Why I love what I do

[podtech content=http://media1.podtech.net/media/2007/08/PID_012118/Podtech_AlwaysOn_Irving_IBM.flv&postURL=http://www.podtech.net/home/3783/talking-with-long-time-ibmer &totalTime=1315000&breadcrumb=5f90fd9f4ea84703aacf8fd891424155]

This conversation demonstrates why I pinch myself every morning.

I have a quick chat with Larry Magid of CBS News (and PodTech) and Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

Don’t know who he is? He is one of the most celebrated old-timers at IBM. Just retired but is chairman emeritus. You should read his bio. Dr. Irving isn’t your average geek.

He talks about virtual worlds and large systems. It takes two interviewers to keep up with him. And I’m only halfway joking about that.

I could listen to smart people like this for hours. Even better, he has a blog so we can read what is on his mind.

Hope you enjoy. Tomorrow you get to hear the story of how Microsoft got the operating system business instead of Digital Research. I am still amazed at that story and you’ll want to listen along.

Comments

  1. Robert,

    Part of my day is reading your feed. I love what you do perhaps more than you do. Thanks for the introduction to an important voice. His point about killer apps and his comment below resonates with me.

    “Moreover, I actually think that meetings and learning are fascinating subjects to study, especially if the object of the study is to understand how to leverage new technologies like the Internet, social networks and virtual worlds to significantly improve them. Let’s not forget that meetings generally involve people coming together for some common purpose – to make an important decision, to come up with a market strategy, to try to formulate a new innovative solution to a problem, and so on.”

    Thanks

    Lance

  2. Robert,

    Part of my day is reading your feed. I love what you do perhaps more than you do. Thanks for the introduction to an important voice. His point about killer apps and his comment below resonates with me.

    “Moreover, I actually think that meetings and learning are fascinating subjects to study, especially if the object of the study is to understand how to leverage new technologies like the Internet, social networks and virtual worlds to significantly improve them. Let’s not forget that meetings generally involve people coming together for some common purpose – to make an important decision, to come up with a market strategy, to try to formulate a new innovative solution to a problem, and so on.”

    Thanks

    Lance

  3. Interesting. Thanks for sharing this. Speaking of virtual worlds, I’ve seen a video of Second life being used as a serious meeting room and it was astounding. The potential was there for greatness. I also joined it way back when and flew around, disco danced…etc.

    But definitely a viable tool to meet and learn virtually.

    Terry

  4. Interesting. Thanks for sharing this. Speaking of virtual worlds, I’ve seen a video of Second life being used as a serious meeting room and it was astounding. The potential was there for greatness. I also joined it way back when and flew around, disco danced…etc.

    But definitely a viable tool to meet and learn virtually.

    Terry

  5. Portable, granular and interoperable identity management systems will eventually be like debit cards, they will work with any ATM machine. Getting the infrastructure built out will take some time, but having Fortune 500 companies bought into the promise speeds things along. Thanks for the interview. Irving is like a grandmaster chess player seeing many moves deep into the board.

  6. Portable, granular and interoperable identity management systems will eventually be like debit cards, they will work with any ATM machine. Getting the infrastructure built out will take some time, but having Fortune 500 companies bought into the promise speeds things along. Thanks for the interview. Irving is like a grandmaster chess player seeing many moves deep into the board.

  7. @4, “It’s part of my personality.”

    Really professional statement, Robert. If you fart or burp through the conversation and the interviewee or readers leave would you still do it?

    Grow up. Be a professional and become a good interviewer. Otherwise stick to the written world

  8. @4, “It’s part of my personality.”

    Really professional statement, Robert. If you fart or burp through the conversation and the interviewee or readers leave would you still do it?

    Grow up. Be a professional and become a good interviewer. Otherwise stick to the written world

  9. I like videos about IBM. Since I have no sound on this machine and since the employees are not yet here, I will sneak onto the iMac before they get here to watch it.

  10. I like videos about IBM. Since I have no sound on this machine and since the employees are not yet here, I will sneak onto the iMac before they get here to watch it.

  11. I watched a few minutes of the video, and I think it’s very amusing. He describes the evolution of the internet in a very basic way, which you would expect from an executive.

