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Dell in SL: One Year Later


As I landed on that title for my presentation at Metaverse07 this coming Monday, I thought it would be an appropriate one for an update here, too.  Yes, it’s been almost exactly one year since Dell Island launched to the public in the virtual world of Second Life.  To some it might seem like the lyrics of a Grateful Dead song would be an appropriate description for it, but I would have to disagree – it’s really not been as strange as it might sound.


True, we’ve had a dolphin attend an Earth Day event, we’ve built an XPS 710 you can walk inside and trees that can grow as fast as you want them.  We’ve had dragons dance on a giant ark to music played by a frog and a cat.  But, we’ve also had residents of Latin America in-world asking questions and getting them answered by Michael Dell while his live webcast from NYC streamed into our StudioDell theatre.  And, connecting it all is the one not-so-strange thread of people coming together, meeting on a personal level and engaging in real conversations.


To further those conversations, in July we began keeping customer service “office hours” during weekdays.  Not everyone thought this was such a great idea.  But, to myself and Todd Dell, who volunteers to staff those hours in addition to his regular job duties, it was all about offering one more way for our customers to connect with us.  It’s that same desire that is now bringing a new member to the Dell family in Second Life – Esperto Dell. 


Esperto (as his name implies), is one of our technical support experts who wants nothing more than to assist customers in new and exciting ways.  He will be spending his evenings at our SL coffee shop from 7-9:00 p.m. SLT, Monday – Friday, so that he can answer your questions and provide tech support.  While his name may be Italian, he actually remembers only a little of what his grandmother taught him of that language; however, he can converse in Spanish, as well as English.  His time spent in SL is not about replacing any of the traditional methods our customers have for support, but rather providing one more avenue for you to connect with real people here at Dell.


At the recent Social Media Club Workshop, well-blogged by Geoff Livingston, one of the speakers asked the audience if a corporation can be sincere.  My answer (totally my own opinion) was that while a “corporation” cannot be sincere, the people within it can.  Esperto and Todd are sincere in their desire to explore the possibilities of virtual worlds and engage in real conversations with our customers and potential customers.  I hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity and visit them, if for no other reason than to get to know more of us here at Dell on that personal level.

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