Friday, January 29, 2010

Thanks to Technically Philly for covering LIFE SCIENCES 2010

Wanted to thank the fellas of Technically Philly for covering our LIFE SCIENCES 2010 event! They report on how recent layoffs in the pharmaceutical industry are driving companies to look at virtual worlds as a way to collaborate more cost effectively. Click over for their take.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

FutureWork Institute's Margaret Regan on why 3-D virtual worlds are the future of workforce diversity and inclusion



Many HR departments have striven to foster work/life balance, increase workplace diversity, and develop ways all employees can make productive contributions to the company, also called "inclusion." But reduced staff and slashed budgets are making these goals increasingly challenging to achieve.

FutureWork Institute, however, is taking a new approach to helping companies create flexible, inclusive workplaces. The organization consults to major global companies in the areas of diversity and work/life assignments. And lately, President and CEO Margaret Regan is championing 3-D virtual worlds as the future of diversity, inclusion, learning, and collaboration.

We interviewed her to learn more, and you can listen to the podcast above. Margaret gives us her take on why 3-D is better than 2-D for fostering workplace diversity and inclusion:

"Without a doubt, we have found that there's a different kind of learning that occurs in the 3-D world," she says. "You know you're at your desk or at home, but you actually feel like you are in the virtual world and the learning is more immediate ... learning seems to be retained better."

Margaret also talks about the Virtual Diversity and Inclusion Networking Event she held, which covered the use of ProtoSphere, Unisfair, and Second Life for large-scale meetings and global conferences.

And if you're an early adopter of 3-D virtual worlds and trying to get C-suite buy-in, Margaret has some advice. She shares what she says to people who believe 3-D virtual worlds are just for playing games, and are afraid the technology has a steep learning curve.

Hit play for the scoop.

Thanks to editors of the 3D TLC blog

Just a quick thank you to the editors of the 3D TLC blog for featuring our LIFE SCIENCES 2010 event!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Seven questions with ThinkBalm analyst Erica Driver on latest report

You might have heard that analyst firm ThinkBalm published a new report last week, "The Enterprise Immersive Software Decision-Making Guide." It's a use-case-based guide covering how to select immersive Internet platforms and tools.

ThinkBalm's Erica and Sam Driver also feature many vendors in their report, including ProtonMedia. Erica was kind enough to participate in an e-mail Q&A with us about their report, findings, lessons learned, and what's next for ThinkBalm. Read on below.

Monday, January 25, 2010

LIFE SCIENCES 2010: The podcast

Here's the podcast of the complete Life Sciences 2010 seminar and panel discussion that we held in Malvern, Pa., with Microsoft. You can listen to it online using our embedded player, below, or download it to your mobile device of choice.

As I mentioned in my previous post, which features Life Science 2010's complete video, we have more event content in the pipeline. Keep an eye on the blog to grab the upcoming transcript, slide show, and a high-def video of my ProtoSphere demo.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

LIFE SCIENCES 2010: The video

As promised, we're rolling out video, audio, and other multimedia content spun out of the recent Life Sciences 2010 event held in Malvern, Pa., in partnership with Microsoft.

Our first deliverable is this video, which captures the entire panel discussion. We have a second video in the hopper, which we'll present here in another week or so. Also coming: an audio podcast that you can download and listen to offline, or right here using our embedded player; a slide show; and a complete transcript of the seminar.

Enjoy the show. And stay tuned to our blog for news of upcoming educational events.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

LIFE SCIENCES 2010 event helps poke through the virtual worlds bubble

Koreen Olbrish, CEO of Tandem Learning (a ProtonMedia partner) and a virtual world advocate, made a good point on her blog on Monday. She talks about trying to evangelize virtual worlds outside of our own industry bubble. There's a lot of preaching to the choir, which just creates an echo chamber of VW advocates.

I think this ties in nicely with what we did Tuesday at our LIFE SCIENCES 2010 event. Looking around the room, there were a lot of faces we recognized from being "in the bubble" for several years. But there were many more faces we didn't recognize -- a sure sign we're poking through that bubble of ours.

MedAdNews recaps our LIFE SCIENCES 2010 event

Steven Niles provided a rundown of our LIFE SCIENCES 2010 event on MedAdNews. If you missed the event, Steven gives a good recap of some of the major arguments the panelists presented. Thanks, Steven, for covering it!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

LIFE SCIENCES 2010: That's a wrap!

