Metanomics: Book Overview and 3DTLC

PHEW, Nice to be back. Finally getting around to an update. Things have been incredibly busy of late. Plus have been setting up another blog for a course I am doing at Fuqua so my blogging attention/allocation was pretty much spent. All good stuff though ; ).

Rob Bloomfield was kind enough to have be back on Metanomics again at the beginning of the month. We delved into the core chapter of the book that Karl Kapp and I wrote on Learning in 3D (out in January) and we talked about how 3DTLC is shaping up for September.


You can check out the video by clicking HERE:

For the main event Margaret Regan who is President and CEO of the FutureWork Institute. Margaret was kind enough to let us write a case on her comany’s work with 3D applied to Diversity and Inclusion.

This video of FutureWork island is a GREAT example of how the thoughtful application of 3D technology can create a powerful 3D Learning Experience.

OK back to figuring out the 3DTLC show lineup. It is shaping up to be a very cool couple of days in San Jose BTW so sign up NOW!


3DTLC 2.0 in San Jose Sept 23-24


Well it is official. Chris and Tonda have asked me to MC 3DTLC 2.0 in San Jose in September. Those of you who managed to make it to the first show know first-hand the energy that we managed to create. Please tell ALL your friends.

Submission deadline has been extended through end of week so please consider sharing your wisdom with the community.

Call for speakers link is here

I sincerely hope to see you all again in San Jose.

Learning in 3D Book is DONE!

June 1 was my one year anniversary at Fuqua. How quickly a year passes. It was also the day that Karl Kapp and I turned in our 3D Learning Manuscript to Jossey Bass.

When we started out we said we would hold each other accountable to keeping the book under 200 pages. Oh well, here it is….all 403 pages.


It is due out in January 2010 and we will have a website and 3D Community space to go along with it.

We are not final on title yet but it will be something along the lines of:

Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration

Here is an overview of the chapters from the Preface.

Part I: Exploring the Possibilities

The first part of this book revolves around three words: Progress, Problems and Possibilities.

Chapter 1, Here Comes the Immersive Internet, answers the following question: What is the Immersive Internet and how is it impacting the businesses that the learning function serves? It describes how immersive Internet technology has progressed to a point where it is beginning to redefine both society and industry. This chapter also examines how Business-as-Usual is becoming Business Unusual as a result of the convergence of four technology vectors that are driving the business environment towards the creation of new economic platforms based on Social Production.

Chapter 2, Learning to Change, answers the following question: What is wrong with the Learning Function’s current approach to addressing Business Unusual and why must it change? It describes the problems that the modern day enterprise faces due to its inability to adapt and change as rapidly as the environment within which it operates. This chapter also highlights the growing disconnect between the learning needs of the modern-day enterprise and the ability of the traditional learning function to address them.

Chapter 3, Escaping Flatland, answers the following question: What is 3D Learning and why is it better suited to meet the needs of Business Unusual? It explores the possibilities of a new learning paradigm that is enabled by the same immersive Internet technologies that are revolutionizing business. This chapter also introduces two vignettes that compare a “Flatland” 2D Learning Experience to an immersive and engaging 3D Learning Experience.

As was the case in building a house, once the possibility space has been explored, the next step focuses on architecture.

Part II: Building a Blueprint

The second part of this book revolves around three words: Principles, Archetypes and Examples

Chapter 4, Principled Design, answers the following question: What are the 3D Learning Design Principles and how are they applied to create a 3D Learning Experience Blueprint? It describes the key Design Principles required to build engaging 3D Learning Experiences. This chapter also presents an a comprehensive 3D Learning Architecture that can be applied to create a blueprint that ensures alignment and balance in the design of compelling 3D Learning Experiences.

Chapter 5, Designing by Archetype, answers the following question: How can learning archetypes be applied as building-blocks in the design of engaging 3D Learning Experiences? It describes eleven Learning Archetypes that form the basic building blocks for creating 3D Learning Experiences. This chapter also presents comprehensive definitions of each archetype and provides examples of how the building-blocks can be applied to create compelling 3D Learning Experiences.

