Monday, July 30, 2007

Employee guidelines for virtual worlds? Intel? Huh?

IBM leads the way in utilizing SL within the corporation as a viable tool. IBM has embraced the possibilites of emerging technologies as a tool for internal employee productivity and development. But Intel? I don't think so. This just in from Virtual Worlds News:
"This week IBM will release a set of rules for its 5,000 employees who use Second Life and other virtual worlds. Intel is working on a set of voluntary classes and guidelines to follow suit."
I think Intel may have 5 employees ALLOWED to access Secondlife certainly not 5,000. Intel marketing might consider throwing up adds in SL, and buy an Intel Island. And the software group might also support their external software communities, developers, etc. within a fun little SL conference room.
(Actually, the one I experienced was quite nice) But Intel will NEVER allow their rank and file employees to participate in emerging technologies like SL. No Intel team members from different geo's will ever meet in a SL area for training, project meetings, etc.

Oh good grief. If ANY company in the world was going to create useless guidelines this early in the life of a technology I should have known that it would be Intel. Only the Paranoid Survive, right Andy? Let's figure out if Second Life is even going to be a viable corporate tool before we turn on the paranoia machine.

I wonder if any of those Intel employees are aware that they can't even get into SL from with in the corporate network. So, now corporations are creating guidelines for activities that can ONLY occur on your OWN machine on your OWN free time. Somehow that just seems wrong to me on so many different levels.

Can anyone from an Intel training function with an internal customer base comment on this? Did the IT department actually cave in, and open all the UDP ports (or whatever they're called)? I was told for years that there wasn't a snowball's-chance-in-Arizona of ever getting UDP ports opened.

With all that said, YES, I think tools like SL have the ability to become (are) extremely, EXTREMELY useful learning environments. And apparently so do many of my learning colleagues as well. I would encourage my colleagues to check out what Proton Media has to offer...VERY cool stuff!
And from The eLearning Guild's data we find "93.8% of members believe that immersive learning simulations are BETTER [than other elearning offerings]." Check out the Immersive Learning Simulations report if you want the ammunition to get those software guys to open up Intel Island for internal training use.
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