Our LIFE SCIENCES 2010 event went great yesterday. It was standing room only, and we had a nice mix of attendees join us from many life sciences companies in the area. We've had questions from those of you who couldn't make it, asking if you can get the information that was presented. Rest assured, our blogging team was armed and dangerous with cameras o' plenty at the event. We'll be spinning out video footage, photos, slide decks, and more on the blog. Just give us some time for production, but we hope to have coverage posted over the next week or so. THANK YOU to all the attendees, our panelists, and everyone who helped put the event together!

Monday, January 18, 2010

LIFE SCIENCES 2010 event sold out, relocated to Penn State's School of Graduate Professional Studies

We've had a fantastic response to our Life Sciences 2010 event, and it is now SOLD OUT. Due to the high number of registrations received, we are relocating the event to a larger venue across the street. The event will now be held at Penn State's School of Graduate Professional Studies, located at 30 East Swedesford Road, Malvern, PA 19355. You can find directions here.

Don't worry if you receive this notice late due to today's holiday. We'll have people on site at Microsoft Malvern to direct you to the new location, and ensure you get there easily and on time.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail or call our event manager, Matt McLoughlin, at 610-996-4264.

LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING EVERYONE TOMORROW!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

LIFE SCIENCES 2010 event: Panelists announced, few seats remain

Last week we told you that ThinkBalm analyst Erica Driver will be keynoting and moderating our LIFE SCIENCES 2010: The Global Collaboration Imperative event at Microsoft's Malvern, Pa., campus next Tuesday. Today I bring you the panelists. They are:

E. Melanie W. Kittrell, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Global Customer Strategy and Channels
Knowledge Management and Innovation
Merck and Co., Inc.

Dr. Tony O'Driscoll
Professor of the Practice
Duke University Fuqua School of Business
and author of the new book, "Learning in 3D"

Thomas K. Kaney, MBA, MHA, MS
Change Management Lead
Mandala Partners International
Formerly Sr. VP, Human Resources and Strategic Planning, GlaxoSmithKline

Sam Batterman
Business Intelligence Evangelist
Pharmaceutical/Life Science
Microsoft Corporation
Formerly U.S. Sales Force project leader for CRM/SFA at Merck

I'll also be sitting on the panel.

The event will open with a presentation by Erica, followed by a roundtable discussion with the panelists. Then Dr. O'Driscoll will present. After that, we'll turn the microphone over to you for a live Q&A session. By then everyone will be hungry, and lunch will be served.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, JUST A FEW SEATS REMAIN. So RESERVE YOUR SPOT before someone else swipes it.

I hope to see you there!

"Learning in 3D" blog book tour: 30 blogs in 30 days

As you probably know, we helped Tony O'Driscoll and Karl Kapp kick off their blog book tour on Monday in promotion of their new title, "Learning in 3D," of which yours truly penned the forward. Thirty bloggers in the learning, collaboration, and virtual worlds space are participating in the tour.

On their assigned day, they're blogging about the book, its authors, virtual immersive environments, 3-D, or any other topic related to the book. Tony and Karl are hitting each day's blog to leave a comment or discuss the book, so please stop by and join the conversations! The musings will also spill over into Twitter with the hashtag #lrn3d.

You can follow the tour by clicking over to Tony's blog to see the schedule. You can also join the book's fan group on Facebook.

If you'd like to buy the book, you can pre-order it on Amazon (it will be available Jan. 19) at 20 percent off, or you can order it on the publisher's Web site and use the 20 percent off discount code, L3D1. If you want to get a sense of the book before you buy it, you can read the first chapter. Lastly, if you have a Kindle, you don't have to wait til next week. The Kindle edition is available now.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Our video visit with "Learning in 3D" coauthor Karl Kapp

As promised, we have a very special guest on the blog today, and a special treat for you.

Years before I first met today's guest, I was influenced by his work. Since the earliest days of ProtonMedia, I have been impressed by graduates of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Instructional Technology -- so much so that we have hired several.

And today's guest, Karl Kapp, is a key member of the faculty. Karl’s passion for learning and technology is one of the jewels of the Mid-Atlantic technology scene. I am proud to call him my friend.

A few months ago I was asked (and agreed) to write the forward of an upcoming new book, "Learning in 3D," coauthored by Tony O'Driscoll and Karl Kapp.

