Tweetup Turns into Virtual World Salon

I've never thought I fit neatly into any particular one of Malcom Gladwell's Tipping Point categories, but it was great fun the play the part of connector recently when we hosted a virtual kaffeeklatsch at the coffee shop on Dell's main island in Second Life.

 It started with a simple, public tweet — an open call to see if anyone was interested in a casual get-together to chat about virtual worlds. I'd been doing a bit of the typical end-of-year reflection on the industry and thought it would be great to hear what some others were thinking, as well. Initial response to the tweet was good, and a virtual tweetup was born.


I'd prepared a few conversation starters, but there was no need to stimulate discussion with the group that assembled:

The day before our salon assembled, had announced its intent to enforce a couple of patents related to virtual world systems, so that was top-of-mind for many. Someone had already skimmed through the patents themselves and noted that while one was very specific the other seemed rather broad. Which led to an expression of concern it might hold back the development of the immersive Internet. And someone pointed out the curious timing of the announcement on the same day Sony announced Home for Playstation 3. This will certainly be an interesting one to watch in the coming year.

Another topic of much discussion was 3D printing. Some questioned the quality of it, while epredator encouraged a long-term view and noted that today:

[7:36]  epredator Potato: could I fix a cog on a water pump ?
[7:36]  epredator Potato: yes
[7:36]  epredator Potato: could I make a faberge egg no 🙂

When it was noted that the technology would allow you to print 3D models in a variety of materials ranging from paper to plastic or ceramic and even sugar, someone noted that there is already a chef who prints edible food! Imagine the possibilities of a machine creating from raw materials with a virtual world delivery mechanism across the entire planet. Could 3D printing be the key to the rise of the prosumer (a new word for me)?

Indeed, I learned more than just one new word at this meeting of great minds. Other interesting topics that came up included the Japanese researcher who successfully displayed image on a screen from a brain sensor, Nortel's possible bankruptcy and impact that might have on their Web.Alive product, a good-looking GSLIS Continuing Education class on virtual worlds offered by Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science starting January 5, 2009.

I look forward to having more of these "coffee talks" in the coming year. It's something that wouldn't really be possible without virtual world technology – the ability for all of these people to come together in one place from all across the globe at little more than a moments notice. And, I still believe that therein lies one of the greatest opportunities for virtual worlds.

About the Author: Laura Pevehouse

Laura Pevehouse was profiled as one of five “social media mavens” in the March 2009 issue of Austin Woman Magazine and named an AdWeek’s TweetFreak Five to Follow. She has been part of the Dell organization for more than 15 years in various corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and online communication roles. From 2014-2018, Laura was Chief Blogger/Editor-in-Chief for Direct2DellEMC and Direct2Dell, Dell’s official corporate blog that she help launch in 2007. She is now a member of the Dell Technologies Chairman Communications team. Earlier in her Dell career she focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations as part of the Global Communications team. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team. When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in the virtual world Second Life. Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.