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Dan Power

Greetings to all of my friends who work in the area of computerized decision support. This blog is a way for me to share stories from my encounters related to decision support, to comment on industry events, and to comment on other blogger's comments, especially those of my friends on the Business Intelligence Network. I'll try to state my opinions clearly and provide an old professor's perspective on how computers and information technology are changing the world. Decision making has always been my focus, and it will be in this blog as well. Your comments, feedback and questions are welcomed.

About the author >

Daniel J. "Dan" Power is a Professor of Information Systems and Management at the College of Business Administration at the University of Northern Iowa and the editor of DSSResources.com, the Web-based knowledge repository about computerized systems that support decision making; the editor of PlanningSkills.com; and the editor of DSS News, a bi-weekly e-newsletter. Dr. Power's research interests include the design and development of decision support systems and how these systems impact individual and organizational decision behavior.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Dan's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

There is much angst and trepidation about moving real life business activities into virtual worlds like Linden Labs' Second Life. Why? The unknown, mixed press stories, large start up time to learn the "ropes", griefing/harrassing behavior, work place distractions, Internet addictions and pornography including virtual sex. Despite these very real concerns, virtual worlds and the 3D Internet are here to stay and will become more pervasive. So what should adventurous people in the business intelligence/decision support community do? How can you get on top of the 3D wave? I think a good starting point is attending the upcoming vBusiness Expo, April 24-27 in Second Life. Virtual Business opportunities including decision support are numerous. Our imaginations, our personal discipline and our intellectual capabilities are the only barriers.

What is the vBusiness Expo? The conference aims to cover 4 key areas: 1) Virtual Workplace, 2) Virtual Education, 3) Virtual Marketing, and 4) Virtual Commerce. Check http://cleverzebra.com/vbusiness/expo .

vBusiness Expo Day 1: The Virtual Workplace. "Virtual worlds are being used as a collaborative environment, as well as a distance management tool and for employee education. The virtual workplace discussions, panels, interviews and lectures will focus on sharing ideas, and broadening knowledge of how virtual environments can be used by companies as collaborative work spaces and viable alternatives to carbon heavy travel."

vBusiness Expo Day 2: Virtual Marketing. "In many ways marketers are still feeling their way in virtual worlds. We’re only just getting started, and there’s a long road ahead."

vBusiness Expo Day 3: Virtual Commerce. "The promise that virtual worlds hold for commerce is exciting and full of possibilities. Day three of the vBusiness Expo will look at how companies are using virtual worlds to sell real goods and services. We’ll discuss the technicalities of setting up shop in a virtual world, study how others are experimenting in the space and debate the future impact virtual worlds will have on retail."

vBusiness Expo Day 4: Virtual Education. "There are already over 150 universities represented in Second Life and like the virtual workplace, education is an area where we can already see clear and measurable benefits for organizations."

The sponsor of vBusiness Expo is Clever Zebra. Clever Zebra is a virtual company. According to the Web site, "We live and work in virtual worlds, and in fact have never met in the physical world. We operate from the US, Canada and Denmark. Our 'office' is a connection to the 3D web. The company was founded on the principle of promoting virtual worlds as a platform for business. Our ongoing goal is to make it easy and inexpensive for companies to work in virtual environments. We do this by providing the buildings, code and tools needed by organizations for free, and adding value through optional paid services." The movers and shakers of Clever Zebra are Caleb Booker, Jenn Lortz, Josh Eikenberry and Nick Wilson. In Second Life known respectively as Onder Skall, Jenn Hienrichs, Lordfly Digeridoo and 57 Miles.

I am attending the vBusiness Expo and I am presenting a session on "What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Second Life for decision support?" Hope to see all of my decision support friends in Second Life. If you need help, email me power@dssresources.com . If you can't make the Expo, visit me in Virtual Iowa (IowaMetaverse.com) or at Decision Support World Headquarters (DecisionSupportWorld.com).

Posted March 22, 2008 12:46 PM
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