I had lunch at RSJ near Waterloo yesterday. In fact, it was lunch plus a chance to meet and present to a group of 16 distinguished elderly ex-IBMers. I don’t normally make distinctions about age, but most of these chaps started work at IBM in the 1950s and 60s. They meet once a quarter to catch up and I was delighted to be asked to spend an hour presenting a rough guide to the web and an introduction to what IBM are doing with virtual worlds.
Speaking to an audience which contained a fair few directors, and are more used to being addressed by past and present chief execs, could have been slightly intimidating; one of them once managed my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss. They were a really friendly crowd though, and made me feel very welcome. Many of them had spent time in marketing, and the overwhelming message from them to me during dinner was that I should give it a go.
Tomorrow morning I’m heading (back) to Wimbledon to join Ian in bringing the behind-the-scenes story of IBM’s work there to life. We do some very cool things at Wimbledon, and it will be fun going back to the bunker. (Shh.. I’ve also been quietly crafting a Twitterbot for Wimbledon 2007 as well).
One year ago, when I attended Wimbledon to help out with the hospitality, I noted that “there were some excellent conversations, and quite a few people who really seemed to find the whole virtual worlds thing not just unusual, but interesting and potentially useful too”. So much has changed, and so little. A year ago, IBM’s use of virtual worlds boiled down to a few intrepid explorers attempting to show some value in Second Life. Now IBM has a large and popular presence in Second Life, is setting up a metaverse behind the firewall and exploring virtual worlds in all sorts of other places too. It’s been an interesting year.
Update: I shall post something soon, but for now, here are my Wimbledon 2007 photos.