Category Archives: experience

Let’s have a Conversation – Conversational Marketing – itsReal

Spending on social media and “conversational marketing” – albeit still in their nascent stage – will surpass traditional marketing spend by the end of 2012, according to a study conducted by TWI Surveys, Inc., the New Communications Review writes.

The survey of 260 senior PR and marcomms professionals was conducted on behalf of the Society of New Communications Research (SNCR) and Joseph Jaffe for his book Join the Conversation.

Although social-media adoption has just begun – 70% of respondents are spending 2.5% or less of their communications budgets on conversational marketing – those surveyed foresee significant adoption and spending within five years: Some 81% of survey respondents said they will spend at least as much on conversational marketing as traditional marketing by 2012.

Among other findings of the study:

  • Two-thirds of respondents plan to increase their spending on coversational marketing in the next 12 months.
  • 57% say they think that in five years they will be spending more on conversational marketing than traditional marketing
  • Nearly 24% say they think conversational marketing spend will equal traditional marketing spend in five years

More at Marketing Charts

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EXCLUSIVE: interview with CEO & Founder of gogofrog – itsReal

GOGOFROG APLINK, a.k.a. Andrew Peters has just had an important call from the Australian High Commission and in the background are “frog like” obscene sounds emanating from my MacBook. How hard to keep a straight face and be serious with my homeland officials. These are the sounds emanating from the gogofrog websites homepage.

During the “State of Play” Virtual Conference I had the opportunity to hand my very last very badly mangled Pacific West Communications business card to the Founder of gogofrog, whilst I blushed with embarrassment, in true Aussie style he withdraw his own business card from his wallet and swiftly screwed it up…unfolded it and handed it to me with a “she’ll be right MATE” Rapturous laughter erupted and along with his business partner, Lorenzo from Japan, the gogofrog story began to unfold.

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Rescuing search in ‘Second Life’ – A need for certain – itsReal

On every occassion that APLINK has heard Cory Onedrejka of Linden Labs speak he allows appealed for someone who could create an effective search engine…maybe his wish has come true withou the need for Lind Labs investment.

I was in a Second Life Store the other day and whilst it was cool having my avatar stroll the mega mall and see what was on offer, I was really there to get a new look for myself. Besides Second life’s need to achieve a universal search engine, site owners also need a search function (or should there be Avatar SalesPeople) within their own spaces to help avatars find what they need, as like the real world, time is money inworld. Maybe my client could come up with a search solution- itsReal

With at least a couple hundred thousand users, hundreds of stores, endless commerce and millions of objects, virtual world Second Life is begging for a top-notch search tool.

Yet search is one of the systems most in need of help in Second Life. The latest evidence is the recent selection of a team working on such a system as a finalist in the Second Life business plan contest.

High Impact

What’s new:

More than three years after its launch, Second Life is still suffering from a subpar search engine–and other virtual worlds have the same limited tools.

Bottom line:

Now significant attempts are being made by third parties to come up with better search systems for virtual worlds.

Rescuing search in ‘Second Life’

“There’s a lot to be desired in the current (Second Life) search, quite a lot,” said Tony Walsh, the editor of Clickable Culture, a blog about virtual worlds and other online cultures. “We need a Google for Second Life, something that works quickly and produces intelligent results.”

Some might wonder how important search needs to be in a virtual world. But as the number of Second Life stores, places and objects explodes, it is becoming crucial that users be able to find what they need without trying keyword after keyword. And while that dynamic is more true today than ever, many people believe the search system has been insufficient for years.

Read More: C|Net


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IT Recruiting in Web 2.0 & Virtual Worlds – brought to you by:

Companies such as HP that venture deeper into the world of Web 2.0 technologies to find new hires may find themselves disappointed, at least initially. Despite the low turnout the company’s Second Life recruitment trial balloon yielded, however, HP’s Betty Smith is not deterred. She says she sees a lot of potential for using Second Life for recruiting.

In mid-May, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) Manage remotely with one interface -- the HP ProLiant DL360 G5 server. Latest News about Hewlett-Packard participated in a virtual job fair using Second Life tools from Linden Lab in San Francisco. HP had been invited by one of its external recruiters, TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications in New York. During the virtual event, recruiters and job applicants alike created avatars, or personas to represent themselves in the virtual world.

Standing Out

HP’s willingness to step into the Web 2.0 world for recruiting differentiates the company. In Computerworld‘s latest Vital Signs survey, none of the 233 IT professionals responding reported using Second Life for recruiting.

A scant 4 percent said they used blogs or social networking sites like Facebook to engage potential IT job candidates. Only 15 percent reported using professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. Moreover, 52 percent of the respondents said they don’t use any Web 2.0 tools for recruiting.

