A second meeting in Second Life

After venting about last week’s meeting in Second Life, I feel obligated to give an update after this morning’s experience there.

This time around was much more pleasant, even though the meeting format was, again, basically a PowerPoint presentation. The timing of the meeting was certainly better (one hour at 9am beats the hell out of three hours at 5am), but there were some other improvements.

For one thing, this time there was only one main speaker, which avoided the problems we’d had the previous week with people moving to and from the stage and wildly variable audio levels. And almost everyone kept their audio off during the meeting, so we didn’t have the feedback loops. The audio was much better during the Q&A, too, even if I wasn’t “near” the avatar speaking.

There was surprisingly little text chat during the meeting (there might have been another back-channel going on — I hadn’t fired up Sametime before the meeting, so if someone set up a back-channel there, I missed it).

We still suffered from slow slide changes; I tried alt-clicking on the slide, as Caliburn Susanto suggested, but it didn’t seem to help much (could it be a different keystroke on a Mac?). But the slides weren’t all that critical (which is good, because people kept getting between me and the slides!) — the real information was carried in the speaker’s voice

I wouldn’t say that this meeting took particular advantage of Second Life as a venue, but it didn’t suffer from the choice, either. It was nice to be able to see who else was in the meeting (thank goodness for virtual nametags), and the higher-quality of the audio in SL made listening much more pleasant than it would have been on the phone. But I am definitely still waiting to see the value of SL.

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4 Responses to A second meeting in Second Life

  1. Caliburn Susanto says:

    Yep, well, again using SL as a place to share PowerPoint slides is not optimal. Better clients for that.

    One thing I forgot to mention the last time was I personally think every meeting needs two people (at least) on stage. The speaker of the moment, and a facilitator / usher whose job it is to field questions typed into IM and forward them to the speaker and also to monitor the audience and keep everyone following the rules of the meeting (or being informed of them for late arrivals).

    I’m opening an area of my private estate as a Twitter / Salon / Meeting house (a large, 3-story Victorian house and side garden/yard) as a place to congregate, socialize, TweetUp, and tutor. I’ll be announcing it on Twitter and in blogs periodically soon.

    Cheers!

  2. David says:

    One thing I forgot to mention the last time was I personally think every meeting needs two people (at least) on stage. The speaker of the moment, and a facilitator / usher whose job it is to field questions typed into IM and forward them to the speaker and also to monitor the audience and keep everyone following the rules of the meeting (or being informed of them for late arrivals).

    I don’t think that idea should be limited to meetings in SL!

    Cheers!

  3. David Watts says:

    The big problem I have with SecondLife is the requirement to have a silly name. In a business setting, I want to be ME, not some made up avatar name. And maybe even an avatar that really looks like me using photos.

  4. David says:

    David, I agree — one of the advantages of the internal deployment is that it’s interlocked with the corporate LDAP directory (BluePages), so you authenticate with your internal email address and password and your real name shows up automatically.

    Customization of your avatar is still an issue — I have no desire to spend any time fiddling with my avatar.