Our first quarter has been diverse and interesting. On the for-profit side we have introduced architects to collaborating via Second Life, investment bankers to mentoring via Eve Online, retailers to incorporating World Of Warcraft within their in-house training programs and provided second opinions to blue chips on their Internet Strategies.
On the non-profit side we have spoken with representatives from charities about how they might better harness the power of the Web. One of those is Paul Lynch and his committee who organise the annual GOAL charity ball in Paris. This year they are using a wiki to organise the event rather than email. Ronan and Paul have revamped www.goal-ball.org enabling people to pay for tickets online, specify meal choices and pick tables. A group has also been setup on Facebook (GOAL Ball Paris) for attendees to join in the conversation.
Each of the above projects are good illustrations of the transition now taking place in social computing. The beneficial use of second generation Web tools is now moving from early adopters to mainstream users.
Virtual World governance is a topic which has been reappearing with increasing frequency of late. Taxation in the UK, US and Australia, global trademark infringements, family values watchdog groups in France and proposed regulation of user-created content in Korea are but a sample of external governance stories making headlines worldwide.
Legislators around the world are currently looking at Linden Lab and its creation Second Life to establish precedents. Todate Lewis PR has done a wonderful job positioning Second Life as the media poster child for Virtual Worlds. It now needs to switch gears and better educate local authorities before they begin regulating Virtual Worlds. Education before regulation.
Programs such as the recent BBC Money Programme special on Virtual Worlds and the upcoming CNN Future Summit on June 13th are all steps in the right direction. Tuning into the topics raised over on the accompanying CNN Future Summit Forums gives a taste for some of the social changes being heralded by the third wave of the Web. The Living Web is already making its presence felt.
Likewise internal governance issues within World of Warcraft, Eve and Second Life are receiving increasing mainstream media attention. Roles such as the current Resident Community Manager vacancy at Linden Lab are now key hires. Virtual Worlds seeking to become winners over the coming years need to significantly improve communications within their respective ecosystems.