A Virtual Conversation Overheard:

Jim: Can you believe people are starting to use their real life human bodies for business collaboration in that First Life place everyone’s talking about?

Lucy:  Are you kidding?  I’ll stick to Second Life thanks.

Bob: Heck yeah, this new thing they can do in First Life called ‘shaking hands’ is going to be a real game changer.

Jim: But I’ve seen what they do in these First Life meetings.  They all sit there drinking coffee, staring at their laptop screens.  What’s the point?  It can’t be productive…

Lucy:  *slaps forehead*  What is this world coming to?  I suppose they spend ‘real’ money on these so-called ‘real’ buildings for these meetings in First Life too?

Bob: They sure do, and they’re expensive!  But, totally worth it.. this is the FUTURE!  Stop being so old school.  They can pick whatever color brick they want on the exterior.  This is the FUTURE guys…wake up!

Lucy: You mean they pay more than the $300 a month we pay for our virtual office?

Jim: pfft, they pay that just for electricity!  The buildings cost hundreds of thousands – heck, millions of dollars!  How can they be profitable?

Bob: You guys don’t get it… you can shake hands  in First Life, and look someone right in the eyes!   This is going to have tremendous and far reaching potential.

Lucy: Ok fine, let me play the devil’s advocate here.  What if I live in a suburb 30 minutes from my office?  How do I work with other employees in these ‘First Life’ places?

Bob: Its totally easy, you get into a car and drive there!

Lucy: They can’t teleport to any kind of environment or worplace they can imagine?

Bob:  Bahahah.  You’re thinking like such a dinosaur.

Jim: Drive to an office and back, every single day?  1 hour in a car each day?  That’s a lot of hours a year…  I’d rather spend that time with my family and friends.

Bob: You can call them on your cell phone while you drive!  That’s the price of innovation guys.  Get with it.

Lucy: How do they visualize 3D information?  Can they create anything imaginable with the click of a button like we can here?

Bob:  Who needs all those confusing extra dimensions?  They take all that tricky information and make it 2-dimensional.

Jim: 2D?!?

Bob: Yeah, then they turn off all the lights in the room and project these images and words – mostly words, actually – onto a screen.  They call it ‘Power Point.’

Lucy: omfg

Jim: Wow, these *First Life* places must be absolutely spectacular in order to warrant such great time and expense

Bob: Well, they’re mostly gray and white.  The meeting rooms are these big empty spaces with a table and a projector.  But sometimes they have groovy pictures on the wall, with a flower in a vase in the middle of the table… well, not always, but sometimes!  Plus, everyone gets their own cubicle!

Lucy: and people actually get real work done in these places?

Bob: You betcha.

Jim: What do they do at their cubicles?

Bob: They sit at computers.

Jim: All day?

Bob: Yeah, most of the day.

Jim: So, how is that different from accessing Second Life?

Bob: We can shake hands, Jim.  And here’s where it gets really interesting..  if I fidget with my hands, you can ‘read’ that signal and make business decisions based on that body movement!

Lucy: How many fingers am I holding up, Bob?

Bob: Very funny.

Jim:  So, when they attend conferences or larger meetings, how do they do any networking if they don’t have profiles to click on?

Bob: They shake hands!   Duh.  That’s where the real magic is.  Then, they give each other what they call a ‘business card’.  They then take those cards back to their cubicles and look each other up on the web, and send each other emails.  Priceless.

Jim:  We can communicate much more efficiently here, it seems.  They can’t just send each other messages, or share references, or have a group chat with a few like-minded people during the conference?

Lucy: No way.  I’ve seen these so-called *First Life* conferences.  Most of them sit at their laptops, or texting on their iphones or Blackberries the whole time anyway.  You should see them clamoring around these wireless stations sitting on bean-bag chairs.  What’s the point?

Bob:  I’m just saying, First Life is the way of the future for business collaboration.  You can get started now, or be left in the dust.  You decide.

Jim: I’ll stick with my Second Life, thanks

Bob: Fine Jim, you dinosaur, but if you were in First Life today, you would have noticed that I wore a different color tie today.  I can be so expressive in First Life!  That’s the kind of magic I’m talking about.

Lucy:  You must be kidding?

Bob:  This tie is BLUE, Lucy… you can learn a lot about me when you think about why I wore a blue tie today…

Lucy: Right.

Jim: I rest my case.

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