As I noted a few weeks back, my old colleagues at Gronstedt Group are hosting a weekly “fika” at their “Train for Success” site in Second Life. These get-togethers are a good chance for corporate training people to compare notes, explore, ask questions, and generally socialize themselves to the booming 2L multiverse, which is evolving into a pretty serious business environment.
One of the issues holding 2L back, I felt, was the lack of voice integration. As much as I like the concept, I simply don’t want to try to conduct a Webinar or virtual meeting using chat and IM. Even if I’m a great typist, communicating with the keyboard is simply not the kind of seamless experience I need when I’m engaged in real business.
Now, though, 2L may have turned the corner. They recently released Second Life Voice First Look, the beta of their new Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol application, and this past week was the first time GG had conducted a fika using the new integrated voice environment.
Since it was beta, I expected all kinds of bugginess. Instead, it was amazing. The voice clarity was great, the proximity function worked intuitively (the closer you are to an avatar that’s speaking, the better you can hear – just like in real life) and the interface was easy to get the hang of. The only real issue was user unfamiliarity – a couple folks couldn’t figure out how to turn off their mics, and we’ll chalk that up to human error.
If this is what the beta looks like, I can’t wait until they get it perfected. We have now moved from promising novelty to exciting new channel almost overnight.
If you’d like to check things out, the fika is every Thursday at noon EDT. Click the link above to download the application, and if you don’t already have an account make some time to play with your avatar – that can be the most fun of the whole process. When you’re ready to pop in, click ctrl-F and search for “Gronstedt,” then click to teleport.
I think Anders Gronstedt is away this week, and he’s asked me to talk about 2L a bit. Forgive me, but I have to go figure out what I’m going to say….