It seems that most IT organizations are missing out on a huge opportunity to connect — particularly with the talented twentysomethings who inhabit the virtual world. These Gen Yers are “tribal” and accustomed to the “very collaborative relationships” that Web 2.0 tools enable, says Tom Casey, senior vice president and workforce transformation leader at Kingwood, Texas-based consultancy BSG Concours.

By Thomas Hoffman


Read More at TechNewsWorld


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NEW STYLE – WARGAMES in 3D Worlds – itsReal

Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Laboratory Taps Forterra to research and prototype a solution, based on Forterra’s OLIVE™ Platform, for delivering SCORM compliant content through 3D Virtual Worlds, focused on Counter IED training.
Forterra Systems, the market and technology leader in private virtual worlds, announced today that the Defense Department’s Joint Advanced Distributed Learning (JADL) Co-Laboratory, based in Orlando, Fla., has selected Forterra to lead a team to research methods for enabling interoperability, accessibility and reusability of Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) compliant learning content in 3D virtual worlds. The effort will include an instructional design study to determine the most appropriate use of the Massively Multiplayer On-line Game (MMOG) in counter- Improvised Explosive Device (IED) training, followed by development of a demonstration prototype.

Targeted to directly benefit the current U.S. military mission in Iraq, the effort will focus on developing a highly realistic virtual training environment based on MMOG technology that can support counter-IED training capabilities. Although this effort will focus on the IED mission, the results will be applicable to other DoD missions and training requirements.

As part of an optional third phase of this R&D effort, the resulting system developed by the Forterra-led team would be evaluated in user trials to study the training of Soldiers around key aspects of counter – IED operations.

“Advanced distributed learning, reuse of content, and game technologies offer potential solutions for the training challenges facing the U.S. military, such as how to effectively combat Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs,” said Mike Macedonia, Vice President and General Manager of Forterra’s National Security Division. “The research that we are undertaking will focus on defining technologies, interfaces, and standards so SCORM-compliant content can be used in an immersive 3D environment where small or large groups of users that are physically distributed can collaborate for the purpose of training, experimentation or mission rehearsal.”

Under this R&D contract, Forterra will provide JADL with expertise and technology in the area of distributed multiplayer game technology, including Forterra’s OLIVE™ (On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment) software platform that enables developers to rapidly generate realistic, collaborative, 3D Internet solutions that easily scale from single user applications to large-scale simulated environments supporting thousands of concurrent users.

The Forterra-led team includes Intelligent Decision Systems, Inc. (IDSI) and Rustici Software. IDSI will provide support for the instructional design required to determine the efficacy of MMOG technology modified to support SCORM standards. Rustici Software will provide valuable experience and insight into the technical issues around SCORM standards, Shareable Content Objects (SCOs), and the ADL runtime environments.

Developed under DoD’s ADL initiative to establish common guidelines and specifications for learning on a global scale, SCORM is designed to allow users to create a future learning environment that is better, faster, and less costly, anytime and anywhere it is needed, to meet the training requirements.

“This R&D effort led by Forterra is in lockstep with our overall ADL strategy to promote the reuse of training content by defining standards where by it can be exploited by next-generation learning and training technologies,” said Jean Burmester, Director of JADL Co-Lab. “Forterra will help us examine the tremendous potential offered by extending SCORM-based learning content into online, game-based, multiplayer training environments. The use of MMOG technology appears to hold great promise for warfighter training and with extensions to support interoperability with SCORM compliant content and Learning Management Systems, this significant R&D effort will provide a bridge to existing and legacy programs.”

In the research phase of this effort, The Forterra-led team will identify training opportunities for using an MMOG environment as a delivery platform for reusable SCORM-compliant content. The team will also identify the characteristics of SCOs for integration and delivery within MMOGs as well as identify user interface paradigms for delivery of SCOs in an unstructured multiplayer, 3D virtual environment.

About JADL
The Joint ADL (JADL) Co-Lab located in Orlando, Fla., works collaboratively with the ADL Network to carry out its mission of integrating instruction and technology to meet the military’s training requirements. JADL is guided by its board of directors representing the military and joint services. JADL works closely with its Team Orlando partners to meet the distributed learning requirements of the Total Force.

JADL promotes the implementation of ADL through research, development and consulting services for the DoD. JADL also develops guidelines, tools, sample methodologies and strategies for implementing ADL in a military environment. Primary research areas include advanced SCORM functionality, instructional effectiveness, repositories, game-based learning and simulation system integration.

