IBM Decides Common Sense Isn't So Common In Virtual Worlds

from the if-you're-representing-IBM,-perhaps-your-avatar-shouldn't-be-a-grungy-rat dept

Just as companies are beginning to question the wisdom of spending time in Second Life, IBM has decided that perhaps part of the problem is that its employee representatives don't have enough common sense to recognize what's appropriate behavior in Second Life and other virtual worlds. The company has put together rather informal guidelines that basically sound like common sense: Don't discuss intellectual property with unauthorized people. Don't discriminate or harass. Make sure your avatar is appropriate as a representative of IBM. These are pretty much all things that would normally go without saying -- but apparently IBM felt they needed to be said (which is either a statement about IBM employees, or what IBM management thinks about IBM employees). In the meantime, Second Life is probably helping IBM and other corporations out by banning all the vices that made Second Life popular in the first place. Now it'll be safe for all the corporate types. Of course, that's about all who will be left since everyone else will have moved on to the next (more fun) world that isn't locked down with rules and swarming with marketers trying to pitch them.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Hoeppner, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 4:39am

    is this even worth commenting?

    obviously it is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 5:17am

    IBM...

    Doesn't IBM have more important issues to concentrate on than Second Life guidelines, like maintain North American profits so they don't have another round of layoffs? -(FreshDailyGadget.com)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Sneeje, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 5:54am

    Thinking

    Did it occur to anyone that the reasons IBM did this have nothing to do with IBM and everything to do with the legal environment in which employers must operate?

    For example, without these guidelines, what do you think would happen if one IBM employee harassed another IBM employee in the Second Life environment? Would IBM's liability be so clear? The harasser would argue that SL is a place of freedom and no rules and he/she just got carried away, and besides there weren't any employer guidelines or policies, so...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Aaron, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 6:06am

    The Matrix

    IBM will make an acceptable IBM prototype representative, clone them, and name them all Agent Smith.

    Oblig. Matrix Quote...

    Agent Smith: It seems that you've been living two lives. One life, you're Thomas A. Anderson, program writer for a respectable software company. You have a social security number, pay your taxes, and you... help your landlady carry out her garbage. The other life is lived in computers, where you go by the hacker alias "Neo" and are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for. One of these lives has a future, and one of them does not.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Ikey Benney, On IBM, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 6:31am

    IBM second life guidelines

    Hello:
    It seems this is a good idea and other big corps should learn a few things from it.
    Ikey Benney

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 6:33am

    People need to get out of Second Life and get a REAL life. There's enough problems to deal with in reality. We don't need to be hearing about problem in virtual worlds too. There, 'nuff said.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Annonymous Coward Too, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 6:39am

    Just by posting, you are acknowledging and embracing your own Second Life, it's just that you don't have a groovy avatar.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Paquito, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 6:44am

    What did you want?

    I used Second Life only once... I tested it and I just thought "This is not for me"...

    Point is, 9 million people around the world, like me, created an avatar... Many of them were used only once...

    Today, only in SL's prime time, only 30.000 people at connected at the same time... Companies has taken places and that promised "Second Life" became like your "First Life"... The one you run away in SL...

    Such a pity... But, anyway, it's a good experiment.

    Thanks for the post (really interesting :-).

    Paquito.
    http://paquito4ever.blogspot.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 6:54am

    Re: Thinking


    For example, without these guidelines, what do you think would happen if one IBM employee harassed another IBM employee in the Second Life environment? Would IBM's liability be so clear? The harasser would argue that SL is a place of freedom and no rules and he/she just got carried away, and besides there weren't any employer guidelines or policies, so...


    And that would a very dangerous precedent. Imagine that setup. One IBM employee harasses another. Not only would the victims sue the attacker and Second Life but they would try to sue IBM as well. And that is not even thinking about trying to somehow press charges on IBM. I know that would be very unlikely in normal situations but trying to adapt real world law to a virtual world is hardly a normal situation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Luke, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 7:03am

    Policies are fun

    Yeah, IBM needed a policy. I've had to read a policy on what type and what color pen I'm allowed to write with at work. I had to re-read it (i.e. independant training) this year when they added blue to the previous list of only black.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    GoblinJuice, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 7:05am

    Re: What did you want?

    Eh. Same here.

    Created an account and avatar, checked it out for less than an hour, and realized what a waste of time it is.

    If there was/is any sex or gambling, I didn't see any. Meh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 7:09am

    Re: IBM...

    Yes, because they devoted so many resources to setting these guidelines. And, if they are losing profits, forget any other part of their business plan that may have a chance to turn that around.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    freak3dot, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 7:51am

    Re: Policies are fun

    And darn it, I was happy with only black...

    Why blue... Why, Why, Why?

    freak3dot

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Dude of Life, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 9:42am

    Common sense isn't too common in RLâ„¢ either!

    Viva la Academia!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Bob, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 10:00am

    You've missed the real story

    Take a look at the Second Life official blog at http://blog.secondlife.com.

    The real story is what's been happening since Saturday, and still there's NO FIX for it.

    This weekend, the Asset server began having issues, followed by other DB's that control search, teleport, and financial transactions. Linden Lab told everyone the best thing to do was to just hold off doing anything that deals with no-copy objects (objects that can't be in your inventory and in the world at the same time), financial transactions (don't go shopping), and try and stay where you are since Teleports (the way to get from one point to another in Second Life) are not working properly. Normally these types of issues will creep up once every couple of weeks, but they get fixed in relatively short order; this time though, the fix has yet to appear. Here we are now mid-day on Tuesday, and the problems still exist, and apparently there's no clear indication as to what the problem is.

    I wonder how this will effect Linden Lab,, since they have cutoff one of their largest influx of income with the banning of Gambling, and now a world where you can go and stand in, but not much else. Do you think companies like IBM are going to continue spending time in a world where all you can do is stand there?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    TVs Frank, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 10:57am

    So many people

    So many people can't get their first life in order, why add a second?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Woadan, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 5:18pm

    Employees or Contractors

    It's a Help Desk environment, so you can bet, they are IBM contractors, not emplyees...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Charles Griswold, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 6:10pm

    Re: Policies are fun

    Yeah, IBM needed a policy. I've had to read a policy on what type and what color pen I'm allowed to write with at work. I had to re-read it (i.e. independant training) this year when they added blue to the previous list of only black.
    Thank you, sir, for reminding me of why I quit working for IBM. IBM has a bad habit of interrupting actual productive work in order to have their employees do asinine, non-productive crap like typing in their manager-dictated personal goals for the year. That, and their insistence on forcing Lotus Notes (*gack*) down the throats of their employees.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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