Thursday, October 11, 2007

Christian's Keynote: What''s next?

Christian Renaud , Cisco – What’s Next?


This isn’t the first attempt to start virtual worlds and virtual business. This has a long history. And there are many steps to be made to get to the next level.



In 1988 there was a seminar on interoperability, TCP/IP and there were just a few attendees, five years later it was mass market.



What’s different right now is that we have all this creative energy. We’ve got mmorpgs, we’ve got unified communication tools. Taking that and combining it and slamming that together at this high speed and you can use Second Life or World of Warcraft as business tools.



It fills a need in the technology toolbox. Cisco likes to make probabilities from possibilities.



  • We have 6.5 billion people on the planet.
  • 2.3 b mobile phones (1/3)
  • 1.2 b internet connectivity (1/6)

That’s the audience for virtual worlds.



  • 465 M VW users (excluding Asia) appr. 1/12)
  • 45 M are active virtual residents, not tourists.

That’s about as big as all the early communities (compuserve, the well, aol, eworld etc) together had at their peak.


“We have to make the community grow, so I don’t have to explain what I do over and over again to the guy sitting next to me on the plane.”



We’ve failed with instant messaging. We’ve got these big walled gardens and need multiple clients to talk to all our friends. Do we need to find a standard, or do we have to have just one platform? We have to have interoperability. There has to be no switching cost. You have to be able to choose which platform gives you the best return on your investment.



There’s a 40 million people market, and as a business you have to choose one in 40 platforms, that’s a bad choice to get your ROI.



If we had this discussion about platforms 10 years ago we wouldn’t have web. Platform shouldn’t be the discussion. It’s the content put on it.


There are too many genetics and too many usecases to get one-size fits all jacket. It’s different tools for different jobs. There’s a number of different dimensions, like mobile and peer to peer needs that have to find a place in this landscape.



It’s not my intend to be a big corporation that brings in a bulldozer and levels the diversity of the landscape and put out a huge concrete mall strip. There has to be different modalities, variation between fun and work.



Attention is the only currency left. Attention needs diversity. Howver, work needs to be fun as well. Screen, desk, a very industrial setup will have to change.



We also have to rid ourselves of stereotypes like:

  • A 12 year old girl: level 70 night elf
  • A 70 year old couple: owning 8 neopets
  • An asian businessman: Puzzle Pirate.

There’s too much overlap throughout the industry to categorise. Think of the industry and it will get bigger, don’t focus on the little piece of the pie you cut out for yourself.



There are things we can do from a technology point of view to help secure the content of VW’s. We need to have a strong concept of idendity, it’s based on trust. We haven’t been able to solve open-ID for the internet, but maybe we can do so for virtual worlds.



A strong Identity can give you credit, a reputation, a trust that helps you sell, make your business, How do we manage our presence? Let people know we are busy etc.

  • Identity
  • Reputation
  • Presence

There are things we can't do as good as we can in RL, but there are things we can do better than in RL as well. Augmentation, specific content based upon who you're talking to.

The new math:

If it's just amongst us we can throw out every number we like. When talking to people outside we have to rationalise, come with metrics. Real facts and figures. The industry has to step forward and come with universal metrics. Business needs to know where the money is.

One of the good initiatives is MMI, the metaverse market index. (spin off from Metaversed's Grid Safari's and Metanomics sessions. This is a derisking and industry building initiative.

Common Platforms:

There's work going on on interoperability. Content is core, platform flexible. Convergence over divergence will benefit the industry.

MIT Collective Intelligence:

We've gotta look for pitfalls and not stick to the "we could this" suggestions, but also consider if "we should this" element. What can we do for collective intelligence. What can we do for collaboration, for culture? What can we instrument, do to overcome deficiencies in our options in Virtual Worlds?

Wrap up:

  • Common Identities
  • Common Denominators
  • Common Platforms
  • Common Understanding

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1 Comments:

Blogger Allison said...

In the spirit of rationalizing with metrics, I wanted to point you toward the post Christian made after his keynote today which links to all the sources in his presentation with additional details and commentary: http://blogs.cisco.com/virtualworlds/2007/10/keynote_shorthand.html

Friday, October 12, 2007 3:17:00 AM  

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