    I don’t think the internet except for enterprise data exchange is important to IBM at all though. We still work with one of their biggest customers, and have to interface the IBM/Axway EDI and XML/RPC interfaces, ect…

    IBM’s huge money is in websphere, it’s java implementation and the blades. Not really in the internet, 2nd life, @home(sony) ect…

    The only thing I can really see flashy web guis helping IBM in is for graph representations or enterprise presentation displays. IBM’s entry level contracts start at 500k just to open an account, so the every day applications that people use on the internet are not at the same accessibility level as those custom applications and solutions that IBM creates for enterprise customers.

    IBM really has no “regular Joe” type services. Aside from a few handy FAQ’s on Linux, the Cell and the PS3.
    http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/library/pa-linuxps3-1/

    The great thing about IBM is that they make tons of money by avoiding retail and boxed software. The general public. They do not really act as an ISV, but as a solutions provider for hardware and software. By avoiding problematic and costly customers, you can streamline and optimize your resources. Unless of course you have major ISVs below you in a pyramid.

    Again, I liked the video, but I think IBM is purposely irrelevant in the end client or home user market. With good reason. I don’t even see why they advertise on TV except to keep the name out there amongst regular people. They also have the biggest booths at Linux world. That’s pretty cool.

  12. I watched a few minutes of the video, and I think it’s very amusing. He describes the evolution of the internet in a very basic way, which you would expect from an executive.

    I don’t think the internet except for enterprise data exchange is important to IBM at all though. We still work with one of their biggest customers, and have to interface the IBM/Axway EDI and XML/RPC interfaces, ect…

    IBM’s huge money is in websphere, it’s java implementation and the blades. Not really in the internet, 2nd life, @home(sony) ect…

    The only thing I can really see flashy web guis helping IBM in is for graph representations or enterprise presentation displays. IBM’s entry level contracts start at 500k just to open an account, so the every day applications that people use on the internet are not at the same accessibility level as those custom applications and solutions that IBM creates for enterprise customers.

    IBM really has no “regular Joe” type services. Aside from a few handy FAQ’s on Linux, the Cell and the PS3.
    http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/library/pa-linuxps3-1/

    The great thing about IBM is that they make tons of money by avoiding retail and boxed software. The general public. They do not really act as an ISV, but as a solutions provider for hardware and software. By avoiding problematic and costly customers, you can streamline and optimize your resources. Unless of course you have major ISVs below you in a pyramid.

    Again, I liked the video, but I think IBM is purposely irrelevant in the end client or home user market. With good reason. I don’t even see why they advertise on TV except to keep the name out there amongst regular people. They also have the biggest booths at Linux world. That’s pretty cool.

  13. Regarding Robert’s comment on interoperability between social networking platforms. I am actually working on that. BUT keep in mind that if a meebo for SN sites came out: the SN sites would systematically ban the IPs from the service via firewall or on the router, because they would see it as a breach instead of a good tool.

    This has already happened many times amongst the biggest SN websites. That reduces interop tools for SN sites to desktop applications where the peer connects to the service in faux http or as a web service. Except for some light RPC with facebook. Where each person connects with their IP, and banning is impossible.

    That being said, our new project will try to bridge some of those gaps, but you only have so many netmasks before it becomes futile.

    Open Identity management and other IDMs do not take the competition into account. These websites do not have full services for a GOOD REASON. They don’t want you to be able to collect data remotely via a disparate app. They do it on purpose: make it difficult to inter operate. When they get users, they want to keep them. Everything on our SN site is RSS able, but on others it is not.

  14. Regarding Robert’s comment on interoperability between social networking platforms. I am actually working on that. BUT keep in mind that if a meebo for SN sites came out: the SN sites would systematically ban the IPs from the service via firewall or on the router, because they would see it as a breach instead of a good tool.

    This has already happened many times amongst the biggest SN websites. That reduces interop tools for SN sites to desktop applications where the peer connects to the service in faux http or as a web service. Except for some light RPC with facebook. Where each person connects with their IP, and banning is impossible.

    That being said, our new project will try to bridge some of those gaps, but you only have so many netmasks before it becomes futile.

    Open Identity management and other IDMs do not take the competition into account. These websites do not have full services for a GOOD REASON. They don’t want you to be able to collect data remotely via a disparate app. They do it on purpose: make it difficult to inter operate. When they get users, they want to keep them. Everything on our SN site is RSS able, but on others it is not.

