I have just returned from the first International Conference on Computer Mediated Social Networking ICCMSN . It was a really interesting conference. I will blog on aspects of the conference in later posts but for this post I want to focus on Virtual Worlds. First of all I want to highlight the press release from IBM about a pilot project between IBM and Linden Labs. I think the value to IBM in doing this is it allows them to experiment with Virtual worlds as another communication channel that will sit next to Video, Voice , IM conferencing. I believe that it will also be used to provide a construct to deliver education and training.
During the ICCMSN Telecom and Otago announced a partnership whereby Telecom would provide the hardware to allow Otago and other New Zealand universities to run anOpenSim server implementation and utilising KAREN for the network infrastructure. This looks like an exciting development and seems to be comparible to the IBM and Linden Labs announcement.
Clearly the ideal situation for New Zealand Universities would be for Linden Labs to allow them to run their own instance of SecondLife. As an obverser it looks as though the battle between SecondLife and OpenSim has truely begun. I don't believe that this is a great division (Corporate Vs Open) as it goes against the ideals of modern IBM.
Here is a video of Australian Open in SecondLife as an example of some of IBM's Second Life initiatives.