Tuesday, 16 September 2008

A Shell of its Former Self

I'm sure you can think of better puns than that lame title, through which I am alluding to the fact that Shell, the global oil company, may no longer have a place in Second Life.

What's that? You didn't even know they'd had a place to begin with? Well in truth neither did I. But a couple of days ago a chum passed me a link to here, a page in the Innovation area of Shell's website. This page tells us that GameChanger, an innovation incubator within Shell, had been developing a learning and collaboration area in Second Life. In fact, not only that - it had even won first prize in 2008's TEC Intraverse awards, in June. The website mentions 2 sim by name: "Learning Island, designed for virtual meetings and learning; and Ideation island, a project management space."

Shell's press release gives more background of their work, introducing us to Unfrozenmind, a "strategic innovation think tank", with whom they put together this presence. It quotes Phil Rosedale as saying: " ...Shell and Unfrozenmind have developed a wonderful example of how the businesses of the future will use 3D environments such as Second Life to drive collaboration."

Now all of that sounds simply peachy.... there's just one fly in the ointment. When I came to look for these islands today, they had effectively disappeared. Certainly, Ideation no longer appears on the Second Life map - while Learning is now part of the New Media Consortium cluster, and appears to bear no relation to Shell whatsoever.

It is only 3 months ago that there was all this hullabaloo, with lots of fancy words and mutual back-slapping and starry-eyed admiration. And now... there's not even somewhere for the virtual tumbleweed to blow through. Anyone care to explain what's going on? My most generous guess is that Shell have now taken all of this into OpenSim, behind their firewalls. What do you think?

1 comment:

Komuso Tokugawa said...

Sounds like just another game of PR Buzzword Bingo...par for the course;-)