Engaging Partners in a Virtual World

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007
Jeanne Holm, Charles White, and Tom Soderstrom, of JPL, present on the use of Second Life and other immersive worlds for public and educational outreach:

An emergent trend: partners that are even more virtual than ever before. Virtual worlds, avatars, and the like allow us to create new social networks in which to get things done together.

Traditionally, a social network involved friends and family. That's changing. Now, social networks reflect the growing on-line realm of virtual worlds, on-line spaces, [blogs] and virtual friends - people we know because of someone we know.

Cross Generational and Cultural Boundaries
Focus on society
Friendships forged through adversity
Focus on community
Friendships forged through identification with a cause
1980s... [I'll come back and update list]

Social networks - why should professionals and their organizations care?
Social networks are critical to organizations retaining and enhancing their critical knowledge yet have been left to grow organically.
Social and intellectual capital is developed through reciprocity.
Second Life Demonstration at NASA KM Conference
NASA is moving, in a big way to using virtual worlds as a teaching and learning tool, as a tool to engage with people around the world and to capture knowledge. It's expected to be a key way to engage with the virtual workforce.

Demonstration of Second Life and how NASA is using it...
A tour of spacecraft and facilities at JPL.
Other examples: Starwood hotels uses SL as a way to allow guests to walk through new hotel designs and provide feedback - before anything is built! And, Sweden has a fully staffed embassy in second life - amazing!

Discussion of what peer organizations are doing in SL...
NASA has four thrusts for virtual worlds:
- Mission support (Modeling and simulation)
- Collaboration across generations
- Public Outreach
- Education and Training (How to reduce travel)
(oops. slide went away...)

OK, I'm convinced. Time to setup an eProductivity island in Second Life. [Note to self: set up eProductivity Island in SL.]

I wonder how long blogs will be relevant as a knowledge sharing tool?

Comment from participant about unintended consequences of security and anonymity in virtual worlds.. Good points.

I wish I could capture this stuff faster. So much good information to share.

Gaming & Virtual worlds as a powerful tool for collaboration and problem solving. Big implications for this technology and we cannot ignore this. It's likely to change our workplace.

Thursday, we will have a live in-world presentation. Send email to moderator.   Look for JPL and explorer island.

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