February 27th, 2008 by Benjamin Duranske
The Association of Virtual Worlds, a new social network / virtual world project, has announced plans to create a virtual world with a focus on business and professional use.
The companion social networking site (sign-up available here) has only been active for about a week, but already has about 200 members, and is growing quickly.
AVW’s Executive Director is Dave Elchoness, an employment attorney who started VRWorkplace. The organization’s founder, Edita Kaye, has written a book on virtual worlds and runs iVinnie.com, a virtual world news site.
From the press release, currently available at the AVW home page:
‘The brand new Association of Virtual Worlds has as its mission to provide a leadership environment for companies and individuals passionate about the future of virtual worlds and as such it makes perfect sense to be the first such association to offer its members an exciting virtual world of their own,’ says founder Edita Kaye.
Dave Elchoness, Executive Director, explains ‘providing a virtual world environment is the next step—beyond Web 2.0 with its signature social networks—into Web 3-D. Why create a virtual world for members? To provide a real-time environment for meetings, conferences, collaboration, and social interaction and engagement with less cost, disruption, and environmental impact than physical travel. It doesn’t matter if you want to meet someone from around the world or the office next door, the Association of Virtual Worlds will help make it happen in a setting that feels ‘in-person’.’
The Association has a lot of work to do, but appears to be rightly focused on making its virtual world genuinely accessible. It will be interesting to see where this goes; I’ve long felt that hyperspecialization is the future of the grid. Overused as the meme may be, virtual worlds really are better seen as the 3D web than an outgrowth of the gaming community, and in that light, this business-oriented “site” makes sense.
In the meantime, the discussions at the AVW social networking site are better than average, and it looks like a community that attorneys who are focusing on virtual worlds may want to join.
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