BT Group presence in Second Life
Earlier this week I blogged about the AvaTalk project which British Telecom ran in Second Life. I wasn't really positive about this project, which is about making phonecalls from Second Life to the Real World. I kept looking for positive things, and yes, there's more to BT in SL than first meets the eye.
First, let me introduce the players in the arena, which off course starts off with British Telecom.
"BT Group plc (formerly British Telecommunications plc) which trades as BT(previously known as British Telecom and still occasionally referred to by that name) is the privatised UK state telecommunications operator. It is the dominant fixed line telecommunications and broadband Internet provider in the United Kingdom. BT operates in more than 170 countries and almost a third of its revenue now comes from its Global Services division.
BT Group is the largest communications service provider in the United Kingdom. It is also one of the largest communication companies in the world." [Wikipedia]
British Telecom worked with Clarity International to create their Second Life experiences (note the plural).
Clarity International is a global design and communication management consultancy firm, headquartered near Milan in Italy, with offices in the United Kingdom and USA. specializing in helping clients simplify complex propositions and problems through focused expert consulting and visualisation of strategies, key concepts, products and services. (Clarity website)
Viewing Clarity's portfolio they have done quite a number of projects with BT, not only virtual, but in the real world as well. One of these projects is BT Contact - Your Personal Communication Hub! in which Clarity has been selected to work on the UI designs of BT Contact, a new way to manage all your IM, Email, VOIP and SMS communications on the web. If you link that to the AvaTalk project it starts to make a little sense.
Aside from the AvaTalk concept they have created a number of projects in Second Life. First of which is the BT Tradespace project.
BT Tradespace is an online community incorporating a business directory and marketplace. On its site you can buy and sell products and services, find a business and network with other like-minded individuals. Unlike a conventional business directory, BT Tradespace members can use social media tools such as blogs, photos, videos and podcasts to promote their products and services. For prospective customers, it provides the opportunity to get to know a business before buying from them and Clarity has brought this existing Tradespace into Second Life.
Read more on the BT Tradespace Trial on the SL Tradespace website.
BT 21 CN Innovation
BT 21CN Innovation - Second Life - The funniest videos are a click away
A lot of my earlier scepsis has been taken away after digging into the other projects BT has done. They weren't the first of the telecom providers to dive into Second Life, they were probably the last one. Not everything they are doing is a smashing success, but at least they are trying to work out what they can do with their core business in virtual worlds, rather than use it as a marketing toy.