  15. Great interview Robert. It’s hard to overstate Irving’s influence at IBM, and his embrace of blogging and, later, 3D Internet, really helped galvanize the company (FYI, I’m not related to him, though we share the last name – I only wish!)

    Chris, your points are well taken – to an extent. Yes, IBM made a very conscious business decision to withdraw from the consumer arena (though our technologies power some of the most visible consumer products – like PS3 and Wii.) But our brand equity remains remarkably strong – Interbrand has us as the world’s 3rd most valuable brand. We’re using that equity to take on some big, transformational initiatives – whether it’s around the environment, transportation, 3D Internet, RFID, and so much more. And while you’re right that some of the initiatives that you mention aren’t big moneymakers, they do have tremendous influence over our most visible revenue streams, like Websphere, our high-end mainframe/server products and so much more. It’s no coincidence that our business performance has strengthened as we’ve grown more experimental.

  16. Great interview Robert. It’s hard to overstate Irving’s influence at IBM, and his embrace of blogging and, later, 3D Internet, really helped galvanize the company (FYI, I’m not related to him, though we share the last name – I only wish!)

    Chris, your points are well taken – to an extent. Yes, IBM made a very conscious business decision to withdraw from the consumer arena (though our technologies power some of the most visible consumer products – like PS3 and Wii.) But our brand equity remains remarkably strong – Interbrand has us as the world’s 3rd most valuable brand. We’re using that equity to take on some big, transformational initiatives – whether it’s around the environment, transportation, 3D Internet, RFID, and so much more. And while you’re right that some of the initiatives that you mention aren’t big moneymakers, they do have tremendous influence over our most visible revenue streams, like Websphere, our high-end mainframe/server products and so much more. It’s no coincidence that our business performance has strengthened as we’ve grown more experimental.

  17. i’m sorry, Robert, but whilst what you write is ok – and I’ve been reading your blog for ages – but you just don’t cut it on film. It’s kind of embarrassing. May be it’s just cultuaral (i am not from the US), but there seems to be an ego thing going on. Celery is right – people have to control themselves. It’s called restraint. Furthermore, is it just me, or is anyone else wandering about what your work is doing to your son? Is it normal that a kid sits outside Apple shops for hours on end in the name of reporting for example? Surely family and work should stay separate. Or is this just the name of blogging / web 2.0 – where life and professionalism just mix?

  18. i’m sorry, Robert, but whilst what you write is ok – and I’ve been reading your blog for ages – but you just don’t cut it on film. It’s kind of embarrassing. May be it’s just cultuaral (i am not from the US), but there seems to be an ego thing going on. Celery is right – people have to control themselves. It’s called restraint. Furthermore, is it just me, or is anyone else wandering about what your work is doing to your son? Is it normal that a kid sits outside Apple shops for hours on end in the name of reporting for example? Surely family and work should stay separate. Or is this just the name of blogging / web 2.0 – where life and professionalism just mix?

  19. “they do have tremendous influence over our most visible revenue streams, like Websphere”

    Of course. I just think the brand is *SO* well known that it no longer needs advertising to the general public. I guess it can’t hurt to do some TV spots anyway though.
    The hardware division sale to Lenovo was the last leg of the consumer products I think.

    I really liked how IBM came in and starting publishing code hacking articles for the PS3 after it was released even though they did not manufacture the system itself. It never did that for PowerPC with Mac that I can recall. So that was pretty cool.

    I know the brand being huge sells contracts by itself though. I think that goes without saying. When KFC needs new POS interfaces they are going straight to IBM. You can only dream of having that kind of good name in the software industry.

  20. “they do have tremendous influence over our most visible revenue streams, like Websphere”

    Of course. I just think the brand is *SO* well known that it no longer needs advertising to the general public. I guess it can’t hurt to do some TV spots anyway though.
    The hardware division sale to Lenovo was the last leg of the consumer products I think.

    I really liked how IBM came in and starting publishing code hacking articles for the PS3 after it was released even though they did not manufacture the system itself. It never did that for PowerPC with Mac that I can recall. So that was pretty cool.

    I know the brand being huge sells contracts by itself though. I think that goes without saying. When KFC needs new POS interfaces they are going straight to IBM. You can only dream of having that kind of good name in the software industry.

