Virtual Happenings

Lebanese business and tourism

Some interesting things happening lately in the realm of virtual stuff, be it worlds or otherwise. One article which particularly caught my eye was the Bab-ilu portal, which is designed to help foster international business and tourist interest in Lebanon. (I did some brief mission work in Lebanon in 1999, while they were at war with Israel. One thing which struck me wonderfully was the kindness and generosity of many people; despite being in a warzone, and despite the fact that we were outsiders from another religion, they treated us with utmost respect. Parts of it were also absolutely beautiful… if I can find and scan some of my old photos, I’ll post them.)

Virtual conferencing

In other news, a company called Altadyn has released “Online Meeting”, which is designed to support business meetings, based on their 3DXplorer platform, encouraging more participation than you typically get in video-based tele-conferencing. It’s good to see some competition opening up in this area, since Second Life seems to have been the virtual platform of choice for many business happenings of this nature, seeing lots of support from IBM in particular. I have nothing against SL being used for that purpose, but competition is healthy for the market and it’s healthy for innovation.

Music world

Similarly, there is talk of a music-centred virtual world, designed with “live” online concerts in mind. Once again, Second Life has been used for this quite a lot, but having something developed which is dedicated to the particular feature is great. (My experience of “live” music in SL is rather less-than-wonderful, usually due to technology issues.)

Ignorance ain’t bliss!

Let’s balance all the hope of good things with a shot of negativity. Teresa Hunter, writing for Scotland on Sunday, took a hefty, and downright ignorant swipe at Second Life, calling it a “virtual world for sad losers”. I am glad to say my good friend Gia dutifully reprimanded the shocking excuse for an article! (Woo! Go Gia…)

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