vendredi, octobre 13, 2006

My last IBM meeting: a new concept

Years ago, I was a proud IBMer in Corbeil (FR), RTP (USA) and La Gaude (FR).

A few weeks ago, I was invited to “The Greater IBM Connection” here , here or even better here.

“The Greater IBM Connection” is a bunch of IBMers and ex-IBMers who wish to connect, communicate and collaborate.

As you may be aware, IBM was and is still present in a lot of countries around the world. As IBM alumnis, as we call ourselves, wanted to meet and not just communicate through emails and blogs, some face to face meetings were set up in various cities. I always refused the invitations as these meetings were taking place too far from where I now live and work (France and Switzerland).

Then came another invitation taking place at first sight in New-York. I told myself, “yet another one, I’ll have to decline”. Then on second sight, I read that it took place here on a website named Second Life…

I want to share here my experience at this meeting (Oct 12th, 2006) with you and invite you to “The Greater IBM Connection” if you are or were a proud IBMer. This was for me the first concrete result from participating to the “The Greater IBM Connection”: discovering and living a new concept.

First of all I had to register on SL (2ndlife) create an Avatar (an image of myself in SL), learn to move and interact with the world and other avatars through SL IM (instant messaging). Then you modify your appearance (clothing, hairs, etc…). After half an hour you’re set, ready to second live.

The Meeting

A few days later I went to the meeting, a specific place on SL, by teleporting. By the way, you can also fly in SL which is a great experience. I was welcomed by the organizers, and the meeting took place there.

In addition to being there in the SL meeting room, we had to be also on a conference call on the regular phone.

We first had some powerpoint presentations commented on the phone by various people as seen on the snapshot I took during the meeting. In SL I’m “Kebra Sakai” with the turquoise zebra shirt, listening carefully and staring at the greaterIBM slide…

Questions could be asked through the phone.

Then we gathered in small focus groups around tables discussing some specific topics. To communicate around the tables we used IM shared by table rather than the phone, to discriminate between discussion groups.

The last phase of the meeting was spent doing direct IM communication two by two to know specific peoples.

After two hours I left the meeting and teleported elsewhere after a flight around the meeting building.


We’re still at dawn of such practices:

  • We still need a regular phone for conference calls to be able to listen to people.
  • We have sometimes difficulties to master the interface to interact with SL.
  • We are just not used to attend meetings this way.

But it makes these kind of meetings more lively than conf calls with a netmeeting presentation. From my point of view this is especially important when you meet people for the 1st time.

I guess it is going to be more and more common to have such meetings who bring some second life to today’s meeting.

By joining “The Greater IBM Connection”, I hope to participate to such other meetings and discover some revolutionary concepts such as this one.

please find other blogposts on this specific subject here.

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