  21. @David Berger,

    Please let Robert in to see the R&D where they are developing this if possible.
    http://domino.research.ibm.com/comm/research_projects.nsf/pages/metronome.index.html

    An RTOS java for Linux is VERY interesting. The latency of the JRE on Linux makes it very hard to use it some times, where you will use C or another faster runtime instead.

    I think if IBM gives Scoble some more airtime, that it could help both IBM and Scoble as well as Scoble’s readers/viewers.

  22. @David Berger,

    Please let Robert in to see the R&D where they are developing this if possible.
    http://domino.research.ibm.com/comm/research_projects.nsf/pages/metronome.index.html

    An RTOS java for Linux is VERY interesting. The latency of the JRE on Linux makes it very hard to use it some times, where you will use C or another faster runtime instead.

    I think if IBM gives Scoble some more airtime, that it could help both IBM and Scoble as well as Scoble’s readers/viewers.

  23. Robert, I love you, I really do. Your cameraman should be shot. Set the camera and LEAVE IT ALONE. Your editor should be tortured then shot. Don’t fly in all kinds of crap. Your CONTENT is amazing, please remove the distractions. I also want to suggest a better microphone.

  24. Robert, I love you, I really do. Your cameraman should be shot. Set the camera and LEAVE IT ALONE. Your editor should be tortured then shot. Don’t fly in all kinds of crap. Your CONTENT is amazing, please remove the distractions. I also want to suggest a better microphone.

  25. Celery & Rabbit – I have to disagree, and disagree strongly. Part of what makes the show work is the quirky personality of the host. If you want smooth, denatured – and boring – professionalism, go watch CNN. I think Robert’s style (which I admit can be annoying from time to time) actually serves to draw out the guest far more effectively than a “professional” host could ever do. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

  26. Celery & Rabbit – I have to disagree, and disagree strongly. Part of what makes the show work is the quirky personality of the host. If you want smooth, denatured – and boring – professionalism, go watch CNN. I think Robert’s style (which I admit can be annoying from time to time) actually serves to draw out the guest far more effectively than a “professional” host could ever do. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

  27. “actually serves to draw out the guest far more effectively than a “professional” host could ever do. And isn’t that what it’s all about?”

    I agree. I’ve spoken to IBM people before and as soon as they think you’re smart and you are trying to draw out information, they shut right up. Happens every time. At some point they decide they’ve said too much, and they freeze up.

    That’s part of why I love truly open source. You can freely talk about pretty much anything except for contractual work.
    If you dig into IBM devs about R&D, they’ll turn into an oak on you fast.

  28. “actually serves to draw out the guest far more effectively than a “professional” host could ever do. And isn’t that what it’s all about?”

    I agree. I’ve spoken to IBM people before and as soon as they think you’re smart and you are trying to draw out information, they shut right up. Happens every time. At some point they decide they’ve said too much, and they freeze up.

    That’s part of why I love truly open source. You can freely talk about pretty much anything except for contractual work.
    If you dig into IBM devs about R&D, they’ll turn into an oak on you fast.

  29. Great interview. Irving is one of the more inspirational and contagiously enthusiastic people I’ve had the pleasure of working with at IBM.

    Incidentally, at the end of the interview Irving talks about IBM’s virtual world guidelines. For anyone who is interested in reading more them, I’d suggest his most recent post or even my recent introduction to them on Eightbar. As he say’s it’s mainly common sense etiquette, and it’s just “what your mother would tell you”.

  30. Great interview. Irving is one of the more inspirational and contagiously enthusiastic people I’ve had the pleasure of working with at IBM.

    Incidentally, at the end of the interview Irving talks about IBM’s virtual world guidelines. For anyone who is interested in reading more them, I’d suggest his most recent post or even my recent introduction to them on Eightbar. As he say’s it’s mainly common sense etiquette, and it’s just “what your mother would tell you”.

  31. @Roo,

    Usually people have common sense. Especially those that get high 5-low 6 figure jobs at IBM.

    I’m not sure if you guys still have to sing that IBM company spirit song anymore, but I have trouble believing that you need to post explicit guidelines to employees over there?

    “Protect your – and IBM’s – good name.”

    Are you doing so because of recent incidents like this one?
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,252588,00.html

    I can’t imagine that helped anybody’s good name very much, and I’m not sure why IBM didn’t keep that one quiet?

