Gen Y Twenty Somethings and Virtual Worlds

Suzanne Bowen : Monetizing IP Communications
Suzanne Bowen
37 yrs in telecom, teaching, blog & grant writing, biz development, marketing, & PR. Favorite moments in life involve time w/ family & friends, networking, IP communications industry verticals & horizontals, running, traveling, foreign languages
| 1. "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition..." Barack Obama ..... 2. "One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain." By Thomas Sowell

Gen Y Twenty Somethings and Virtual Worlds

Finally, I'm following up on behalf of today regarding Avaya's Technology on Tap presentations and reception during ITEXPO West 2011 in Austin, Texas! This is number one of several posts I'll share with readers. I haven't missed Avaya DevConnect's gathering at ITEXPOs in the past four years. It is usually the night before the first day of the Expo, a great way to mix, learn, and socialize among the innovators at Avaya and many who do business with them at the beginning of the conference.

One comment that echoes among my neurons is that of Avaya's Chris Lync: "3D visuals, avatars, and virtual worlds are second nature to millenials (also known as Generation Y)." In fact, ReadWriteWeb site notes that the number of users registered for virtual world sites broke the 1 billion mark during the third quarter of this year 2010, and half of them are under the age of 15. 

Stop and think on that. Talk to your peers, your children, your professors, and anyone else who will mull that over with you and list the possible and real implications for business, society, politics, and any facet of life.

The article continues with ... "the most popular virtual world for persons under 15 is Stardoll (world's largest online fashion and dress up games for girls) with 69 million registered users." There is also a huge list of Fashion Makeover Games at GirlsGoGames and some ... yes, virtual or 3D in nature. 

What do you think of that? Any problems with that? Any brainstorms of how to serve these Millennials who are ages 15-30 and who are so comfortable with virtual worlds and experiencing the world much differently than 2011 business decision-makers?

Research projects, job interviews, and even embassies are created or completed using virtual worlds. Open University has used virtual worlds for researching, teaching and learning. For example, it has two main islands in Second Life, Open University island and OUtopia village, separated by a third area of Open University Ocean." In 2009, it served as fulcrum and foundation of a case study completed by Linden Lab who own Second Life.

So platforms such as Second Life, Avaya web.alive, Habbo (230 million enrolled) BlueMars, Meez, Whyville, and many video games are a commonplace activity for a growing number of people. 

Use of Virtual Worlds can add an attention-getting dimension to public presentations. Throw in an avatar of one's self ... lets the audience feel more surrounded and immersed in a message. This is exactly what Chris Lync did during his 'show and tell' at Avaya's Technology on Tap using web.alive. What people do not realize is that exciting brands can be built and grown within 3D environments with much less competition than in traditional company image-making. The increase in the ease of building "things" in virtual worlds can help even left-brained thinkers. 

These are just  a few advantages offered by immersive worlds, and as more people sign up to use them, more will discover and share even more ways the technology can help them and the organizations they are a part of. 

Want more? Watch a video that provides an introduction of Avaya web.alive.

Listen to an audio podcast interview I completed with Julie Fogg of ActivePort who is an avid proponent and user of virtual worlds.
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