Friday, May 25, 2007

NZ Intranet Leadership Forum

The good people at Step Two Designs have announced the dates for their first New Zealand Intranet Leadership Forums.

From Catherine Grenfell Step Two's Leadership Forum Manager:

Week commencing 27th August, 2007
Cairo Walker, Senior Consultant and CatherineGrenfell, Manager Intranet Leadership Forum meeting with intranet teams in Wellington and Auckland. First members only session will be held in Wellington and Auckland to introduce members, finalise workshops dates and decide on future workshop topics.

Week commencing 1st October, 2007
First Intranet Leadership Forum workshops held in Auckland and Wellington.
Dates to be decided by members, possibly Auckland on Tuesdays and Wellington on
Thursdays.Any member that joins now will have their membership extended
until October 2008. By joining now you will have immediate access to:
  • workshop reports from Sydney and Melbourne (topics include, information
    architecture, working effectively with content owners and authors, effective
    information management planning, skills needed in an intranet team etc)
  • how to guides (CMS requirements, card based classification etc)* your
    selected Step Two Designs reports (search, 6x2 planning, staff directories
  • email list
  • other members and your forum manager

The cost has been finalised at $3400NZ per member.

Regular readers will no doubt be aware of Step Two's excellent reputation in the intranet field.

Thus this is a great opportunity to get involved in a regular support and devlopment mechanism for your intranet and exchange ideas with other intranet folk.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Second lifers need a first life

Numerous articles have started to appear (including in the in the mainstream press) around the dodgier side of 'life' with the virtual world of second life.
These include issues of money laundering, illegal porn and even cases of 'virtual rape' (yes even cartoon character can be violated with a bit of nifty scripting language).

Personally if people want to get together and hang out as cartoons then that's fine... leaving aside obvious illegal material that should be dealt with as harsh as it is anywhere else.

What concerns me is the seemingly big marketing trend of setting up virtual travel agencies and real esatate agencies etc.

Now correct me if I'm wrong but don't websites already do that?

Is there actually an attraction of logging into second life.,walking or travelling in a virtual car or train as a cartoon avatar, 'virtually' walking into a cartoon shop and clunkily dealing with a cartoon shop assistant? Why not simply go to a business website do your business and spend the rest of your time doing something worthwhile like watching TV or something :). Even better go outside. See that tree. Real. That person say hello. Yes real interaction with no bandwidth delay.

Why I raise this issue is that there have been proposals of using second life as an enagement area for for my organisation. Now the heavy adult focus of much of second life is probably enough to snuff this out but am I just reactionary in finding wasting time on trying to develop startegies for one of many virtual worls a complete waste of thinking?

Keeping in mind that the majority of users are actually fairly old. These figures are a little out of date and I know the European figures are now much higher but I think the point is made. There are a lot of creepy middle to older aged people hanging out in second life.

Its also interested to know that while a lot of users have signed up regular user numbers are far lower.

Basically I don't think second life is revolutionary at all.

It is the web reincarnated in a hellish world of clunky graphical characters that all have hair transplants and heftier bodies. A place for lonely middle aged people to try and forget mundance exsitences.

Gen Y's and the You Tube generation are far too interested in engaging with themselves on a real level then pretending to be cartoon characters.
They like playing games but not living them.

Get out and live a real life people.

By the way I have never used second life or any other virtual cartoon character world so this can all be considered an uneducated, unresearched and opinionated rant. Gotta love the web.