Monday, October 12, 2009

Additional Sessions for Virtual Worlds Roadmap Servey on Oct. 15 and Oct. 16, 2009

There will be two more sessions for the results of Virtual World Roadmap Servey as follow:

1) Thursday, October 15th, 13:00 PDT
- at Smarter Technology (hosted by John Jainschigg/sponsored by IBM):

2) Friday, October 16th, 12:00 PDT
- at Second Commerce Businesspark (hosted by Michael Schumann): (event announcement link)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009: Virtual World Roadmap Survey, Robert Cohen and Michael Gialis

Please join Virtual World Roadmap discussion on "Train for Success":

- When: Thursdays, October 8, 9.00-10.00 SLT (noon-1.00 PM EDT/18.00-19.00 Europe Continental)

- Where:

Robert Cohen, Cohen Communications Group and Michael Gialis, Sun Microsystems, will present the findings of a the Virtual World Roadmap group's survey, which examines business intentions about virtual world deployment and the current thinking for virtual world industry requirements.

2009 VW Roadmap Survey Results Available

The anonymized csv output from VW Roadmap Survey (Sep. '09) and the pdf preso offered at the FountainBlue event (Sep. 25, '09) are now available on our wikispaces at:

Additional slides will be added soon.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Virtual World Roadmap Survey (September 2009)

Virtual World Roadmap SIG is currently conducting an online survey in order to:

1) forecast how Virtual Worlds will be used in businesses and other organizations in the near future
2) identify user requirements that will foster broader adoption
3) inform technology and service providers interested in this space
4) identify areas where cooperation may be required to achieve the intended results

If you have deployed or are planning on deploying a virtual environment, please consider taking this survey.

Just click the banner on the right side, or here

The survey will be open until midnight Pacific Daylight Time, Sep. 11th, and its initial results will be made available by mid-September 2009. Any information submitted, including your e-mail address, will not be used for any other purpose.

In addition, Virtual World Roadmap SIG will conduct a half-day workshop at the Engage Expo conference ( The results of the survey and the output of these workshops will be made freely available at:

your participation is encouraged. Please find additional information at:

Friday, May 8, 2009

About the Roadmap Effort

The Virtual Worlds Roadmap seeks to increase the success rate of virtual world-based ventures and the productivity of investment through the publication and distribution of state-of-the-art thinking and analysis on

* Visions of what value virtual world technology will bring to specific applications

* Technical and business barriers to achieving that value

* Case studies on successes to date

* A roadmap and timeline for achieving mass adoption of specific applications.

The Virtual Worlds Roadmap is a commons-based peer production effort. Everyone is invited to take part by commenting on published drafts, volunteering as an author or working group participant, and attending workshops.

To find out more, sign up for update notices above or send specific inquiries to questions [at] virtualworldsroadmap [dot] org.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Virtual World Roadmap special interest group?

The Virtual World Roadmap (VWR) special interest group are members of the virtual world community interested in helping accelerate the use of virtual world technology in mainstream markets. This team will meet periodically to develop and revise a "roadmap" for the virtual world industry. This roadmap will outline the significant usages for virtual worlds, case studies of best practices, and show a timeline for the key technical requirements and business challenges that need to be overcome in the coming years. The VWR is intended to be a living document; limited in time only by the length of our vision and in technology only by the breadth of our imagination.

2. How is the VWR different from similar organizations?

The Virtual Worlds Roadmap is an attempt to describe what needs to be done to overcome technical and business barriers to the widespread adoption of applications that use virtual worlds or similar technology. As such, it is not attempting to set standards and does not create or endorse specific technologies. It is also not formally a consortium and relies on individual volunteers to contribute content and effort.

3. What is the organization structure?

The VWR special interest group is organized along an Open Source model, with open participation in specific Working Groups. The working groups will attempt to decide issues and agendas based on consensus. When necessary, final decisions will be made by the VWRSIG Steering Committee, which is also responsible for creation of Working Groups and final approval of the documents before public release; the Steering Committee includes representatives of Intel, Samsung Electronics, The Electric Sheep Company, DigitalSpace, and ngi Group. Legally, the VWR is managed as a project within the Contact Consortium.

4. What is the mission of the VWR?

We believe that VWs have the potential to change the world. But that can only happen if we get the technology in the hands of as many people as possible. The more people that access and inhabit VWs, the more valuable those VWs become. So the mission of VWR is to encourage the mass adoption of virtual worlds and the creation of an industry with very low barriers to innovation and business success.

