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Government of Ontario in Second Life!

Upon checking in on the Government 2.0 Best Practices Wiki I set up last week, a few things came to mind today, which I thought I’d write about. First of all, I am amazed at and very thankful for all the wonderful contributions people from all over the world have made to the wiki so far. There have been over 5000 visitors, of which over 50 have already made new entries. Let’s keep them coming!

I was particularly amazed at a recruitment initiative by the Government of Ontario (thanks to Marvin Bedward for sending the link) involving Second Life. Most government social media initiatives are relatively safe (e.g. rss feeds, blogs, etc…) so this one tented to stand out. Rather than blabbing on about it, why don’t you watch the video below:

I would love to hear more about this. Mainly, was it successful? did it meet objectives? how did the implementers go about getting official buy-in? If anybody out there knows anything, please contact me. I have also heard of a Second Life initiatve put on by Library and Archives Canada. Although unfortunately I have been unable to find anything concrete written about it. If you have any leads, by all means please let me know or better yet, post the info up on the wiki!

What do you think? Will immersive experiences/demonstrations like this dominate the recruitment landscape of the future? Is this just too much for some of you? Let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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9 Comments

  1. Ontario’s move is bold, as you suggest. And you might be onto something in prognosticating about the “immersive experience” in HR.

    The production stikes out boldly in a new direction for gov which calls for a charitable evaluation. It has a primitive feel, a rather arid and lonely atmospheric sense. There’s a primary absence of human interaction, human feelings, like compassion or sacrifice as basic public service value. This is augmented by the shots of talking heads on screens, lending a Big Brother, somatized aura to the animation.

    For all that, I think the right ingredients are there. It’s merely needing the artist’s touch to give it a more penetrating, disarming, human feel. I think it’s doable. I hope they continue to explore this channel.

    Thanks for alerting readers to it.

    bob

  2. Brent

    Not knowing anything about Second Life, I’d like to know how to get to this Ontario place. Thanks.

  3. Hey Brent, I just added a link to Second Life in my post. There is a quick tutorial available that should answer all of your questions. Once you install the application, just search for “Ontario”. Second Life is essentially a virtual world with about 14 million inhabitants, it’s own economy, currency and thousands of niche communities. It can be a bit much for some people and still requires lots of computer processing power to run smoothly, but it’s definitely the direction the web is going in the future.

  4. Bob, I completely agree with you, especially when you mention “lack of human interaction”. I think that is part of a greater discussion though, mainly how many kids are raised nowadays without the same social skills due to digital communication dependence (this type of recruitment will be aimed at the “millennial” generation). The responsibility lies in the parents’ hands to properly balance this with exposure to other kids in non-digital environments as well. As for the artistic touch, that will come when the technology infrastructure is there to support it (i.e. fiber optic connections). Interesting times ahead….

  5. I’m a full time Second Life professional… living in the United Stated. I am hoping I will be able to connect inworld and potentially become a Canadian citizen 🙂

    wish me luck

  6. here, here!

    Finally, some real examples of interior public sector taking some public risks!

    Even if it isn’t perfect, kudos to all involved.

  7. Glen Padassery

    Hi mike,
    read your blog post (although i’m a bit late on the read!) — there’s a team of us in the Ontario Government that created and built the island (with expert help of course!) — we’re about to embark on an expansion and thinking of some new ways to tap into social media as a medium for our message.

    Happy to chat further about our lessons learned and results.

    Glen
    glen.padassery@Ontario.ca

  8. That would be great Glen! Be sure to leave your contact name on the Government 2.0 Best Practices Wiki (government20bestpractices.pbwiki.com)

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