Published by Pfeiffer, a division of John Wiley and Sons, it's the first title from a major imprint to help readers understand the impact that 3-D environments, virtual worlds, and immersive spaces can have on education, business, and society.

The book is officially released next Tuesday, Jan. 19. You can order "Learning in 3D" now, or come to our Life Sciences 2010 event at Microsoft's Malvern, Pa., location, and get a signed copy, for free.

However you get it, I think you'll find it a must-read and must-share with colleagues who are interested in finding ways to improve training, collaboration, knowledge transfer, and organizational efficiency.

To celebrate the book's publishing, our blogging team interviewed Karl at his office on the Bloomsburg University campus, Bloomsburg, Pa. Kwan Morrow took the point, while Katelyn Winslow pointed the camera.

Here's the result, in high definition. Contact us if you would like a copy on DVD.


By the way, if you enjoy our interview with Karl, you might also find my video interview with Karl's coauthor, Tony O'Driscoll, informative.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Special guest on immersive environments to join us on the blog Monday

Just an FYI that we'll have a special guest featured on the blog on Monday. I'll tell you this much: He's one of the deepest thinkers in the immersive Internet space. And I'll give you another hint: We've designed his appearance so you can enjoy it during your lunch break.

Alright, one more hint! When you're done meeting our guest, you will go away with some great ideas for how you can make 3-D immersive environments far more effective as educational platforms.

Til Monday!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

ThinkBalm analyst Erica Driver to moderate LIFE SCIENCES 2010: The Global Collaboration Imperative

We promised to keep you in the loop about the panelists and special guests who'll be featured at our LIFE SCIENCES 2010: The Global Collaboration Imperative event with Microsoft on Jan. 19. Here's our first big surprise. Our panel moderator will be Erica Driver, Principal of ThinkBalm. Recently rated one of the top 100 analysts by Technobabble, Erica is one of America's most sought-after speakers on the immersive Internet.

Erica has been in the IT sector for 15 years. She's a former principal analyst from Forrester Research, where she launched the company’s Web3D coverage as part of her enterprise collaboration research. Before joining Forrester, she was a Director at Giga Information Group (now part of Forrester) and an analyst at Hurwitz Group (now Hurwitz and Associates). She began her career in IT as a system administrator and Lotus Notes developer.

Our top 10 posts of 2009

Cisco's Tandberg deal, rumors of an industry shake-out, pharmaceutical companies showing how it's done in 3-D. We've covered many important stories for our industry and company on the blog, and I thought we'd look back on the ones that you cared about the most. Here are our 10 most popular posts of 2009:

10. Why 3-D? Interactivity can't be had in 2-D -- and neither can its improved learning and collaboration

9. Ron Burns demos ProtoSphere's SharePoint integration during 3D TLC address

8. PDF case study of top pharma company's experience using virtual worlds

7. ProtoSphere now integrated with Microsoft SharePoint

6. Cisco's Tandberg deal: Big ambitions, big challenges for telepresence

5. Avatars vs. video and what IBM's Chuck Hamilton thinks of ProtoSphere's SharePoint integration

4. "Learning in 3D" a must-read for those in learning and collaboration technology

3. If Forterra Systems and Metaplace have sparked a virtual world industry shake-out, the question is, Who's next?

2. Global 500 pharmaceutical company boosts retention of MBA candidates with 3-D social network powered by ProtoSphere

1. Top five global pharmaceutical company conducts industry's first virtual poster session in ProtoSphere

Monday, January 4, 2010

Why 3-D? Replicate real-world learning environments, unbound by distance and place

Karl Kapp, author of the forthcoming book "Learning in 3D", and a good friend of mine, penned a blog post that I thought hit the nail on the head when it comes to answering the question of Why 3-D? He says that 3-D immersive environments can accurately replicate real-world learning spaces, without being constrained by real-world bounds of distance and place.

"The real power of a virtual immersive environment is the ability to transport the learner or collaborators into an environment that is ideally suited for the learning or collaborating that needs to take place and this usually requires an altering of the spaces," he writes.

Barriers to using virtual worlds for learning

Merrilea Mayo, Ph.D., Director of Future of Learning Initiatives for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, recently wrote an article that outlines some of the opportunities for using virtual worlds for learning. She presented some good observations on why the gaming-learning merge isn't quite here yet, and I thought I'd share the link with you all.
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