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  VWC NY Postmortem  
 
 
Posted 2008-04-05 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Nothing to do at the airport right now except wait for the bar to open and blog, so here goes: I'm on my way back home from the 2008 Virtual Worlds Conference held in Manhattan. Overall, I think it was a worthwhile trip--next year will be more so once Phantom Compass is able to talk about and demo some of its projects.

High Points
  • Meeting the people behind the avatars. Some extremely friendly and fun gatherings.
  • 1,200 attendees compared to 400 last year. Impressive.
  • Huge, mainstream business interest in virtual worlds, social spaces, casual games this year. It seemed like there were lots of potential clients in the crowd for those working in VWs and related industries.
  • Major interest in VWs for kids from numerous parties.
Low Points
  • Sponsored panels resulted in a lack of diverse and interesting viewpoints. I didn't pay $600 watch an infomercial.
  • Weak moderation in most panels--to quote Star Wars, "Stay on target... stay on target..."
  • Weak speakers in more panels than I would have liked--unfocused, self-promotional, dull. Boooo.
  • Same speakers on multiple panels (in a few cases). There's no good reason for this.
  • Beginner-level subject-matter in most panels. Nothing for pros to do here except network.
  • Most players in the kiddie-world space aren't doing anything interesting. Everyone's building consumer-driven, status-based spaces--buy your way up the social ladder.
Despite the low points, it's likely I'll go again next year. Definitely to the meetups if not the conference itself. I'll be interested to see how VWC evolves--will attendance continue to grow? For the next year or two, almost definitely. Beyond that, who knows. This internet thing is just a crazy fad.
 
     
 
   
 
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  3 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by Benjamin Duranske
April 7, 2008 @ 7:18 pm
     
 
Damn. It is big enough now that I didn't even know you were there and you're one meetup I'd have like to have made. For me, I missed 90% of it b/c I was moderating panels on the law track (which, for the record, we moderated the hell out of -- either me or another lawyer, Sean Kane, were there making a real effort to keep the speakers on track and non-pitchy for all of the panels). Did you see any of the law panels? I think we avoided a lot of the problems you identify and actually hit some "higher level content" too, but I have no idea what happened at the rest of it as I was pretty heavily involved there. Anyway, see you at the next one, if not before.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
April 8, 2008 @ 3:52 pm
     
 
Hey, sorry I missed you at the conference, I completely missed the entire Law track. Sounds like yours was the most organized and productive. Will make sure we meet at the next conference :)
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Benjamin Duranske
April 8, 2008 @ 4:57 pm
     
 
I wish I'd seen more of it. I know that the organizers are actively soliciting feedback like this, and based on what I know of them after working with them on this, am sure that they will take it into account. I get the feeling that they really do want to run a solid conference series for the long haul here. Catch you at the next one.
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
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