Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

DeveloperWorks Blog: Sametime = Game Time?


Over on the DeveloperWorks blog, Craig Lorden riff's on Carl Tyler's recent Sametime, er, extensions, and comes up with some additional plugin suggestions for Sametime.  For example:

  • Advanced technology that detects when an online meeting is either really boring or way over your head, and then starts a round of Frogger for you automatically.
  • Ping or No Ping, where you can place bets on who will interrupt your day first with an instant message.
  • Wheel of Sametime, guess consonants or buy extra vowels to decipher text-message shorthand and win valuable prizes.

And my personal favorite:
  • Contact List Deathmatch, where you can pit two people from your Contacts list in a virtual fight to the finish. The person with the most pings wins.

It's a little different than what Craig had in mind, but the title brings me back to my days working at the town library when I was in High School, where my friends who worked in the children's department used to play "poker" with the kids' library cards while filing them.  (You know - a hand containing a card for, say, Anastasia Beaverhausen would beat one with Mary Jane Smith.)

Of course, this whole discussion is very much a two-sided one.  Like a recent discussion over on vowe.net around Nokia's business vs. personal devices, it sometimes can be difficult finding that line between a buttoned-down business solution and one that is designed for business use but that still gives users the credit for knowing when they should be working and when to take a break and have a little fun.  Especially with IM, where even today we continue to run into the "that's just for teenagers" or "people will just use it as a virtual watercooler" arguments, we find we need to keep a sense of balance in mind.  (Personally, I like trusting people with managing their own time and environment.)