Sunday, 29 July 2007

Blogher conference: business & Sl

Conference sessions attended: 2 (good); Exhibitions browsed: 1 (good); Shopping trips between sessions: 2 (good); Things learnt & reflected on: some (good).

Because of RL commitments missed first day of Blogher 07 SL conference, which is shame since that seemed to include the sessions actually about blogging. Oh well. Have found write ups of "Blogging in RL and SL" session elsewhere, so fyi: Phasing Grace blogged some sessions, inc. that one (see and Vint Falken was a speaker at that session & also blogged about it & has also blogged more of the conference at

Wore same outfit as for CILIP opening, except removed cute lacey bow. Then edited Groups and activated Blogher 07 SL delegate group, yay. Thus prepared, teleported in and joined session on journalism in SL, which had just started. Seemed strangely quiet, then realised that had to turn on MUSIC as speakers were in fact speaking rather than typing. Found seat and in duller bits played with camera controls to look closer at the audience from different angles. Spotted some Famous Names of SL Blogging inc. Anya Ixchel ( and able to goggle at her from few inches away in manner considered impolite in RL.

Have decided that will blog this session on the Information Literacy Weblog, since does have IL angle. Will put a link on this blog when have done that. [Added later - here is the link
] Otherwise will just mention that during session was IMed by CILIP Group member LL about whereabouts of CILIP office and dropped landmark in her inventory. Seems bit odd that CILIP Group itself hsn't distributed this yet, but able to feel Useful which is always nice.

Were a few pointed comments IMed when at end of journalism session it was remembered that this was supposed to be conf. about women blogging & panel was asked about barriers to women in SL. Male panel member also responded; perhaps not advisable (lol, as they say). However said male panellist becomes second "blog of note" here since he was 57 Miles, of Metaversed, and specifically of Metaversed's things to do.

After journalism session finished wandered round exhibition then yielded to urge for shopping. Bought new tops and jewellry and went back to office to change into new disco-ready outfit. Was also IMed by IH giving coordinates of her new house. Exciting!

The 2nd Blogher session was about business in SL, namely "Moderated by branding expert Nina Burokas our panel is filled with SL business mavens including Jeanette Gibson, Cisco System’s lead in new media communications and Linda Zimmer from MarCom:Interactive, Jody Devere aka Patty Streeter of, and blogger and SL small business owner Daisy Beauchamp!"

Found it bit confusing that in both sessions moderator seemed to use RL names rather than SL names. Will have to remember this if ever get to moderate session. Also would have been useful if avatar had e.g. stood up when talking, so could see which one it was & provide bit of visial interest. Anyway, this session could be summed up by saying:

1) If useless at business and marketing in RL, then not going to be much good at it in SL either, are you? i.e. basic skills and nous much the same;

2) Some people are finding SL good for their products and brands, and some finding it still bit dodgy, depending on their product/ market/ applications;

3) CISCO evidently place to be as they have 600 employees in SL, virtual meetings etc. Presume goes for similar companies e.g. IBM said similar things at Eduserv conference that was only 2 RL months ago but now seems aons in past as have galloped down slippery slope to SL addiction since then. CISCO woman mentioned: 3-D product demos; SL meetings seeming more "personal" than conference calls; CISCO hiring engineers met in SL; customer participation.

4) Don't try to do everything yourself e.g. if you are a marketing person don't try to do the building too. Have pondered on this one, and although I can see sense in concentrating on what you are good at, and using others' expertise, it seems to me that the look and feel of SL is central to any marketing effort, so you'd need to work really closely with the builders to get it right.

5) "Company is family" can become scarily true in SL e.g. the CISCO exec. was called Jeanette Ciscosystems in SL. Am certainly NOT changing my name to Sheila SheffieldUniversity.

Some quotes (can't remember now who said what): "Associating my brand to SL has given a lift to my brand"; "This is where innovation is happening, it's happening in these spaces where people are collaborating."

Discovered new phrase "power-internet-user woman" (from AskPatty) and must find place to use this in RL e.g. when introducing self to students next semester. Also that there is growing "Avatar makeover" business to "dress for success" which sounds depressingly like fashion police to me.

Znetlady Isbell mentioned a couple of useful sites: her own SL Business Communicators wiki: (there is also the Business communicators in SL blog at and Kzero: Charts of businesses in SL:

Since this session have also reflected that cultural differences in marketing didn't come up, which is odd really. Perhaps all the speakers were American? In some ways even more challenging marketing in SL (although also more opportunities) since people completely mobile and currently v. few clues as to where they are from esp. as mostly relying on typing so don't even get vocal clues. Obviously language that using to type is clue, but poorly spelt English is used by lots of people.

Wish now I'd raised a question about this. In fact this makes me realise one of the advantages of SL conferences (i.e. when attention wanders can sneakily do other things until decide to tune back in) is also a DISadvantage, as it means you aren't FORCED to concentrate on what you are hearing. Perhaps if had been in RL conference, above thought might have germinated while was actually in the session.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great review of the BlogHer sessions in Second Life.

Hope next years SL BlogHer conference will be even more on point !

Jody DeVere
aka Patty Streeter

Sheila Yoshikawa said...

Thank you for dropping by, Jody!

Anonymous said...

Ditto Jody's comments. Also, as a newbie (like me) you may appreciate
IBM’s Tips for Community Moderators:

Sheila Yoshikawa said...

Hi thanks - do you think I was commenting inappropriately then, Nina?? I didn't reveal anyone's Real Life names that weren't revealed clearly in the conference programme, as far as I know, for example.

Anonymous said...

No, absolutely not, Sheila. I'm simply sharing information I thought you might appreciate since you mentioned an interest in moderating. Also acknowledging *my* SL/RL reference errors. Live and learn. :)

The blog of Sheila Yoshikawa on her adventures in Second Life. This may be very thrilling. Or possibly not.