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This weeks Virtual Worlds Forum in London is now over.  The event had started on an unexpected low with the the conference venue turning into a crime scene after an unrelated shooting at the weekend. During the first day, some folk regrouped to “The Hospital” – a private members club for creative types in Covent Garden.

As I knew many people would no longer be heading into London I offered to setup a virtual refugee camp at the IBM Business Center.  As the afternoon progress more people arrived and after showing Jeff Barr and Giles Hogburn around the Virtual Green Data Center, Giles agreed to present his very interesting talk planned for the VWF on my virtual chat show Boris in Wonderland.  You can see it by visiting my Boris in Wonderland show channel, and pressing “On Demand” and then VWF.  Our comms team also picked up the story and sent out a press release about it.

In the evening, the planned South by Southwest mixer party continued as planned, and I quickly wrapped up Giles’ presentation so I could head in for it.  I met up with some of the VWF team, did a quick vox pops (7.5mins in (bear in mind it was pretty loud and my hearing is not so good ) ) for the VWF podcast series, met Bruce from Vastpark (who’s pitch seemed to make a lot of sense to me), discussed IBM’s Lotus virtual worlds announcements with the Ambient team, and met lots of others.  I hopefully snaffled a few people to appear on Boris in Wonderland in the future. ) Good evening and free drinks )

The next day, the VWF arranged an “unconference” at the Hospital, where about 100 die-hards showed up to set the agenda, meet and greet.  Ian Hughes, Rob Smart and I spread out and effectively setup an IBM track and input to other sessions too.  Ian hosted a discussion on 3D printing, Rob ran on on inter-world messaging and I ran one how to communicate virtual worlds to business technophobes.  I also attended a session on “when will corporates get virtual worlds”, to which my answer was basically, when their sales people understand it (that’s my experience in IBM!) and when they are all running Sametime 3D ) I got to see Klaus Hammermuller again and was hearing how his “Talkademy” (one of the best uses for virtual worlds I’ve seen) is going now he’s left IBM.  Ian also introduced me to Mal Burns, an interesting character who is I understand a well known blogger and twitterer.  Indeed, through talking to a few folk over the conference has inspired me to get back into blogging, twittering etc and basically get give myself a shotinthearm2.0 (running my own virtual chat show is clearly not enough, apparently I have to be web2.0 not just 3.0 ;) ).  That’s the problem with working from home and being busy it’s just too easy to stay focussed on core work, and spend time with your wife and kids and that’s not what the modern world is about  )

All in all a bit of a pheonix from the ashes.  It’s hard to say whether there would’ve been lots of potential clients there originally, but there certainly wasn’t at the unconference.  Time will tell whether the Virtual Worlds expo in 2 weeks will be any better…

Well, after a blogging vacation, Boris is back. A lot has happened in the virtual world, and in particular my bit of it in IBM land. IBM.com has launched it’s 2-island sim in Second Life, and more recently has launched a “Virtual Green Data Center” – more on that soon. Boris has hosted a few more Wonderland shows using the very cool “Mogulus” web application, and will be back on the air net soon – probably with a bit more of a business flavour.

What else is new… I attended the Virtual Worlds conference in New York a few months back, which was great chance to catch up with the myriad of IBMers working in virtual worlds. It was quite funny – the fact that there were clients there was almost a side issue, as it was just so cool to finally meet people I’d worked with virtually for so long – including my boss!

On the conference theme, I am getting ready for the two coming up in London in October. Am hoping to speak on the aforementioned Virtual Green Data Center at one of them.

Finally, for now, I have had a quick play with Google’s new “Lively” 3D application. This is encouraging in some ways, as it again helps put virtual world higher up the agenda. I have to say though this feels a pretty early effort, with many on the forums feeling short-changed. It has more a feeling of an alpha than even a beta, and in that sense is a bit un-google like. However, I am sure Google will sort it and I don’t doubt will gain some mind share simply because it’s a google thing. That can only be good for us all. I do think that the browser is the way to go for mass acceptance of virtual worlds – flash based etc. so no further downloads. That would also be ideal for my wife’s new Photography business: Sarah Aires Photography. We could create online 3D galleries of her portfolio or even private galleries for clients.

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