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The Impacts of Web 2.0 and Social Learning

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This session was held in the Expo part of the conference, in an area they called Expo Labs. It only ran 30 minutes but it was very interesting. First up was a gentleman from Element K. He talked about Wikis and how he has used them and is using them in Element K. They installed the open source Wiki code, which I believe is this one, but I might be wrong. They started building their own Wikipedia with everything relating to the company. First thing they did was build a solid FAQ page so the employees could find out how to write pages in the wiki. He recommended having a strong group of consistent contributors and start by importing some kind of content so that it is not empty. It will fail if it starts empty. Start out with some of the basic procedures, guidelines, best practices, etc. He recommended locking 1 or 2 of the main pages to maintain some control over the FAQs and other important pages.

Wikis are organic and grow over time, it’s a living area of knowledge. You can seed content and watch it grow over time. Think of your company’s wiki as a garden. You have ‘gardeners’ to take out the Weeds such as bad information and duplicate content. How many gardeners do you need? Typically, in a group of 400, put 5 or 6 people to overview it and dedicate a small amount of time each week.

You might feel tempted to start locking many pages down – don’t do this! If you lock it, it stops being a Wiki, it starts being a static web page that only some can edit. It will kill the creativity. Tip: use the WYSIWYG feature so everyone can use it. Send many email reminders and thank them for their input. -Only 9% will like to edit, the other 90% will just be read only, and the 1% are your champions and editors. Brag about those who dedicate time to make edits. He has written 96 best practices for Wikis.

The second part of this session had to do with SECOND LIFE. The same presenters from the previous session spoke at this lab. The speaker was from the Gronstedt Group.  IBM has 50 islands and 7,000 employees in virtual worlds in Second Life. In Second Life, you have an Avatar – or your digital self.  IBM’s CEO gave half a presentation in Second Life. Started in real life then switched to the Second Life format. Some companies stay faithful to what he called ‘dreadful’ Webex and Citrux meetings online. There is much more immersive ways to do those meetings in Virtual Worlds. People come to conferences for the informal meetings, the lunches and hanging out at the bars. You dont go to Webinars and Citrux meetings to hang out.

In Second Life, you can have a private or public Voice and Chat conversations. Sun Microsystems Internal Second Life Island. Some will start using Second Life but merely re-create the classroom setting. Why create the same virtual classroom? You have free range, go crazy. Sun’s Halloween party. IBM’s virtual rehearsal studio. Loyalist College Border Role Play.
You can have a demo of dealing with an angry customer. Studies indicate that in 3 years, 80% of computers will be getting involded with a 3d environment.

Their company has free services and meet on Thursdays in Second Life.  Ray Jimenez then concluded showing us TrainingMagNetwork.com.

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Categories: Training Conference
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