Fascinating stuff was addressed at Stanford’s Metaverse U Conference today. I attended from within Second Life at Scilands island. The event was live webstreamed onto a bigscreen inworld. I would say roughly 40 people were in attendance in-world and maybe 60ish in real world. In-world participants not only could submit questions to an real-world moderator and have that moderator ask the speaker, but also conducted their own in-world text discussion over open chat lines.
The most fantastic presentation was by Jon Brouchoud (Wikitecture). I found the open-sourcing and massively outsourcing of architecture very promising, but the most interesting was the information display he developed. Users can come to the in-world island and via a 3-Dimensional display, know the status of various plans. Via a tower interface, users can load, inspect, and contribute to a plan.
This tool of information collection, manipulation, and display is exactly what I believe the world is heading towards. With the increase of the amount and availability of information, it is quickly becoming a world where those that can orchastrate and synthesize information excel. It is not enough to know about one subject. It is not enough to know how and where to get multiple sources of information on any subject. It is the ability to take massive amounts of diverse information, quickly, and synthesize that into nuggets of useful relevant and timely knowledge that will be most needed in the coming future. These emerging virtual tools will slowly develop into the tools used by such people in the future.
Needless to say, it’s an exciting time to be involved with the emerging virtuality.