FIR Interview: Forrester Principal Analyst Erica Driver on Virtual Worlds - January 16, 2008

Posted on January 16, 2008 11:12 am by | For Immediate Release | Second Life

Virtual worlds such as Second Life are often dismissed as venues for business, but a recent study by Forrester—“Getting Real Work Done in Virtual Worlds”—paints a different picture. Instead of focusing on the marketing efforts that have occupied most media coverage of virtual worlds, the report delves into the role these three-dimensional environments can play in workplace collaboration, simulations, and other day-to-day business activities that generally require face-to-face engagement. Principal Analyst Erica Driver, the lead author of the study, joined Shel Holtz for a 30-minute discussion about the report’s findings.

About our Conversation Partner

Erica DriverErica Driver (formerly Rugullies) primarily contributes to Forrester’s offerings for the Information and Knowledge Management professional. She is a leading expert on enterprise collaboration strategies and platforms and Information Workplace strategies and platforms. In the past, Erica has covered information rights management, message archiving, product information management, idea management, product life-cycle management, commerce servers, eProcurement, business-to-business (B2B) marketplaces, and electronic bill presentment and payment.

Erica came to Forrester through its acquisition of Giga Information Group. She covered a wide range of trends and technologies in her more than six years with Giga. Prior to joining Giga, Erica was a research analyst at Hurwitz Group, where she covered electronic commerce and information security. She has experience with Lotus Notes/Domino application development and administration, network administration, and project management. She has also served on the board of trustees of the Massachusetts Electronic Commerce Association.

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  • 1.Virtual World technology is rapidly evolving as more "early adaptors" become involved. The key word here is "involved". One must be involved in a virtual world, there is no watching, or passiveness there and this extends to what people are doing there. This is a giant laboratory unlike ever seen before.

    Today Second Life includes more than 300 educational institutions, from Stanford and Princeton to the Community College of the Finger Lakes with academics all experimenting, breaking new ground. There are well over 200 Corporations, all trying new things, from marketing to meetings to finding new ways to present information "real time".

    Governments, major agencies and institutions are active as well. Ten of thousands of artists, and creative people are all experimenting, building or creating each day. All interacting in one fashion or another. This is different from anything on the 2D passive web, with facebook and social networks being static in comparison to what is now happening in this new medium.

    Technology is accelerating rapidly in all areas converging upon this space. As Erica said within 5 years Virtual Worlds will be as the Web is today, as Email is today. Listen to that, this is the biggest change in how we communicate, work, socialize and play since the birth of telecommunications. It just will evolve in a few years less time.

    Look at one small example of a simple thing here "Head Tracking & Virtual Reality Display" at, this is only one of a thousand things happening.

    JeanRicard broek | January 2008 | Rochester, NY

  •, Qwaq is based on the open source Croquet virtual world platform which, among other things, uses a peer-to-peer system. The SDK is a free download, but it's *not* like the other offerings in that it's not an out-of-the-box virtual world.

    re: "virtual 3D storefronts", that would likely be Kinset. Blink3D is another one (which I like better, tbh).

    Thanks for posting the podcast. I didn't really learn anything, but it's great that this stuff is getting out there.

    csven | January 2008 | U.S.

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