I've spent the past several months researching how organizations and educators are using virtual worlds and through this research, I have a greater appreciation for the power of presence.
Many people who utilize virtual worlds for business or educational purposes will say virtual worlds give you a sense of being present. The feeling that you are in the same room together, discussing and interacting with each other as if you were face-to-face (well almost). They'll describe it as immersive.
I've experienced this sense of presence on a number of occasions using virtual worlds, including attending virtual brainstorm sessions, walking through a 3D stock chart, experiencing a tsumani, and many more. In todays environment where it is increasingly difficult to meet face-to-face with customers and with a global and remote workforce, it is exciting to see the numerous organizations that are investing in virtual solutions.
I'm excited about what the future will bring. I can imagine a presentation without lectures or slide shows. Instead of story telling, we'll be able to experience the story through a tour. Trainings will focus more on application and less on study and lecture. Remote associates and global teams will conduct meetings in environments where all participants can see each other, improving the efficiency and effectiveness.
I'm curious. What do you think about attending a meeting in a virtual workspace? Would you be up for it?
Note: This post was originally published in Customer Connection on 12/2/2008.