Chapter 6, Learning from Experience, answers the following question: Who else has successfully designed 3D Learning Experiences and what can be learned from their experience? It describes nine case-studies of successful 3D Learning Experience designs and maps these designs back to the Archetypes that were used to create them.

As was the case in building a house, once the blueprint has been created the next step focuses on execution.

Part III: Breaking New Ground.

The third part of this book revolves around three words: Process, Adoption, and Rules

Chapter 7, ADDIE in 3D, answers the following question: How does the traditional ADDIE process change when it is applied to create 3D Learning Experiences? It describes how the existing ADDIE process must be augmented to address the nuances associated with analyzing, designing, developing, implementing and evaluating 3D Learning Experiences.

Chapter 8, Accelerating Adoption, answers the following question: What key steps are required to drive adoption of 3D Learning Experiences within the Enterprise? It describes the steps required to drive adoption of 3D Learning experiences by mapping them to the Diffusion of Innovation Attractiveness Criteria: Relative Advantage, Compatibility, Complexity, Trialability and Observability.

Chapter 9, Rules from Revolutionaries, answers the following question: Who else has successfully driven 3D Learning adoption and what can be learned from their Experience? It presents four essays from front-line revolutionaries who share their insights on how they convinced their organizations to adopt 3D Learning.

The final part of this book explores what lies ahead for 3D Learning.

Part IV: Just Beyond the Horizon

The final part of this book revolves around one word: Future.

Chapter 10, Back to the Future, answers the following question: What’s next for 3D Learning and what will things look like in 2020? It describes a maturity model that argues that immersive technologies will evolve from learning to pervade the enterprise and encompass all work activity. It also and presents two essays that envision the future of 3D learning from two of the industry’s leading visionaries.

In short, the then chapters in this book can be summarized in ten simple words: Progress, Problems, Possibilities, Principles, Archetypes, Examples, Processes, Adoption, Rules and Future.

This book could not have been possible without all the help from the pioneers in this field who shared their insights and time selflessly to help us make this tomb the best it can be.

Karl and I really hope that it contributes to the field by helping organizations cross the chasm more quickly so that we can get on with committing to the obvious: The Immersive Internet will have a profound impact on how we live, work and play over the next 5000 days.

Video of my UT Austin Virtual Worlds Keynote

The good folks at UT Austin were kind enough to post a video of my Keynote from the Virtual Worlds Conference they hosted a few weeks back.

For those of you who were at other Keynotes or Presentations I have done recently (Enterprise Ireland, LSU Virtual Worlds, Training Conference, Federal Virtual Worlds Consortium and Training Leadership Summit) much of what I cover here should be familiar.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

For those of you who would like to see slides separately here is the slideshare:

What’s on Your Mind?

“What are you thinking about?”

This is a question we all hear a lot, and certainly for me, having ADD it is a very difficult one to answer. That is because if I pause to consider the carbon-based twitter stream between my ears at any given time, it looks a whole lot like this:


If I want to have a bit more of longitudinal view, say over the past few months, I can (and I often do) run a blog stream analysis. That, today, looks like this:


These Wordle generated tag clouds probably do a better job of telling me what is on my mind that I can myself.

Taking this static view to the next level, imagine that I could do this in real time. Imagine (thanks to Blue Man Group for the idea) that I could walk around with a real-time tag cloud above my head that was visible to everyone.

It would look something like what I have mashed up in the video below, and – as in real-life – it takes a few seconds for the virtual brain to really kick in ; )

I have written about how competency based modeling is collapsing of its own weight as a talent management mechanism within the enterprise. You can read my spew-draft on that here.

In a fully digitally mediated world where information is the currency, individuals are the transport mechanism, interaction is the transfer mechanism and insight is the outcome, the need for real time tag clouds that render explicit what people know and do will be essential.

new value chain

Once virtual worlds mainstream and avatar mediated work environments become the norm, transparency of capability and reputation will be afforded within the environment (as it is today in games) and we will have a far more effective and efficient way to coalesce capability around endeavor.

Back to my book now…..yes I was procrastinating….it is what writers do….after all I have a whole 13 days before d-day ; )

Wada is Corporate Learning Correspondent for Metanomics

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


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.


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!


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


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


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.


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!