Monday, December 22, 2008

Doing Business in Second Life: Is Your Digital Archive Open for Business?

When I worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), I learned about a project developed by the World Bank Group called Doing Business, a five-year old project that reviews and ranks government and local business laws and regulations in over 180 member countries and determines which are the best for doing business.

According to the Doing Business blog, which is written by World Bank staff, the World Bank believes that "encouraging business is key to creating jobs and alleviating poverty."

A part of the Doing Business project that caught my attention was that the World Bank had created a virtual community in Second Life that supports the objectives and goals of Doing Business but in a virtual environment. While Doing Business is primarily a real world project, the World Bank is attempting to recreate its success in the virtual realm. In October 2008, the World Bank held its second virtual Doing Business meeting.

At the time, my IMF colleagues were considering whether or not Second Life could play a role in IMF activities. While plans were made to review Second Life further, I started wondering if virtual worlds and virtual communities could have a role in archives.

For those unfamiliar with Second Life, Second Life (or SL) is:

a 3-D virtual world created by its users, also known as residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by millions of residents from around the globe. It offers a platform for communication, business, and education.

Let me know what you think. Archivists in Second Life???


Mark said...

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Shannon said...

The Archivists of Second Life is a group that has been around for some time. There are various archiving projects including those with NASA (my project), Stanford, and the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, just to name a few. You can see my overview of some of the archival efforts in synthetic virtual environments in this presentation on Slideshare:

Shannon Bohle, MLIS
Archivist Llewellyn in Second Life)

about the author

I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.

I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.

I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.