Wishing you all a very merry christmas

From all of us here at eightbar, a very merry christmas and happy new year. We all know 2009 is going to rock, so eat drink and be merry.
Its been one heck of a year for us here, Roo moving on, Rob becoming a dad, the odd role change here and there. The one consistent thing is having the eigthbar flag to rally around, whether in virtual worlds or out fixing the planet with homecamp.
What will we see next year? More VW’s and toolkits coming to life? more corporate take up to improve communication in a nervous world? rise of mirror worlds and instrumentation for a smarter planet? fabricaneurs making the virtual real with 3d printers? Some of this will happen, either that or we all sit scared in a hole waiting for the clouds to pass. I somehow think the entreprenaurial spirit of many of us, sparked by virtual worlds, wont let that happen will it ?
Anyway, time will tell. Enjoy the holidays whatever you are doing. May all your presents rez correctly.
Merry Christmas

Paved paradise put up a parking lot

Over at Ugotrade once again Tish has done a fantastic post about Homecamp which includes a stack of my fellow eightbars. There is also a great interview with Andy SC about all things Current Cost meter, Second Life visualizations of his automated house and Smart Planet in general.
Many threads are coming together now, a more eco minded but technology driven approach to things. Much of this has been bubbling around for ages and lots of us take it for granted people know this stuff. However, read the post and get the full vision from the leaders in this field of eco automation.
Andy’s house is currently seeking a new more official home as it was demolished from Hursley island this weekend and replaced by a Seigmancer Nino Empress Condo which is actually the same sort of thing by the same creator that was there before I cleared the space for Andy’s house.
The house becomes a condo
The house will be missed on Hursley island, a great (first!) build by eightbar alumni Laronzo Fiztgerald/Mark Alexander of Uproar Design, but look for a public place to view it very soon.
As you know I like the flow of linkages between things, back in the early days of the internal metaverse the project leader that Roo and I worked with was David Currier, he left to go and start a… Home automation company homespace integrators πŸ™‚
There is also of course our good friends and collegues over at Eolus where mirror worlds and real world instrumentation are making huge savings on running properties and facilities.
Whilst showing the linkages here I also have to say thanks to James Governor/Monkchips for tweeting “my Team of 2008 award goes to IBM’s Eight Bar at Hursley Labs. RedMonk celebrates makers and doers – these guys exemplify getting on with”
****Update James has written a whole blogpost on us, and very nice it is too. It’s brilliant to have had this sort of impact. We dont do this for fame and glory, but to start a conversation, to engage with people as IBMers in ways that they may not be used to, and then to be thanked for it. Brilliant πŸ™‚
Things coming to fruition, linkages flowing and people saying thanks do mean a great to to this humble little band in Hursley and also the wider band of eightbars across the company. One heck of a tribe I reckon πŸ™‚

Tapscott does it again – read and heed

A few weeks ago I got my copy of Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott. I had only skimmed it initially, but recently managed to finish reading it properly. Cleary many others have too.
Netociety tweeted a few links to some articles about the book and with Tapscott’s thoughts and that discussion reminded me I needed to share some thoughts here. For any of us who have changed the way we work and play with social media it resonates. The book is primarily a prod and push to people entrenched in certain ways of working to look at what people born post 1977 do. To not try and stop the flow of conversation and actions that occur using the web, but to embrace and change to benefit from them.
Those of us outside that demographic, but who none the less have made some sort of transition know the unsettling nature of that change initially.
Given the reputation Don Tapscott has, and the depth of research facts and figures presented this really should help a few more people understand what has changed.
In many ways its the same as Seth Godin’s Tribes. Tribes is the motivational short sharp go for it book, Grown Up Digital is the much longer, evidential text book. They both say the same things we all say though.
You MUST embrace the tools(as here in Computing’s article), the style of operating with them. The top tips in that article being
β€’ Hire more young people.
β€’ Start using next-generation tools. β€œIf you are not using Twitter, Digg or blogging, it is about time you got started.”
β€’ Empower your workforce. β€œDon’t have a big master plan – let people self-organise, invest and bring their own tools to increase productivity.”
Start using, means everyone. i.e. as I keep saying Web 2 is Web do. The self organizing is probably the most scary for people to come to terms with, (back to tribes again).
The FT also has a great write up on Tapscotts book ending with “The book is a thoughtful antithesis to entrenched and sometimes alarmist managerial opposition to internet-influenced behaviours”

Personal Branding and Corporate Life, quite a challenge

A few of us seem to have accidentaly moved into an arena where we have made a name for ourselves, connected with all sorts of other people, worked the web and web2.0, delivered and shared ideas, led the way despite never being asked to. That has led to some personal branding and in the case of eightbar some group branding.
It is a tricky area for many people to come to terms with, when the have only up to now kept a local “office” reputation. People understand that, there is an order of things to that. It may be a regimented promotion and exposure process. Now of course we have suddenly been landed with the ability to share and work anywhere. The early adopters in all this typically being the ones who have not always felt comfortable with traditional structures.
So we find ourselves in a cultural place, some of the world values our reputations, much of it does not but would really like to have one, an equally large percentage has no idea its happening.
Jeremiah Owyang (of Forrester) started a thread over on his blog that I recommend you all dive in on if you have particular feelings about your personal brand, how it impacts your future career, how you protect it, how you value it and choose to use it for the good of your company.

