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Friday Aug 28, 2009

New Video: Introduction to Virtual Worlds - Check out the Mixed Reality!

This new video, created by Robin Williams in the Information Services: Digital Libraries & Research group, has a great message about the value of virtual worlds for business and also uses various types of media to get the message across - including mixing real people and avatars - it's a must see!

Wednesday Feb 25, 2009

Is that Sun's Santa Clara Datacenter in your Browser?

A few months ago I became lead for the corporate work we do in virtual world environments. Today I've got the the first significant event happening since I got this baton and started running with it. 

We're hosting an event for our industry analysts. We're going to have 3D virtualized models of Sun's Santa Clara, California datacenter. Our industry analysts are going to be able to "see" by joining us in the virutal world or by experiencing it on the web. So in a pretty real sense, we're delivering the Santa Clara, California datacenter in a browser. Pretty cool, eh?

So while the event is technically for industry analysts, pls feel free to peek in on it, even if you don't technically qualify as an industry analyst. I won't tell. :-)

The opportunity to participate in-world is by invitation only to these industry analysts, and that has sold out. So if you want in on this game, you  need to watch and participate on the web.

Sun execs Greg Papadopoulos and Dean Nelson are featured speakers.

What are they going to talk about?

Datacenter consolidation. We've done a bunch of big announcements around this. It's all really good stuff.

But what I think is super cool about this event is that we're going to be taking advantage of the unique attributes associated w/a virtual world environment to tell this story.

We're doing things like being able to "show" the heat coming off the servers and how the innovation that the Sun Services organization is delivering to our customers manages it.

after shot of datacenter showing how we manage heat

So while your man-on-the-street might not really get what a HUGE big deal heat and energy is in the datacenter, these hot shot techno celebs running the datacenters totally get that. And this is a neat way for us to show our industry analyst community what the issues are and how innovation from Sun is addressing them for customers in a unique and compelling way.

I'm pretty pumped. I think it will be fun.

Check it out!

Then, let me know what you think!

:-)

Mary


Monday Sep 08, 2008

Employee Event: Real Learning and Collaboration by Anders Gronstedt

Virtual World - Real Learning and collaboration by Anders Gronstedt (Second Life: Anders Wildcat)

All Sun employees are invited (space is limited) to come listen to and chat with Anders Gronstedt from The Gronstedt Group about learning and collaboration in virtual worlds. 

When: September 9, 2008 9-10am SLT (PT)

Location: Sun Employee Island - on the beach


Summary: Smart companies are betting that the future of learning won't be built on flat, static Web pages but rather in traversable 3-D spaces. Think "Matrix" meets Smurf Village, topped off with a dash of Facebook thrown in for good measure. Second life and other virtual worlds are all the rage in the business community. IBM has 15,000 employees in virtual worlds. EMC has conducted its second job fair in Second Life. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of universities are "in-world." People are finally getting a break from the drudgery of webinars, conference calls and eLearning as companies are leaving the flatlands of the web in pursuit of "Web 3D."

This presentation will take you "in-world," to some of the leading virtual world learning facilities. Dr. Gronstedt will show how companies are using Second Life and other virtual world platforms to recruit, onboard, network, inspire, teach, coach, mentor, and engage their talent. His live demo will explore how virtual worlds can be used for visualizing 3-D objects, data and concepts, manipulating scale and perspective, role playing, simulating and collaborating.

Anders Gronstedt, Ph.D., is president of the Gronstedt Group, a global firm specializing in improving management and frontline performance with consulting and custom-developed virtual world experiences, simulations, Podcasting, and other innovative learning approaches. Their global client list includes industry leaders such as Dell, FedEx, Ericsson, Farmers Insurance, and Volvo Cars and his articles have appeared in Harvard Business Review, Marketing Management, T+D Magazine, and more. Gronstedt hosts the weekly "Train for Success" meetings in Second Life.