About Forterra Systems
Forterra Systems is a leader in providing online distributed virtual world technology for the corporate, healthcare, government, and entertainment industries. Forterra’s software and services enable organizations to build their own virtual worlds to train, plan, rehearse, and collaborate in ways previously considered impossible or impractical. Using the OLIVE (On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment) platform and industry standard PC hardware, customers can rapidly generate realistic, collaborative, 3D Internet solutions that easily scale from single user applications to large scale simulated environments supporting many thousands of concurrent users.

About IDSI
IDSI, headquartered in Centreville, Va., is a leader and premier provider of performance improvement services to the Department of Defense and other government and commercial organizations. Established in 1996, IDSI has over 110 highly qualified and experienced personnel as well as innovative and award winning products.

About Rustici
Rustici Software is the leading provider of products and services to assist organizations with SCORM conformance. The company’s primary business is SCORM consulting. Rustici Software helps its customers understand and conform to online training standards.

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PINGters be Inspired – These 42 Entrepreneurs are like U and I

It is rare that ordinary citizens get the opportunity to be honoureed for doing what they like…

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CEO of HIPIHI and his aspirations – itsreal

Thanks to Bernard of SGentrepreneurs here is his post of the CEO meeting of

Last Tuesday, before the State of Play V party “Flash Forward”, thanks to Andrew Peters and the Digital Movement, I was invited to meet up with Xu Hui, CEO of HiPiHi and we spent one hour together with him, hearing his thoughts and aspirations about HiPiHi, China’s virtual world platform creator with an interesting tagline, “The World Exists because of You”. We will also hear his thoughts about how HiPiHi differentiates herself from Second Life. Here is a summary of the main points during that one hour conversation.

Read More at SGentrepreneurs

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1st annual architecture & design competition in Second Life – itsReal

 Hurry… sorry but i just found this, if you have created anything in Second Life, do enter it could bring you some deserved fame. … submissions close September 1st…

Spatially interesting and aesthetically independent pieces of architecture are sought from the inhabitants of the digital parallel world that has almost five million participants. The competition is open for all.

The aim of the competition is to explore new trends of architecture and design on the electronic soil of the MMOG (massive multiplayer online game) of Second Life.

The Austrian artist Stephan Doesinger has begun the First Annual Architecture and Design Competition in Second Life in the virtual world of “Second Life.”

Apart from inworld-Second-Life the competition will also “happen” in the “first world” at the International Ars Electronica Festival in Linz 2007 and at Zollverein Essen with jury discussions, partys, and a great prize ceremony.

Projects will be chosen from five categories:
1) Private Home
2) Corporate Architecture and V-shopping
3) High Rise
4) Landscape Design
5) Freestyle and Special Projects

But there will also be two extra-prizes:
The Prize of the Jury and the Prize chosen by the Second Life online-community.


The winners will receive a worldwide exposure!
1) The projects will be presented at the Ars Electronica festival 2007 (Sept. 5th – 11th, 2007) in Linz Austria, where the jury will be publicly held.
2) The winners will be honoured in an official prize ceremony at the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Zollverein Essen a few weeks later.
3) The results of the competition will be documented in a book which will be published by Prestel publishers in spring 2008.
4) The winning projects will be promoted worldwide and presented in a Hall of Fame on the internet – and of course in Second -Life.

Submission Deadline:
September 1st, 2007

Submit here via online-submission-form!

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state of play – truly an international event for virtual worlds -itsReal

APLINK has sat in singapore reaching out constantly to overseas for those interested in Virtual Worlds and in the last 2 days, i have met people from, Japan, London, Germany, USA, Australia, Korea,  Norway and Singapore at the “state of play” conference where the whole agenda is Virtual Worlds…APLINK is happy

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end of work as we know it – itsReal

business week aplink

Increasing connectivity will change how and where we labor—even the very notion of an employer.

You have no idea how you’d get any work done on business trips if you didn’t have a laptop. You can’t remember quite how you lived without your BlackBerry. Your cell phone might as well be surgically attached to your ear, it’s so crucial to your job. Then there’s the Internet. It’s hard to conceive of getting through the day without Google (GOOG )—or, if you’re under 40, text messaging or even joining Facebook to stay in touch with your extended network of colleagues. In just a decade or less, technology sure has done a number on the way you work, hasn’t it?

Well, brace yourself. Over the next decade, the relentless march of computer power and Net connection speeds will bring more profound changes to work than anything we’ve seen so far. Consider just a few of the breakthroughs technology visionaries think we’re likely to see in coming years. Picture Apple’s (AAPL ) slick iPhone shrunk down to the size of a credit card. Then imagine it can connect not only to your contacts on the latest social network but also to billions of pea-sized wireless sensors attached to buildings, streets, retail products, and your co-workers’ and business partners’ clothes—all sending data over the Net to you.


Read more at BusinesWeek business week aplink

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