    At any rate, the guidelines seem appropriate if somebody is identifying themselves in the virtual world as a representative of IBM. I’ve had some Microsoft personnel identify themselves as being such and say the most insane and offensive things virtually online, namely Rory Blyth, but will not go further into that as he is now trying to recover from his illness.

    “IBM business should be conducted in virtual environments only with authorization.”

    I just have trouble seeing how an IBM employee could negotiate the kinds of deals that IBM does via 2nd life or any other virtual method. Those clients are very upscale, and I simply can’t see them connecting that way.

    At any rate it seems like a great experiment for IBM, and I hope it works out well for you all.

  32. @Roo,

    Usually people have common sense. Especially those that get high 5-low 6 figure jobs at IBM.

    I’m not sure if you guys still have to sing that IBM company spirit song anymore, but I have trouble believing that you need to post explicit guidelines to employees over there?

    “Protect your – and IBM’s – good name.”

    Are you doing so because of recent incidents like this one?
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,252588,00.html

    I can’t imagine that helped anybody’s good name very much, and I’m not sure why IBM didn’t keep that one quiet?

    At any rate, the guidelines seem appropriate if somebody is identifying themselves in the virtual world as a representative of IBM. I’ve had some Microsoft personnel identify themselves as being such and say the most insane and offensive things virtually online, namely Rory Blyth, but will not go further into that as he is now trying to recover from his illness.

    “IBM business should be conducted in virtual environments only with authorization.”

    I just have trouble seeing how an IBM employee could negotiate the kinds of deals that IBM does via 2nd life or any other virtual method. Those clients are very upscale, and I simply can’t see them connecting that way.

    At any rate it seems like a great experiment for IBM, and I hope it works out well for you all.

  33. @21 I dunno… Larry King seems to do a pretty good job of drawing guests out, despite his softball questions. Charlie Rose also does an excellent job without being “quirky” or denatured and boring. Dick Cavett was excellent as well. As was David Frost. Scoble could take a few lessons from those guys. I agree that being interviewed by a cardboard news reader doesn’t do anyone any good.

    If “quirkyness” is more successful in drawing people out, then why don’t we see more of it? And why stop with self-serving guffawing? Why not put on a rubber nose, carry a horn and a squirting boutoniere and take quirkeyness all the way?

  34. @21 I dunno… Larry King seems to do a pretty good job of drawing guests out, despite his softball questions. Charlie Rose also does an excellent job without being “quirky” or denatured and boring. Dick Cavett was excellent as well. As was David Frost. Scoble could take a few lessons from those guys. I agree that being interviewed by a cardboard news reader doesn’t do anyone any good.

    If “quirkyness” is more successful in drawing people out, then why don’t we see more of it? And why stop with self-serving guffawing? Why not put on a rubber nose, carry a horn and a squirting boutoniere and take quirkeyness all the way?

  35. Great content.
    The heart of this interview, for me, was the emphasis on visual communication and interaction added to written/verbal, as well as the identification of social behavior that is so ingrained and natural that we don’t typically bother describing or even noticing it. Those elements, as I hear it, are essential underpinnings to the business and social modelling that will enable the paradigm shifts for most people. Whether they’re applied by IBM or anyone else doesn’t, I believe, effect the validity of the concepts.
    Vera

  36. Great content.
    The heart of this interview, for me, was the emphasis on visual communication and interaction added to written/verbal, as well as the identification of social behavior that is so ingrained and natural that we don’t typically bother describing or even noticing it. Those elements, as I hear it, are essential underpinnings to the business and social modelling that will enable the paradigm shifts for most people. Whether they’re applied by IBM or anyone else doesn’t, I believe, effect the validity of the concepts.
    Vera

  37. I don’t understand why anyone commenting here feels the need to condemn Mr. Scoble. One person suggested that it is somehow harmful for his young son to be with him during his work. Instead of offering constructive criticism, another person condemned Mr. Scoble for laughing at his own jokes. Both of these people need a big ‘ol cup of SHUT THE F**K UP. I enjoyed the interview, as there were some good questions and Mr IBM had some interesting things to say. On the other hand, he also came off as a bit of a conversation bully. This is especially noticeable when he continuously interrupts Mr. Magid’s questions and/or comments. At one point you can see Mr. Magid looking around, his body language suggesting the thought, “Why the hell am I even here?”

