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I’ve been experimenting with video and Second Life for some time now.  I typically use Ustream or Veodia.  I use a software webcam and a SL-based multiple camera tool to broadcast our events and these web-based services allow us to reach new audiences both live and by recording the events for us.  What tends to happen is that although the streams are not necesserily very high quality, videos tend to end up on YouTube etc. anyway so no point in recording them at very high quality in the first place.

What Veodia offers extra which is pretty cool, is that it encodes in Quicktime (.mov) format, which is what SL supports for video, so you can relay your event live into SL or the recorded show later on for people to watch.   This means you can get some funny infite loop effects if you stand in front of a screeen you are also projecting on.

Was just talking to Tom Blossom from Veodia in SL whilst he was projecting his live webcam…  Neat eh! 🙂

Tom Blossom

Have just been running a market research event which I videoed using Ustream. The video of the event itself is private, but you can get the idea of how it would work from my test video below…

I just wanted to draw your attention to the Virtual World Forum site, which has podcasts of some of the sessions. Some were better than others, so I thought I’d try and offer some value-add on the top sessions to listen to:

1. Paul Ledak, IBM VP for Digital Convergence. Cleary I’m biased as an IBMer, but Paul very clearly presented on how things will need to open up for virtual worlds to really take off. I had heard much of the piece parts of his pitch, but never in a single well delivered presentation. If you want to look up and see the horizon of this technology and how it will change the world, listen to this! Recommended listening to all IBM Virtual Universe Community members.

2. Jo Little, BP. Jo amazed me with how far BP has taken use of virtual worlds including some really innovative uses such as employee councilling.

There was also a good panel with Ian Hughes, but they don’t seem to have put that one up yet. One of the things that emerged in the conference was the “hidden” dominance of some of the Eastern virtual worlds in China etc. so I hope they podcast the session on those soon as I missed that one.

Also Roo Reynolds just pinged me to say that the opening night’s SXSW mixer photos are up on their website.

I was very pleased with my recently ordered business cards. I was going to order from Moocards, which are cool, but they were not going to be able to deliver in time so I ordered from a company called Goodprint which have an option to upload your own content. So I got the nice image effect but on a larger card:

Following up from the virtual worlds forum last week, I have just downloaded the Electric Sheep’s Second Life Web Browser, onrez.  Here’s a screenshot.  The Sheep have been doing a CSI SL storyline and you can pick up the action in SL with their addins and tools.

Well, here I am in Waterloo station for a final blog of the week…

I attended the Legal, brand and privacy issues of virtual worlds with about 10-15 others and it was a really really thought provoking and interesting day. All the presentations had some great content which when my brain has slowed down I may get around to blogging. Also, I hope to bag 2-3 of the speakers to present their ideas and content to the VUC, especially Antonio Bonnano’s, “The metaverse republic”. It was a great crowd with lots of questioning and overunning as we were all so interested. I stopped off for a quick drink with Shaun Kane and David Naylor afterwards before heading for the tube. Back to the real world next week (or should that be back to the virtual world given my job?!). I managed to get all the presentations and whilst I can’t forward them all I hope to summarise and present some of the good bits in some form for anyone who is interested.

(written last night on the train home at 11:30pm… Am now in morning coffee for the Friday Risk Reputation and Virtual Worlds session).

After the conference team IBM eMerged from the somewhat darkened club atmosphere of the conference venue out into the dark somewhat Autumnal atmosphere of London. After a lemming walk following Ian through the dodgey streets around Kings Cross station to a pub we all collapsed for a well earned pint of beer. Much to my US colleagues’s disappointment they didn’t serve traditional warm beer although I did suggest they could microwave his more mainstream John Smith’s beer if he asked.

We discussed some deep philosophical issues around copyright in new media / virtual worlds, how interactive or not the minibars in London hotels are and other topics.
The rest of our lightweight team all decided to head for bed, but your die-hard correspondent went on to the Hospital club for another evening of networking on behalf of IBM.

