Virtual world backchannels

I spent the early part of this week at an internal conference. Part of my role was as a speaker: I gave a talk on Social Software (unfortunately some of the slides are confidential, or I’d put it on Slideshare). The other thing I was involved in was working with Roo to demonstrate some of the virtual worlds technologies that we have been looking at in IBM for the past 18 months.

For my part, I spent most of my time showing some of the IBM areas in Second Life, before handing people across to Roo to look at the other technologies.

One of the interesting aspects of how virtual worlds have been used lately is as backchannels to, or extensions of, various events and conferences. For example, the keynotes from Lotusphere, IMPACT, the Rational Software Development Conference and others have all been broadcast into Second Life. I attended several of them, and found it interesting how people were able to both watch and listen to the video streams, and socialise and comment on the talks at the same time.

There’s another event coming up next week. Here’s the announcement:

IBM Innovation Ecosystems conference – Second Life

From Monday 30th July to Wednesday 1st August, IBM will host a Real Life conference on “Innovation Ecosystems”. Accompanying this conference will be a Virtual Conference simulcast, at the IBM Second Life Business Center.

Drop into the IBM Business Center to watch presentations from the conference, to wander through the poster display area, or just to have a coffee and talk to some of IBM’s Distinguished Engineers.

Link to IBM Business Center in Second Life

How do I know about this one? Well, during the demonstrations this week, I was showing some of my colleagues in the real world some of our private sandboxes in SL. Whilst online, I bumped into someone from the US who was building a new prototype office space… and shortly afterwards one of my mentees came online, so I teleported her over. So there we were, having a three-way, cross-geo meeting and conversation… during which it emerged that the Innovation Ecosystems event is happening next week.


It was a great demonstration of how the technology can be used. That kind of casual, ad-hoc gathering would never have happened by phone or web conference.

1 thought on “Virtual world backchannels”

  1. Agree Andy,
    Serendipitous interactions are the one of key highlights of Virtual Worlds and it is because of these very “backchannels” that we can identify the huge potential for collaboration in this space.

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