Is Terf® Social Media/Computing?

We get asked often to talk about how Terf® or immersive (3D) collaboration relates to social media or social computing.  Here are 5 of the many ways Terf® fits into the social media or social computing space.

1. Most Basic: Linkable from a Social Community Tool:  Terf® can be launched with a single click of a URL on a webpage.  It is in the “tool box” of those in the community, sometimes on the right or left margin within a social computing community, there for use.  We hear from our customers how they add Terf® as a link to a community site, so they can use to “get closer” or talk deeper or do virtual meet-ups.   Terf® can and should be if the social site represents any goals such as to reduce the negative impact of distance on a team or promoting deeper learning, tighter teams and better engagement with customers or associates or partners, etc.   There have been many looking at these values for immersion for years due to the rise of MMOGs and then use rise of Grids such as Second Life.

2. Adding Social Engagement back into MOOC: In education today, MOOC is a big topic with its great and not so great sides.   MOOCs if used for mainly one way flow of material similar to a vast Screen Sharing or a pre-recorded movie playing technique can be far from engaging and yet be critically promising for reach to an organization or to learners.  Terf® enables social gathering on the smaller scale for these types of tools, such as break out rooms or team spaces or instructor office hours.

3. Used as a Social Gathering Place: Sounds similar but the point is different.  Terf® is a social media/computing tool, whereas the previous comment was it is a reachable tool from a social site.  We have customers who use it this way, in corporate, educational and in government settings.  They hold virtual meet-ups in Terf® with their text-based social communities, so this is exactly part of social media too suite.

4. The Immersive Social Bump: Really this is the notion of self-<word here> (not a typo) can be over simplified to meaning “alone.”  Self-guided help, self-guided training, self-service and so forth are what we are talking about.  Even watching a video on YouTube, an alone concept, right?  Most of social media/computing is the notion of a person, alone, sharing with text or posts with others and the research shows us that when we mash up those with different backgrounds, different expertise, different education, different goals… when we bring them together – that is when big magic can happen.  Terms for this in social are varied, including weak links creating the most innovation or the result of unintended and unplanned gatherings around common goals can create solutions that never would have come to light, etc.    Terf® excels here, the ability for learners to be “self-guided” but not alone is so powerful.  It need not be random but it can be.  Here are 2 vastly different examples of how the Terf® Social Bump can happen.  1. A self-guided training activity within a career training program in Terf® (think training via 2 or more classes to get a certification or to be able to take a promotion) vs. a giant town hall gathering for a town or city in Terf®.

5. Social Community: For some of our customers with distributed associates, they will use Terf® as their social locations.  It is their teams shared space, their Friday potluck meeting, their town hall and hang outs.  One example is the use of Terf® as the way associates fell together and down the hall when the hall is really in the same building or across the world.   Research done in the early 2000s showed that if you are more than 50 feet from another person in a work setting you are “distant” from them.  This distance is as far as being around the globe in its impact.  So, we are used by customers to feel like you sitting right next to others.  Sometimes this is via a reflective location where associates keep themselves sitting at their virtual desk that is in the right “real world” location in the model that looks just like their office.  Other times, the seat is in some stunning collaborative layout or some vast design room in Terf®.  We hear that associates never tire of how great it is, and fun too (that means engaging) to be able to walk over and talk their colleague when they need them, etc.  This isn’t a presence bubble on some email client; this is a feeling of social community/teaming.  Curenci’s CTO, Dale Schumacher, went on record about this topic in a Terf® Talk and many have.

These are just 5 ways Terf® is the top end of social for our customers and their users.  We didn’t even talk about how our customers get into social settings with Terf® with their own customers.