A number of folks here have independently started to plan conferences in which Croquet would be used for presentation and interaction during the conference, and would continue after the physical conference ended. I think there’s a good reason that people want to do this.
Face-to-face meetings and conferences are very high-bandwidth encounters, but do not persist well.
Sharing ideas by publishing (e.g., papers in a professional journal) has excellent persistence, but is extremely low bandwidth.
Croquet is multi-bandwidth.
<%image(20060507-multi.jpg|875|556|Four users spontaneously discussing a slide presentation, and sharing other resources such as a Web site and search engine. One user is presenting live video.)%>
Conferences let you interact very closely, exchanging both prepared and spontaneous ideas in rapid succession. The context is established by the conference theme, the physical space, the compressed time scale, and the close proximity of ideas in both time and physical space.
Papers that you bring home from a conference, or email correspondence with people you meet at a conference, evolve at a glacial pace. And the context of the evolution – the connections between ideas and between people – is either ponderously encoded (references, threads) or carried in your head.
A virtual Croquet space let’s you express ideas in a variety of ways: spontaneous voice and video, text chat, live construction of a document, sketch, or 3D model, or insertion of previously prepared media of all kinds. Each of these expressions are performed in a context – a space in which you can see the surrounding stuff and the people involved. People can simultaneously and synchronously participate at any of these levels of interactivity. They can also asynchronously participate at any time thereafter and so incrementally continue the exploration of the idea.