IBM Academy of Technology meets in a virtual world

Irving has a very good write up over at his blog about extremely important and highly influential gathering of veyr senior and influential IBMers that occured on our behind the firewall Second Life servers.
“The early feedback indicates that about 75% of the participants thought that the event was successful, not a bad number when you consider that the whole virtual Academy meeting was put together in the short four weeks from the time the physical meeting was canceled.”

Eightbar, an emotional hello

We had a bit of a gathering today on my Hursley island in Second Life. Since mid 2006 I have been providing us as eightbar with a bit of a haven. A place for IBMers and now some exIBMers and guests to call home in the crazy world that is Second Life. As this has always been an unofficial space, just as this is an unofficial blog the island(s) have existed out of a need for community but not in anyway paid for by the community. I viewed it as a duty upon myself to grow the community and provide the islands. I thought we had reached a point where we no longer needed them, and that maybe it was time to free up the hundreds of pounds a month that had been such an important investment.
So, a core bunch gathered to hear me tell the story of Hursley, some of the oldest eightbars and some of the newest. I should not have been suprised, but I was moved, by the waves of support from the gathering and agreeing that we all still wanted this place of history and future to exist. It is something that any of the masses of eightbars woudl have been proud to have been at.
I am not sure we worked out exactly how to pay for this all, but we have so many people that its really a no brainer to cover the costs of 2 islands. There was certainly a willingness and some fabulous donations to get that going.
Eightbar reborn
Hursley and eigthbar the rebirth
So why has Hursley and IQ remained so long as our personal island? Well because it was the right thing to do, and now by mass concensus and action, sharing the message with our fellow eightbars it still is the right thing.
Its not a server, its a place, and its our place. We started our tribe in that space and the tribe has even more heart than ever and is quite a force to be reckoned with.
Go eightbar and thank you all who atteneded, who wanted to attend and who will hear the message for the support! πŸ™‚

Some more good news Forterra Olive and Lotus Sametime

I just saw (via an internal blog post props to Luis Benitez and also some other people mailing me) this press release from Forterra
It is the next stages of what many of you may have seen with the integration of some of the Lotus product set from IBM with Forterra

A shout out also has to go to the Ron and the guys are Ambient Performance who are the UK representatives for Foterra Olive.
You will see from the blog post statements like
“Forterra believes the fastest path for large-scale virtual world adoption within organizations is for 3D meetings to be an easy-to-use extension of the existing unified communications tools employees already use every day. Forterra’s integration of OLIVE with Lotus Sametime is the first robust offering in the market to pursue this strategy. When integrated to Lotus Sametime, immersive 3D environments built with OLIVE provide an interactive communications platform that is unsurpassed for collaboration, training, and knowledge management use cases.”
Also Chris states “Most enterprise-grade teleconferencing systems charge $0.10 to $0.25 per person per minute which can equate to thousands of dollars of expense per employee every year”. That is a direct cost to go with my much quoted 9.4 years a week we can waste waiting for telecons to start as we have no sense of presence, and in VW’s we seem to enagage in those seredipitous conversations because we can see people arrive.

Integration with regular business tools, and continued development of this sort is all good news.
It is good to see this as it helps remove some of the confusion/news that I have had to set straight here

iphone augmented reality

As augemented reality is another key strand, and a bit of a main subject for the week I was really pleased to see this video (props to Angrybeth for tweeting this)
With the “demise” of Artag due to a licensing problem there seemed to be little out there for people to experiment, in particular on handheld devices. The phone is a key platform to spread AR as much as it is for location based services.

TED talk with Philip Rosedale

The TED talks are a great series of talks and here we Have Philip Rosedale creator of Second Life talking. I suspect this will generate some interest as TED reaches places and provides credibility for a large number of subjects.
I like the reminder that visual memory is stronger than textual. One of the main elements that seem to catch people by suprise when I refer to “meetings” and people refering to “whex you were sat opposite in hursley house and you said….”. For the metarati this is less essential watching other than maybe for validation, however for those still wavering, who knows a TED talk may just swing it. So spread the word.
Props to Annieok for twittering it πŸ™‚