Thursday, July 24, 2008

Real Work in Virtual Worlds: A Guide

Trust the ever serious Brits to come up with a smart, succinct primer for organizations interested in doing business in virtual worlds. DADENLIMITED, is a Birmingham, England firm providing virtual world advice, consulting and design-build services. Their primer is "Virtual Worlds and Serious Business: A White Paper and 9-Point Business Plan." You can read it here.

It includes a very good and brief explanation of the difference between virtual worlds, such as Second Live, and virtual world platforms such as Olive and Second Life Grid, which organizations can use to construct their own synthetic environments. While virtual worlds are open to all, platform-created environments usually are by invitation, thus leaving to their owners the task of generating participation.

The paper also handily addresses the nine points it suggests organizations address before venturing into virtuality:
➢What's The Business Benefit (or why get involved and what do
you want to get out of it)
➢ Who's the audience?
➢ What are the constraints?
➢ Which world?
➢ What's the engagement model?
➢ How are you going to implement?
➢ How are you going to market?
➢ How are you going to manage visitors?
➢ How are you going to manage long term?

DADEN (Dutch for "achievement" and "action") chief David Burden also does a good job explaining why a number of companies have abandoned their early Second Life efforts and others have come in. He draws useful lessons from early missteps, too.

What's more, the paper is a joy to read, sprinkled as it is with lovely Britishisms such as "bespoke," "whilst" and the like.

DADEN also recently came up with an in-world Second Life Web browser, allowing people from all over the world to view and wander the Web together via their avatars.

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