Just picked up this post from Bob Brewin from GovExec.
That’s the goal of key staffers at the Information Resources Management College at the National Defense University, which has a formed a multiagency consortium to establish a sizeable federal presence in the Second Life virtual world run by Linden Labs.
Paulette Robinson, assistant dean for teaching, learning and technology at the IRM College, said she has signed up almost 20 agencies for the ad hoc Second Life federal group since an initial organizational meeting in July, with more expressing interest every day.
Robinson said the consortium plans a major push to establish a federal presence in Second Life and other virtual environments, and along the way create processes and procedures to make it simpler for agencies to get a life in Second Life.
The Air Force and Navy already have signed up with the consortium, Robinson said, as well as multiple civilian agencies, including the State and Transportation departments, National Institutes of Health, Library of Congress, and two early federal Second Life pioneers: NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The federal consortium will probably initially follow the lead of NASA and NOAA and use virtual “islands” in Second Life for educational outreach to the public, Robinson said. NOAA uses its island to house, among other things, an interactive weather map that’s better and more interesting than anything served up on its static Web pages.
I’m not sure if I’m delighted by this experiment or appalled that government time is being spent building an outpost in a little-populated virtual world. What do you all think?