The taxi there was hilarious with a driver who seemed to be pretty angry about just about every group in society starting with the drug scene around Kings Cross (fair enough, apparantly it’s pretty dangerous), left wingers, etc. etc. so immediately extreme that it was funny in an awful way.

After arriving safely at the Hospital, from a business point of view I think that the next hour or so was probably the most productive time of the whole trip. Lots of dots being joined about possible IBM opportunities and especially perhaps for ibm.com (who after all paid for my ticket and indeed salary so that’s nice).

Back for midnight before I turn into a pumpkin hopefully before up at 6 to start the madness again. Friday is a workshop around legal issues and reputation relating to virtual worlds.

Kevin Aires and Lisa Smith doing a stint on the IBM stand

Roo Reynolds on camera duty

Ian Hughes and Ian Smith discussing deep virtual things (Note Ian’s 8bar Tshirt)

Holly Stewart, Chris Bishop and Gareth MacKowan

Ginsu Yoon, VP of Business Affairs, Linden Labs meets Paul Ledak, VP of Digital Convergence, IBM

Hello from the vwf, London. It’s lunchtime, I’ve eaten about 5 mini cheeseburgers and so am in a good frame of mind to blog on the excellent morning it’s been so far…

Firstly a quick word about last night. Rivers Run Red held a party at “The Hospital” – a private members club in Covent Garden for creative types – a really cool place. So after a couple of drinks and rubbing shoulders we were feeling like we were in a virtual world. )

On to today…. oh excuse me, someone is offering me some Peking duck…. On to today….

Session 1 was Jo Little from BP, who amazed me by describing how much BP have done in virtual worlds already. Having worked in the oil industry myself I was suprised to see the innovative uses they’d put it to – the strangest one being an employee councilling service!

He had some good tips for us in terms of evangelising virtual worlds, the most memorable of which was. “Remember that the guy you’re presenting to may be thinking ‘this is exactly what I want, but I could get fired for this!'”

He also mentioned that we have had to adapt from living in a 4D world to dealing with 2D documents etc. Adapting to a 3D world should be more about unlearning productive behaviours for more natural ones.

Session 2 was IBM’s very own Paul Ledak, VP for digital convergence. Clearly I’m biased, but this was a great presentation and a really good chance to hear the whole picture in one go about the potential for virtual worlds if we can get them to interoperate and also to focus on building on the web, rather than going off and creating a new model. His opening example was a demo of a real house (read mansion!) he is planning to build and how non of the 3D services around the design and outfitting, plumbing etc. talk to each other.

Later on in the morning it was the turn of ePredator – Ian Hughes as part of a panel talking about Harnessing the power of virtual worlds for corporate collaboration. The other panellists were Greg Huyens from Qwaq and Steve Prentice from Gartner. What came out for me was the importance of augmenting current processes rather than starting new ones and the need to work on the lowest common denominator hardware (a constant problem with SL).

Last session of the morning was another corporate one with Stefano Crosta from Cisco and Dele Atanda from Diageo. Dele’s presentation was amazing with a cool co-build from Rivers Run Red and IBM. I had been part of the initial discussions on this so was very pleased to see how far it had gone so quickly. The big question I didn’t get to ask was the old chestnut around visual queues. Cisco had experimented with less confining virtual spaces and specifically mentioned getting rid of chairs. Diageo however specifically mentioned that they’d kept chairs etc. to help provide a familiar space. He also demoed that they have a space that they can easily reconfigure for meetings automatically – deckchairs and a beach, hanging pod chairs for coolness and theatre style seating for a formal meeting!

Right… off we go for the afternoon sessions….

Reporting live from the IBM desk. We have Roo demoing and Lisa Smith and co sporting their VUC tshirts – yeah!

We’re getting very good feedback on what IBM are doing and lots of interest at the stand. My business cards finally arrived so I have managed to do some networking and plugging the Virtual Business Center )

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