The inclusivity of Second Life

Earlier this morning, I joined about 20 other avatars in the Reuters Auditorium in Second Life to hear an interview with US politician Mark Warner, former governor of the state of Virginia and potential candidate in the US presidential elections
next year.


The interview was to be conducted by Reuters Second Life bureau chief Adam Pasick, aka Adam Reuters, from the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

I missed the interview, unfortunately. It was due to start at 8.30am GMT. Warner was running late and I had to leave just before 9.

I had a most interesting 25-minute wait, though, sitting in the auditorium with the rest of the virtual guests. As the screenshot indicates, we were quite an orderly bunch, sitting quietly listening to the streamed holding music. On stage, just below and to the right of the WEF logo, is Warner’s avatar sitting with Adam Reuters.

There in virtual body if not yet in spirit :)

Waiting for an event to begin in Second Life is a mirror of what happens at any real-world event. People arrive, they sit and some start chatting, small-talk type of thing. Here, though, it’s by text not voice (although that could change sooner rather than later) and you don’t get the body language interaction.

The screenshot belies the activity that was going on, with plenty of text commentary mostly about the music which just looped and repeated. Violins and drums, giving me the feeling of being stuck in an elevator. A rather posh one at that. Those critical texts got a result as all of a sudden, we were treated to a rapper. Quite a contrast!

So while I missed the interview, I did enjoy another Second Life experience of virtually being at an event that was physically happening somewhere. It illustrates yet again what’s possible with Second Life as a facilitator for people to engage and connect in new and interesting ways.

It’s also a pretty dramatic example of anyone with an internet connection, wherever they are, being able to be part of an event from the World Economic Forum, probably one of the most exclusive gatherings in the world.

It certainly fits with one of the primary themes at Davos, that of inclusivity through social media and virtual communities.

Kudos to Reuters for organizing this.

(Cross-posted from 93 Colors, the crayon blog.)

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.