I am glad I managed to spend some time with Justin Bovington at The Virtual Worlds Forum. Justin is a regular speaker, and I missed him when I covered the ad:tech
event in London a couple of weeks ago.
His company, rivers run red, is one of the most experience companies in virtual worlds. It was the world's first creative agency to establish a working presence within a virtual world. They help companies like ING, Vodafone, Intel or Coca Cola to build compelling and entertaining virtual worlds to their customers.
Interview with Justin Bovington
Justin is passionate about social / digital media, web 2.0 and virtual worlds. Justin believes that virtual worlds are for the internet what television was for the radio. He created his company to help the leading global companies extend brand experiences into virtual worlds.
Nowadays, thanks to broadband we have access to deeper, richer, experiences on our desktop. Justin explains why your company should be on a virtual world, and probably on Second Life, the best metaverse out there according to him... and IBM.
Virtual worlds: part of the communciation mix
Virtual worlds are becoming part of a global communication mix. They are not everything themsleves, they are very powerful when used in combination with the total mix of communication that you have. You bring your community into theses spaces, and you reward them: you give them more and richer experiences.
Virtual worlds: test new product ideas
Virtual worlds enable you to test new product ideas and new environments (like Deutsche Bank and its Q110 initiative - a innovative branch in Berlin and its equivalent in Second Life): you get real time analysis from several hundreds of members, you can study their behaviour patterns, and usually they react differently online.
Virtual worlds: behind the firewall
Virtual worlds are extremely useful "Behind the Firewall" too: it enables people to work differently. They don't need to travel that much, which translates to hard cost benefits. As a consequence, it increase s productivity. Contrary to conference calls or webex, people are more focused during the meeting. They can also prepare their meeting and continue the point they want to make online afterwards.
User generated content: an opportunity more than a threat
Companies have a tendency to be more reactive than proactive. Social media and virtual worlds enable companies to develop collaborative spaces very cost effectively.
Justin and I share the same vision on web 2.0 & User Generated Content (UGC): even though it is potentially a threat, it should be seen more as an opportunity. You just have to seek guidance, implement the right moderation process, and dedicate some resources to engage with your members.