Online virtual worlds such as Second Life have a bad reputation in the business world, writes Rita J. King, but in the right hands they're more than just huge time sinks; they can be powerful engines of innovation. Companies like IBM, Northrop Grumman and Manpower are already using Second Life to hold virtual meetings and share complex data, effectively combining teleconferencing with powerful presentation software into a single free program. When meeting and sharing ideas is easy, efficient and free, employees are more likely to collaborate, writes King, making it just a matter of time before every company has a Second Life office.
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