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Aug 09, 2007



Sorry we missed you! The transcript is in my blog here:


There has been talk of having a second discussion at a time more suitable to Europeans. Chime in if you think this is a good idea!



By the way, I think the link should have been to your blog?


I am currently talking with Cornell about providing a directed reading in "Business and Oversight in Second Life." If it is approved, I will post some more info. For now, my question to the pointy-headed academics in the audience is: can the IBM guidelines be used for college students too? What changes would be necessary? I am tempted to search and replace "IBM" with "Cornell," and otherwise keep the guidelines completely intact.


@roo great post. I think it is interesting the reactions Ive seen from some people... asking why do we need corporate guidelines. I think one of they key things is back when the internet took off, a group of IBMers created a manifesto to get the company going - this was covered in the following article Waking up IBM: How a Gang of Unlikely Rebels Transformed Big Blue". Michael Martine and I created a similar one for the 3D internet, we call it "Get Connected Manifesto 11.0" (in honor of Spinal Tap's -'it's got 11').
Get Connected 11.0 Manifesto

1. Give every IBMer an avatar in the Metaverse.
2. Make top executives (business and technical -- DEs, Fellows, etc.) available to customers and investors via the Metaverse.
3. Construct the virtual presence to better communicate with customers, investors and employees -- current, former and to-be.
4. Create and lead the business mindshare for this brave new world. vBusiness -- marketing!
5. Give away delightful innovative objects, scripts, capabilities in a creative-commons fashion.
6. Recognize that social networking and serious play lead to serious revenue and profitability.

I believe this bottom's up approach leverages the power of social networks, and shows how social norms apply. I think it is important that we continue to allow these type of manifesto's and guidelines to be created.


This is an excellent post!

Thanks for the message on SLed list. I, too, plan to use the IBM guidelines this fall with an academic clause that includes:

1. Plagiarism/academic integrity policies of the college and procedures for infractions (I require students to cite ALL images, urls, etc. in in-world displays; we spend a fair bit of time learning about various TOS agreements for things like Flickr, YouTube, etc.).

2. FERPA laws concerning student privacy (no grades are distributed within SL; all grades are issues in RL or in a closed CMS like WebCT).

3. A Student-Teacher Respect clause. I make myself available to students whenever I am inworld; however, I inlcude a statement that says I will not violate their second lives by following them, monitoring them, etc. during out-of-class hours.

Hope that helps!

Beth Ritter-Guth/Desideria Stockton


Speaking of SL, this morning's Wall Street Journal features a section-front article regarding it. There's also an interesting piece on avatars and owners by a photographer who did a study.




I always wondered about the dress-code of big corporations in virtual worlds. Thanks for clarifying this up. Thoug I still doubt many of corporations caught the idea and are that "tolerant" about having their employees appearing as dragons.


@dandellion it may be that those less willing to let go are not going with metaverses are also those less likely to let go with other self organizing concepts and suchs as blogs, wikis etc. Those may be the places people no longer choose to work in or invest in? If there is a model required where new ideas are brought to market quicker then it needs this sort of willingess to allow things to happen.
Its an unusual idea to consider "here be dragons" is a good thing :-)


@Robert and @Beth, that's great. Everyone should feel free to borrow and reuse the guidelines for use in their own organizations. In fact, I looked into it recently for another company interested in tweaking and using them and the feeling inside IBM seemed to be that, especially if attribution is given, they should be considered fair game.


To you educators out there, here are guidelines in use at Penn State University:



Thank you for posting these excerpts. It's interesting to read about the different policies of companies.

When IBM was considering these guidelines, was there any discussion about creating different avatars to represent, for example, the Ian that works at IBM vs. the "private" Ian?


@Anca: It's worth reading the guidelines in full to get your head around them, since my excerpts are very incomplete.

There is indeed some discussion in the guidelines about the possible use of two avatars though. This would especially be useful if someone wanted one avatar with which to officially represent the company, and another personal one. It's not strictly necessary in all cases (I don't have a separate work identity from my casual one) but it's there as an option.

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