More customers are demanding interactions through digital channels

93% of Americans believe a company should have a presence in social media, while 85% believe a company should not only be present, but should also interact with its consumers via social media.

via The Future of Artificial Intelligence: AI 105 Revolutions in interactions is growing fast

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Social Research Foundation Survey Shows Increase in Professional Use for Second Life

There’s an increase in interest for professional use. That includes networking, researching, and running a Second Life business as well as conducting real-life business.

via Virtual Worlds News: Social Research Foundation Survey Shows Increase in Professional Use for Second Life >>

Full study on Metanomics.net by Robert Bloomfield: Professionals see their future in Second Life

Hangout.net – another room-based 3D virtual world

This is another room-based virtual world (working on both Mac and Windows!) , comparable with 3BRooms, Vivaty and JustLeapIn, seemingly addressing the teen crowd (their motto is „get a room“…) like Google’s Lively does. Facebook App included. The music in the video on their homepage is a little annoying after a few seconds but it looks like they have better web and media integration than Lively (which is not hard, I admit). It is still in closed beta and I hope I can get an invite soon to be able to test it. It’s been a Techcrunch50 winner and the official Metaverse evangelists of IBM Hursley have been playing around with it, too, so it could be a promising approach.

hangout.net room

Investor’s Business Daily: A Whole New Dimension (for online 3D virtual worlds)

Employee training and collaboration could well become the „killer apps“ for the 3-D Web, says Colin Parris, IBM’s vice president of digital convergence. These online meetings do away with the huge cost and hassle of traveling to distant in-person meetings, he says.

Studies show that workers retain just 5% of what they’re taught in classrooms. That figure jumps to 50% for group discussions and 70% to 90% for simulation-based training, a natural fit for the 3-D Web.

Investor’s Business Daily: A Whole New Dimension In Shopping.

Growth is real in virtual worlds [chicagotribune.com]

Virtual worlds have become the latest shiny object on the Internet, attracting more than $345 million in venture financing in the first six months of this year, according to Virtual Worlds Management, a firm that researches the industry. (…) Each boasts millions of users who buy virtual items, look at advertising or pay for premium subscriptions.

Growth is real in virtual worlds — chicagotribune.com >>

The reigning kings of virtual worlds for kids and teens include Gaia (15 m), Habbo (100 m) and Walt Disney Co.’s Club Penguin (19 million users)

K Zero collects data for all virtual worlds above 1 million registered users for all age segments in it’s own Universe graph

Virtual Worlds at a glance: The updated Universe graph for Q3 2008 from Kzero

Nic Mitham from K Zero, the UK based virtual worlds agency, updated their Universe graph showing total registered accounts for the virtual worlds sector. There’s four graphics now, each one showing segments for different age ranges (between 8 and 25+ years). New data included relates to Q3 2008. Nice that somebody out there does such an incredible job collecting and visualizing all that data for the rest of us to glance at – thanks, Nic!

Universe graph: Virtual Worlds showing total registered accounts over the years for the age range 15 to 25

See all of them here: The updated Universe graph for Q3 2008 : Kzero >>