Shout-out from Starwood on my virtual Aloft hotel visit
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Jeff Barr, Web Evangelist for Amazon.com in Second Life

Amazon_001Just logged off from a cool talk given by Jeff Barr, Web Services Evangelist for Amazon.com.  (I love that his official title is "evangelist.")  Jeff gave a great overview of the myriad web services provided by Amazon, fielding detailed questions from techies in the audience.

The organizers from the Kuurian Expedition I am sure will post a transcript shortly.  Meanwhile, here are some pics I took.

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Jeff, aka Jeffronius Batra in SL, began with a general overview of Amazon as a company.  I had assumed that their major business was in e-commerce / retail, but they are an enormous technology provider as well.

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There was a crowd of 30-some residents in attendance.  Lots of web developers, academics, and one lost looking robot.

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Jeff: "Doing all this creates a platform that developers look at and think 'Hmmmmm, I can build something cool and innovative with that!'"

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Jeff shows off slides of his virtual house, i.e. Amazon's "brick and mortar" presence in Second Life.  It's mostly just a space to give talks on Amazon's web services to other developers, and provide links to Amazon sites and services.

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Jeff talked about the cool Amazon tools that developers were building within Second Life, including the 411 HUD, Life2Life and Jnana. I've blogged about 411 and Life2Life previously. Jnana looks really interesting too: a virtual storefront that points the consumer towards real world goods via an expert query and matching system. Sweet.

Jeff was clearly excited to be hanging out with a bunch of interested and informed geeks in Second Life.  Glad to see Amazon taking such a strong interest in virtual worlds, not just from a marketing and sales perspective, but also as a way to network with a larger developer and programmer community around the globe.


UPDATE 9/9/06: Signpostmarv has posted a full transcript of the event.
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