5. What are the outputs of the VWR?

The VWR will provide essential information to VW technology providers, business decision makers and investors in the form of a technology roadmap identifying milestones in VW evolution including:

a. A case book documenting best practices and lessons learned.

b. Application case studies including the desired end state for the application, the technologies that are needed to build it, and the business challenges that need to be overcome in order for the application to become ubiquitous.

c. Benchmarks for promoting quality and continuous improvement of VW technology.

6. What are the methods of the VWR?

The VWR will be developed through a series of working group sessions detailing specific technologies, issues and challenges of major application areas of virtual worlds. These sessions will look at, among other things, barriers to economic viability, issues in scalability of Virtual World infrastructure, the role of network performance, key issues of client device performance, and interoperability. The intention is to enable innovation across the ecosystem and to integrate the best ideas. The only constraint on our methodology is that we are focused on mass adoption applications; as such, we believe that a broad range of platforms and technologies will emerge to serve these usages, and that no single platform should be championed by this process.

7. What exactly is in the VW roadmap?

The VWR contains three main items:

a. An executive summary of the future of mainstream deployment of virtual world technology that frames the major upcoming issues and highlights recent achievements by the community.

b. Case studies of example usages of virtual world technologies and potential best practices in their development and execution.

c. For each usage area, a vision of what the future of this technology application will be and a table of key performance benchmarks and technical characteristics necessary to achieve broad deployment of specific usages. This vision is integrated with a proposed timeline as to when these characteristics will be technically or economically feasible.

8. What timeframe does the roadmap cover?

The Roadmap is intended to express, for the near term and foreseeable future, how virtual world technology and the industry could evolve successfully over the next few years. More importantly, the roadmap is created as a living document that will constantly be updated and thus continue to describe the future indefinitely.

9. When will the roadmap be published?

The first example materials are available now on the Virtual World Roadmap Web site. The rate of publishing more vision documents, case studies, and overall roadmap detail depends on the participation of volunteers. It is our hope that our first completed roadmap will be published in the first quarter of 2009.

10. Who can participate? What are the costs?

All companies and interested individuals are welcome to participate in the creation of the Roadmap and related documents. Meetings will be held regularly to organize and work on the roadmap effort; advance registration is open to all at a small fee intended to cover administrative overhead. Upcoming meetings are listed on the home page of this Web site.

11. How can I be involved?

Sign up instructions for the October 14th workshop will be posted to the Web site soon. The participation of Individuals and companies is essential to the working groupsÕ sessions being effective exercises.

12. What are the key benefits of participating?

Participating companies and individuals can make sure their voices are heard and their visions are represented in the Roadmap documents, which are expected to have a wide audience among Virtual World builders and adopters. Participants can also ensure that the Roadmap addresses the user scenarios relevant to them, the obstacles to wide adoption that they see, and the technology and business requirements of their industry segment.

13. How will the VWR be relevant for companies / individuals building a VW strategy?

The Virtual Worlds Roadmap will show parts of a formula for sustainable success and health of the virtual worlds industry. It is intended to support companies and individuals in building differentiated and competitive virtual world strategies. One of the main goals is for the Roadmap to serve as an industry point of reference for both best of breed practices in creating Virtual World content and events/ Also, it can serve as a reference template for technology required in all key parts of the VW ecosystem.. In short, the VWR will improve any effortÕs chances of success by making available the state-of-the-art vision, analysis, and lessons learned from the industry as a whole.

14. Why is this work important and how will the VWR foster growth in the market?

The VWR's primary goal is to gather and develop new insights on how virtual world technology can be used. As such, it should provide clear indicators as to what are fruitful paths of investment, and how to draw on best practices to rapidly capitalize on these opportunities. The VWR should help map out a pace to innovation; a tempo that helps stimulate creative people to solve the right problems to help open new markets to technology. In other words, it will reduce failures due to incomplete feature sets, unanticipated barriers, and wide duplication of effort. We also hope to create a common language around mainstream virtual world usages that will help the research and investment communities focus their efforts and help them be more productive

15. Is the VWR advocating the adoption of specific platforms

The current landscape of platform creators and providers includes companies making stunning strides in innovation. However, realizing that content is, and will continue to be provided across multiple platforms, the VWR special interest group made a conscious decision to maintain platform neutrality from the onset. The group's value will be in highlighting the capabilities and requirements of all platforms in a meaningful yet unbiased fashion, rather than advocating for specific platforms

16. What kind of international participation can we expect

The growth of Virtual Worlds is certainly not just an American phenomenon. European and Asian countries have some of the largest bases of active users in Virtual Worlds. With this in mind we would like to encourage interested participants from all countries to contribute to this effort.

Additionally, some countries such as Japan have established their own equivalent groups to the VWR. We hope to work together with these groups on setting industry standards as well as sharing best practices and other information.