Thursday Aug 07, 2008

Engaging Sun's CLO's in Virtual Worlds

Sun's team of Chief Learning Officers (CLO), part of the Sun Learning Services (SLS) organization, are a key audience to engage in Sun's efforts around vitrual worlds. Why? As stated so well by Anders Gronstedt - "Second Life and other virtual worlds hold promise for a new generation of learners" (Making Learning Fun and Social, Elearning! Magazine, April/May 2008)

Our first effort included having a fun game on the web called Name the CLO - we listed a few of the CLO's with pictures of their avatars (which a team of folks at Sun created based on real life pictures of the CLO) and had folks vote/guess who the avatar was. When they got the answer correct, it then showed the real pictures of that person.

Here is an example of the avatar picture and the correct real life picture - of Sun's Chief Learning Office Karie Willyerd:


Enzo Silva, Instructional Designer in Sun Learning Services, led the in-person component of the game. He says "The Name the CLO activity was a fun success. The activity, which took place at the CLO Summit, consisted of a quiz that listed pictures of Second Life avatars customized to look like the SLS CLOs. The Summit participants then had to guess who each avatar represented. Most of them guessed correctly and they all had a fun time doing it together on a big screen. Some follow-up might get them even more interested in Virtual Worlds as possible places
for learning to occur."


It was meant to be a light, fun and interesting game aimed at gaining visibility into virtual worlds. We have many next steps with the CLO's that we'll be starting in September and will keep you posted.

Engaging key audiences and helping enable certain audiences to have a good experience is key - we are also working with the SunIT organization on an IT internal conference. Sun's Deb Winters will be blogging about that soon!

Christy (SL: Violet Portola)Digital Libraries & Research - Information and Knowledge Services
Sun Learning Services

Friday Jul 11, 2008

Google Announces 'Lively', a 3D chat room being compared to SecondLife

Google's latest product launch, Google Lively is a 3D chat room that many people are comparing to SecondLife.  However, in its initial version, it's really not much different than a chat room that takes place in a 3D animated room with avatars who can do a few different pre-designated actions.

Lively's users can create an avatar for themselves that can be male, female or even a different species. This avatar can assume a new identity, change clothes or convey emotions with a few clicks of the mouse.

Watch this YouTube video to see more:


The free service which requires no registration and can be accessed through a user's Google account enables people to congregate in fantasy rooms and other computer-manufactured versions of real life.
Lively requires a software download, but after that can appear in just a browser.  One commentator suggests: "Google is looking to create a massive distributed virtual world, where every Google account can have its own avatar that can be used wherever a Lively virtual room is present – for example, on a blog, a social networking profile, or a Web page."

While this new virtual world emerges, SecondLife remains more immersive, and customizable as individuals are able to program and develop rather than rely on prefabricated Google supplies of furniture, clothes, and hair as they do in Lively.

Tuesday Feb 26, 2008

Very exciting news this week for Sun - Sun and the NMC!

Sun and the New Media Consortium (NMC) have announced a very exciting partnership regarding Open Virutal Worlds. It's so exciting to be working at Sun at this time of high interest in virtual worlds and making extreme impact. Check out the video here and let us know your thoughts.

Check out the videos on Sun's MPK20 project and also visit  Sun's Immersive Special Interest Group (Sun ISIG) website which is focused on open source technology and content for virtual worlds and gaming in education: And, as always, be sure to visit the Sun SIM in Second Life and learn more about Sun and participate in some really exciting in-world events.

Tuesday Feb 19, 2008

Sun's Facebook Fridays Group and Sun in Second Life hold an Employee-Only Q&A Event

Facebook Fridays and Sun in Second Life

We are really looking forward to another fun and educational Sun Employee event in Second Life!

Sun's Facebook Friday's group, managed by the Global Communications Group and Sun's Second Life program, managed by Fiona Gallagher, are coming together to bring all Sun employees an event in Second Life on Friday, February 22nd at 9am PT.

The event will include spending time with Fiona and the Sun SL Mentors during an Employee-only Q&A session about Sun in virtual worlds and then head to Sun's Club Java for some socializing and fun.

Look for pictures and commentary to come after the event!

We hope to see Sun employees there (details at secondlife.central.sun.com)!

Christy (SL: Violet Portola)


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