Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Synchronicity in The Blast Machine

Having read in the Mindblizzard blog that the BNP Paribas island in Second Life was not yet fully open I thought I would take a look on the map, to see what else in the area might be of interest - and my eyes alighted on The Blast Machine. Since the name could mean just about anything in the context of Second Life I thought I should drop in for a look.

It turns out that The Blast Machine in question is an initiative by l'Atelier, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, that sports the strapline: "the high tech studio for a changing world." For 25 years they "have been identifying, breaking down, analyzing and delivering critical information about emerging technologies from around the globe." Founded in France in 1978, they have had offices in the USA since 2005. They deliver technology news through a wide range of channels, including: podcasts; streamed video; webinars and live events.

Now... every couple of weeks I seem to experience an odd moment of synchronicity, where a number of apparently random and disparate threads come together in one place. This short trip proved to be one of these occasions...

I gather that The Blast Machine is an Ideas Workshop, and is housed in a prefab office bought from Scope Cleaver. Regular readers will be aware that I covered Scope's new sim in my last past and, even more spookily, I came to The Blast Machine from another island where I had been looking at the latest of his bespoke builds (which is the subject of another blog entry, currently in gestation).

The l'Atelier build - which I believe has been inworld since January, 2007 - is simple and straightforward, relying on the use of pre-built houses and furniture, As well as Scope's prefab office and furniture they also employ the same (freebie) beach-house that I have in New Alville (a rather less spooky coincidence). At the moment, the build is generally unremarkable in itself, although a closed portion of the island had been used in connection with the recent French presidential elections. Aside from a link to their (French) website at their landing zone, there is no real interactivity.
In other sites, this might attract a fair amount of criticism from me, but I do not believe the purpose of this site is to attract casual SL visitors (like me). Rather it seems to be there primarily to provide a location for teams to work on ideas. If this is a correct assertion, then it is faintly surprising to find that it is open to the general public. But then, it is divided in such a way that it would be easy to close off the workshop area, while leaving the public landing site (and information) available.

And now to my final piece of synchronicity. While I was pottering about, seeing what's what - a task of only a few minutes, given the straigthforward content - I was joined by another visitor. It transpired that she, and 2 further colleagues, worked for Capgemini France who, as I mentioned recently, are carrying out a first round of interviews in Second Life this week. This may seem a bit "so what?" to you - but I draw your attention to the question I posed in the earlier blog. :-)

They were there to locate and review materials for the recruitment fair, prepared by L'Atelier - but were a bit hampered by a lack of experience in SL (learning to fly is not that easy!) and could not find it. Being the chivalrous chap that I am, I cruised the island and within a couple of minutes had located their lost items. [ They didn't offer me a job though ]
All in all, an unusual sequence of events, methinks.

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