Links to Remember

I don’t normally do this but I’ve found a bunch of cool links to share and remember so here goes. Keep in mind I haven’t had the opportunity to check all of these out yet. If you’ve got thoughts or a review, feel free to share. What I love about all these places it the social bookmarking, tagging and sharing.

http://www.bubbl.us/Brainstorming made simple
http://www.grandcentral.com/A number tied to you, not to a phone or location and more.
http://www.librarything.com/ Great location to keep track of books you’ve read, share with others and get peoples suggestions on books
http://www.rememberthemilk.com/Task manager
http://www.shelfari.com/Post books that are on your shelf. Share, explore, chat.
http://www.sixdegrees.org/Create a badge for your site to encourage others to donate to a cause important to you.
http://upcoming.org/Social events calendar
http://www.yelp.com/Restaurant reviews and more, sort of like citysearch

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Great Web 2.0 Summary

I found this the other day, don’t remember which blog, sorry, but I really like the sumary.

Second Life and Training

I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts lately and it seems like one of the “big deals” right now in training is the use of Second Life to host training seminars, forums and the like. A lot businesses have established a presence there, such as IBM, Adidas, Reuters, and Toyota. I honestly don’t know what to think about that.

I do see some value in Second Life such as:

  1. Immersion– Imagine not just talking about a place in the world but “placing” yourself in that location as environments can be built and changed at will. It’s like being there with out BEING THERE.
  2. Simulations – Several groups have created simulations where people can practice a skill before performing it in real life. HeartMurmur Sim is such an example.
  3. Prototyping – Having the place to prototype and idea without spending the actual cash to build your prototype is a great way to avoid some costs.
  4. VisualizationNOAA weathermaps is a great example of visualization and transferring information in a visual format.

I for one am not sure about Second Life. I once downloaded the program to try and find out what Second Life was all about. I found it difficult to know what to do, where to go or how to find things. I wasn’t very impressed with the usability of it all. I can’t help thinking about what the costs and benefits would/could be by using Second Life.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m novice when it comes to Second Life but I do wonder what’s the benefit of “meeting” in Second Life? Is there something you as either a presenter/instructor or student get that you can’t get from a net session using something like Webcast? I wonder if the costs out weigh the benefits.

Another concern I have about SecondLife is the immersion factor. WHile I think it’s great to have the ability to immerse ones self into an environment, make connections, etc, I do see a caution there. I can’t help thinking about the people I know that are OBSESSED with SecondLife and live in that environment so much that when talking to them it’s hard to know if they’re talking about the real world or SecondLife. This leads me to this thought; “What’s the consequences of SecondLife?” With every technological improvement comes a cost, what’s the cost here with SecondLife besides money and is it worth it? Does SecondLife give the training arena something they can’t get somewhere else?

I know I don’t know it all. I’m more that willing to hear other thoughts and insights as I’m not sure what I think about SecondLife for training purposes.
Links:
Second Life II: The Value by Ton Zijlstra
Collaborative Building in Second Life by Unknown
IBM’s virtual pioneer by Stephen Shankland
Cisco Enters SecondLife by Unknown

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Where have I been?

For those of you that don’t know, I was laid off from my previous employer (Intel) back in October. I sort of thought it was going to be coming because my old group was very political and because I was one of “those people” that bucked the system and dared to ask upper management questions, I wasn’t really liked. That in addition to some other political things lead to my lay off. At first being laid off was really hard because I knew it was good for me but at the same time freaked me out too. I didn’t understand why, from a performance perspective, why I was laid off when I’d had over 3 divisional recognition awards and my customers felt i delivered results. I think at first I was just numb and wasn’t sure what to do with myself since I had gone from working a 40 hour week to nothing. Let me tell you though, it was nice. It was great to have both Thanksgiving and Christmas off to really enjoy the holidays, my friends and family. That was a real treat.

I kept looking at my RSS feeds and hoping that some day I’d feel the desire and need to read and immerse myself back into the blogisphere and be a “contributing member of society”. Just about every day I’d open my computer and look at the long list of posts to read and just felt overwhelmed and I think a part of me just wanted to curl up and hide from everyone and lick my wounds. It was a feeling I’ve not had before, I mean, I’ve NEVER been let go from a job and that was a hard pill to swallow.

Well, things have changed. I have a full time job now that I’m really excited about. I’ll be using my wonderful ISD skills in the travel industry developing online courses for the company that has hired me. I’m pretty excited and it’s with that excitement that i write this post. I’m back.. i mean…

I’M BACK!!!!
I’m so excited to read up on the posts that I’ve read, well I may not read all the ones I’ve missed but I hope to catch up and start posting to others blogs. I’m interested to see what I’ve missed and jump back into sharing my thoughts, learning from others and bring that knowledge to my new job and company.

This was a long and hard process but I’m really glad I went through it. Getting laid off was the best thing I ever needed. It was a great kick in the you know what to get me out there and realize that I bring value. May you all feel the same.