Virtual Worlds, Real Collaboration

Robin Harper, Consultant and Linden Lab veteran
Robert Ketner, The Tech Museum of Innovation

Online virtual worlds have enabled countless users to meet, train, learn, play, socialize, create and collaborate on complex tasks without regard to geography. The level of interaction provided by virtual worlds is proven to be deeper, and with more impact, than other online experiences. Some would say they have become indispensable elements to their core businesses.

Recently, the benefits and promise of multi-user, real-time environments have become better documented, and scores of variations on the basic product theme serve the diverse needs of users in all sectors. Still, many virtual world proponents say that the full impact of virtual worlds’ possibilities is yet to be seen on a vast scale. They maintain that the potential of virtual worlds extends far beyond what we experience today, and that the model is transforming not only online interactions, but the economy and our notions of community as well.

Tonight, two of virtual worlds’ strongest advocates will engage a discussion on the latest trends and successes in the medium. Bring your own input and experiences about how the real is becoming virtual, and the virtual is becoming real on many levels. Learn about the state of the art, and get an advance view of the state of the future as well, in this interactive session.

Bob Ketner is Virtual Community Manager for The Tech Virtual, a 2 year old project by The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose which is using virtual worlds to design, test, and prototype museum exhibits. Bob’s background encompasses product design, ecommerce, social media, and loyalty programs. In 2006 he founded the SDForum Virtual World SIG, and is the author (via an avatar) of the Metaverse Manifesto.

Robin Harper is partner and consultant at First 30 Services, a firm specializing in beginnings — creating new businesses and driving transitions in existing businesses. Previously Robin was VP of Marketing and Community Development at Linden Lab, where she led the emergence of the Second Life brand and supported this life-changing technology. Earlier, Robin was the VP of Marketing at Maxis, a division of Electronic Arts where she established SimCity as one of the most recognized brand names in entertainment software. She was named one of the Marketing 100 by Advertising Age/Newsweek .

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