Monday, May 19, 2008

Virtual Success

Today, a coworker left a copy of the WSJ Weekend edition at my desk to have me look at the article My Virtual Summer Job, by Alexandra Alter. It was notably fascinating to see economic resiliency in action, as times of recession are often the mother of entrepreneurial invention. This article documents teens making substantial money in virtual worlds such as Second Life and Entropia. Not that it is the most difficult thing to do, but some of these teens are making more money than I am, when their "real" opportunities are minimum wage or non-existent.

I am fascinated at how the Internet continues to change the landscape of enterprise. Where people once had to locate themselves near cities in order to maximize their work opportunities, here is another example of a person being able to live in a somewhat remote area, and have access to millions for their goods, trades, or services--all thanks to the Internet. Perhaps this is an extension of Seth Godin's new standard for conferences and meetings, where people can meet in virtual fashion, cutting out commutes, etc. And in a virtual world I can look like George Clooney if I thought it would help me.

Positives aside, I am sure I am not the only one who wonders where this is all going. I sometimes hear the voices of naysayers admonishing that our attachments to technology separate us from the spiritual, truly intimate, and sublime. Or that technology ultimately threatens our knowledge and ability to survive. Truly, I could be enjoying a starry night or some community event right now, but instead I chose to sit for additional hours in front of my computer to read other blogs and add to my own. I can honestly say that I know individuals in my online community far better than I know my real next door neighbors.

That said, I am inspired to go out and connect again with the real world. And while I'm out, I'll stop somewhere where I'm likely to meet lots of people. Perhaps I can make it to a major social gathering like the midnight release of the Nintendo Wii Fit. And after I buy one, I will focus on finding my spiritual center by playing the yoga game.

1 comment:

Rd said...

True to form Craig, you have provided me with another great read. I will be checking out "When Technology Fails". Appropriately funny for me since I've my career has been in technology support for the last two years. Gotta love that humour!

I've spent more hours sitting at a computer than people heretofore would have ever considered healthy. You know, for things like research; online writing; online gaming; communication; and the sheer fun of finding information. Also, because of the depth and breadth of the type of people it has brought into my life (both work and personal).

However, taking stock of today's trends ... I heartily urge everyone to make it a point to be out taking physical action/interaction a number of times a week. Especially in a career search, 'cause, not once, have I ever considered giving up the starry nights to live solely in the confines of virtual space -- that would be too stifling.

Looking forward to your next post!