Beata with Ralph Koster, CEO Areae and creator of Ultima Online.
Over 1,000 participants and 100 speakers have gathered at the Virtual Worlds event in San Jose Oct 10-11. The big discssion has been on how to blend the stickiness and ease of use of social networks, such as Facebook, with the rich user experience of a virtual world. Many of the participants are here to further explore how to extend their product or service with a virtual environment. Lego for example announced that they are creating the Lego Universe, a proprietary world to be realeased Aug 2008.
The web is going 3D faster than anyone could have imagined. It is a bit of a cultural shock to see a speaker like Sandy Kearny, Global Director, 3D Internet, IBM (!) talk about the challenges of the conceptual age and referring to Dan Pink's "A Whole New Mind" as her new bible of creative thinking. She also admitted that "it took IBM 8 years to understand e-business, but only 8 months to get 3D Internet".
Now I am off to listen to the panel on "Kids and Teen worlds" where Mattias Miksche, CEO of the paperdoll heaven Stardoll, and Sampo Karjalainen, founder of Habbo Hotel is participating. Second Life may be at the center of attention at an event like this, but Stardoll is still three times larger! Way to go, girls!