  38. I don’t understand why anyone commenting here feels the need to condemn Mr. Scoble. One person suggested that it is somehow harmful for his young son to be with him during his work. Instead of offering constructive criticism, another person condemned Mr. Scoble for laughing at his own jokes. Both of these people need a big ‘ol cup of SHUT THE F**K UP. I enjoyed the interview, as there were some good questions and Mr IBM had some interesting things to say. On the other hand, he also came off as a bit of a conversation bully. This is especially noticeable when he continuously interrupts Mr. Magid’s questions and/or comments. At one point you can see Mr. Magid looking around, his body language suggesting the thought, “Why the hell am I even here?”

  39. @21, [I have to disagree, and disagree strongly... I think Robert’s style (which I admit can be annoying from time to time)]…

    How can you disagree strongly but parenthetically agree that Robert is annoying at times? Sounds like you agree with me.

    Content of the interview aside, the gaffaws are annoying and detract from the information being discussed. It’s like a nervous tick or someone who uses the word “Like” a lot as filler. Fix it and you’ll gain more audience for the vblog content.

    Grow up. Be a professional and become a good interviewer. Otherwise stick to the written word.

  40. @21, [I have to disagree, and disagree strongly... I think Robert’s style (which I admit can be annoying from time to time)]…

    How can you disagree strongly but parenthetically agree that Robert is annoying at times? Sounds like you agree with me.

    Content of the interview aside, the gaffaws are annoying and detract from the information being discussed. It’s like a nervous tick or someone who uses the word “Like” a lot as filler. Fix it and you’ll gain more audience for the vblog content.

    Grow up. Be a professional and become a good interviewer. Otherwise stick to the written word.

  41. @Chris [#25] as you say, “the guidelines seem appropriate if somebody is identifying themselves in the virtual world as a representative of IBM”.

    I agree. They even point out that it’s worth being clear about whether or not you are acting as a representative, which makes sense to me.

    As with blogging, if people know who I work for then I need to make it clear whether I’m talking as me or as IBM. Most of the time, I’m just me, and to some extent it doesn’t really matter whether I’m formally representing IBM (e.g. making deals and commitments, which I’m generally not), or just getting to know people; my actions still reflect on the company as well as on myself.

    I don’t think we NEEDed virtual worlds guidelines either. Indeed, we coped for a couple of years without any, but I do believe they are helpful. It’s worth disclosing that I helped write them, but isn’t it cool that they were authored by the people inside the company who were already using virtual worlds? Common sense goes a long way, but a set of guidelines (and if you’ve read them you’ll know they are much more about examples of etiquette and common sense than a rigid set of rules) can be very helpful when people have questions about the balance between exploring virtual worlds and being an employee.

    They’re clear about what is expected, and more than anything show that the company actually quite likes the fact we’re doing these things. For me, this feels more like protection than restriction. Not every company lets its employees blog in public, or wander around in a virtual world being open about which company they work for, but ours positively encourages both these things.

    By the way, replying to this comment reminded me I’d been meaning to post about this on TerraNova, which I’ve just done. Thanks.

  42. @Chris [#25] as you say, “the guidelines seem appropriate if somebody is identifying themselves in the virtual world as a representative of IBM”.

    I agree. They even point out that it’s worth being clear about whether or not you are acting as a representative, which makes sense to me.

    As with blogging, if people know who I work for then I need to make it clear whether I’m talking as me or as IBM. Most of the time, I’m just me, and to some extent it doesn’t really matter whether I’m formally representing IBM (e.g. making deals and commitments, which I’m generally not), or just getting to know people; my actions still reflect on the company as well as on myself.

    I don’t think we NEEDed virtual worlds guidelines either. Indeed, we coped for a couple of years without any, but I do believe they are helpful. It’s worth disclosing that I helped write them, but isn’t it cool that they were authored by the people inside the company who were already using virtual worlds? Common sense goes a long way, but a set of guidelines (and if you’ve read them you’ll know they are much more about examples of etiquette and common sense than a rigid set of rules) can be very helpful when people have questions about the balance between exploring virtual worlds and being an employee.

    They’re clear about what is expected, and more than anything show that the company actually quite likes the fact we’re doing these things. For me, this feels more like protection than restriction. Not every company lets its employees blog in public, or wander around in a virtual world being open about which company they work for, but ours positively encourages both these things.

    By the way, replying to this comment reminded me I’d been meaning to post about this on TerraNova, which I’ve just done. Thanks.