In November, IBM
Initially, I thought the move was just a cheap PR stunt designed to demonstrate to the world that Big Blue and Palmisano were "hip" to the world of Web 2.0. After all, just the week prior, Dell
But yesterday, IBM announced that within the next week it would be developing 12 virtual islands in Second Life to facilitate business opportunities in the areas of training, conferences, and commerce.
It is still too early to tell if Second Life has a viable future, but I personally am optimistic and think that IBM's move could pay dividends. For instance, with more than 330,000 employees at IBM -- many of whom work off-site -- Second Life offers a practical way to conduct at least some internal training operations and conferences in an easy, efficient, and cost-effective manner.
And in terms of commerce, the site might offer immediate benefits in helping IBM deliver customer service. I, for one, know that if I had to choose between having a person try to verbally explain to me over the phone how to fix some technical problem on my computer or having an avatar physically show me how to fix it, I would prefer the latter -- and I don't think I am alone.
So while many might see Big Blue's move into Second Life as something akin to a pathetic middle-aged man trying to deal with a midlife crisis by hanging out at the trendiest singles bar, I think it might actually work. Why? Because in Second Life, no one has to know your age. Heck, they don't need to know if you're "Big" or even "Blue."
Interested in other Foolishness about Big Blue?
- Big Blue Looks for a Big Bang
- Big Blue Is Watching You
- IBM's Got Serious Game
- IBM Takes Another Small Step