco for those 3C’s) around the 3D world.
wilostar

Additionally, at around 1:02 timestamp, the video below starts to get into the notion of 2D meets 3D with Calendaring, Assignments etc in the 2D space…but, IMHO, we need to be a lot crisper on how this works and leverage the power of contextualizers to take maximal advantage of the small real estate we have to make things intuitively obvious and immediately actionable.

more about "WiloStar3D Virtual Worlds Video Demo", posted with vodpod

If anyone has seen examples of flat 2D interfaces that integrate the formal learning context (Courses, Content, Deliverables) with Informal learning (Communities, Context, Conversations) while optimizing the multiple time/space technological affordances in a thoughtful way, please let me know ; )

Global Executive Presentation on Disruptive Technology

Last week I had the great pleasure of presenting a one day seminar on the Transformational Role of Emerging Internet Technologies on Business Innovation to our – now graduated (Congratulations!) – Global Executive MBA class. Many who attended asked for access to charts and any media that went along with the presentation. This post, I hope, fulfills that request.

Back in June, I was asked to present at an Eduverse mixed reality symposium where the primary audience was located in Holland at University of Utrecht where I presented via Skype and where other participants met at the Eduverse center in Second Life. Rob Sheppard is a wonderful host and, IMHO, puts on an excellent symposium with a very thoughtful mix of technologies that makes it work. In this case it it truly was a “Medium is the Message” moment for me. Be sure to check out other symposium presenters if you have interest in Virtual Worlds.

For those of you who attended the GEMBA session, this 23 minute video gets as much of what we discussed in terms of how emerging technology is enabling entrepreneurs to bypass institutional command and control by embedding collaboration and coordination into the workflow rather than trying to intuit and plan it in advance institutionally. Clay Shirky’s example of how, now that we have cell phones, we just say “I’ll call you when I get there” rather than having to laboriously plan a meeting location and time with backup plans in advance should come to mind. I also talk a bit more about the lessons from our leadership study that was published in HBR here earlier this year.

I hope you find this video to be of value in helping resurface some of the main themes we discussed.

I have also uploaded the handouts to Slideshare for you to view:

Congratulations again, and best of luck to you all as you lead your respective organizations to new heights in the coming years.

Masie Keynote Video: My 23 minutes of Fame

Elliott Masie was kind enough to invite me to do a keynote interview with him at his Learning 2008 conference. Here is the video his team posted a few days ago.

It was a blast doing this. Elliott and I truly riffed…as you will see when he stops me and asks me to repeat something he thought was insightful and I reply that I have already forgot and we will have to check it out on the tape ; )

Here is our 23 minute jam on Technology Adoption and Hype:

more about "Masie Keynote Video", posted with vodpod

You can see other great keynote interviews with the likes of Kevin Kelly, Steven M.R. Covey, Amy Sutherland and Wayne Hodgins just to name a few, by clicking here.

Thanks to Elliott for taking a chance on me and to all of the Learning 2008 attendees who were kind enough to attend my session. BTW if you want a complete set of charts from my session they are available via Slideshare by clicking below.

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