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At a recent IBF Member Meeting we focused via Reuters and IBM on Second Life, the 3D virtual world that has attracted a mixture of attention and hype.

Clearly the environment has the random nature of an experiment but with possibilities. Intranet managers found themselves a little frustrated in some ways as they struggled to understand how such environments might apply internally within large corporates

It turns out that Nicole Yankelovich, Principal Investigator, Collaborative Environments, Sun Microsystems Laboratories and I share the same view: that Second Life is really not suited to large corporates but that we need a suitable business version that might have some value organisations.

Have a look at a video blog of the 3D Collaboration World used internally by Sun.

On any given day, over 50% of Sun’s workforce is remote. MPK20 is a virtual 3D environment in which employees can accomplish their real work, share documents, and meet with colleagues using natural voice communication.

Just like on Sun’s physical Menlo Park campus, known as "MPK," inhabitants of the virtual MPK20 office building can work together in planned meetings, or can talk informally in unplanned encounters. Unlike the physical campus, however, in MPK20, the community can be built and maintained without the constraints of physical location.

The Sun experiment seems to take us to a place that Second Life cannot reach.

About the author

Nancy Goebel - DWG's Managing Director for Member & Benchmarking ServicesNancy Goebel is the Digital Workplace Group’s Managing Director, Member Services & Strategic Partnerships.

During her tenure with DWG, Nancy has been involved in account management, benchmarking, research, blogging and executive producing Digital Workplace Live and DW 24.

Prior to joining the Digital Workplace Group, Nancy was a accomplished executive at JPMorgan Chase where she built and led a global team in desigining and implementing an award-winning intranet. She also led digital enablement and business re-engineering initiatives.

Outside work, Nancy is a wine maker, fundraiser, meditator, wife and mother of two.

Connect with Nancy on Twitter: @nancyatdwg or on Google +.

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