Dell in SL: One Year Later


As I landed on that title for my presentation at Metaverse07 this coming Monday, I thought it would be an appropriate one for an update here, too.  Yes, it’s been almost exactly one year since Dell Island launched to the public in the virtual world of Second Life.  To some it might seem like the lyrics of a Grateful Dead song would be an appropriate description for it, but I would have to disagree – it’s really not been as strange as it might sound.


 


True, we’ve had a dolphin attend an Earth Day event, we’ve built an XPS 710 you can walk inside and trees that can grow as fast as you want them.  We’ve had dragons dance on a giant ark to music played by a frog and a cat.  But, we’ve also had residents of Latin America in-world asking questions and getting them answered by Michael Dell while his live webcast from NYC streamed into our StudioDell theatre.  And, connecting it all is the one not-so-strange thread of people coming together, meeting on a personal level and engaging in real conversations.


 


To further those conversations, in July we began keeping customer service “office hours” during weekdays.  Not everyone thought this was such a great idea.  But, to myself and Todd Dell, who volunteers to staff those hours in addition to his regular job duties, it was all about offering one more way for our customers to connect with us.  It’s that same desire that is now bringing a new member to the Dell family in Second Life – Esperto Dell. 


 


Esperto (as his name implies), is one of our technical support experts who wants nothing more than to assist customers in new and exciting ways.  He will be spending his evenings at our SL coffee shop from 7-9:00 p.m. SLT, Monday – Friday, so that he can answer your questions and provide tech support.  While his name may be Italian, he actually remembers only a little of what his grandmother taught him of that language; however, he can converse in Spanish, as well as English.  His time spent in SL is not about replacing any of the traditional methods our customers have for support, but rather providing one more avenue for you to connect with real people here at Dell.


 


At the recent Social Media Club Workshop, well-blogged by Geoff Livingston, one of the speakers asked the audience if a corporation can be sincere.  My answer (totally my own opinion) was that while a “corporation” cannot be sincere, the people within it can.  Esperto and Todd are sincere in their desire to explore the possibilities of virtual worlds and engage in real conversations with our customers and potential customers.  I hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity and visit them, if for no other reason than to get to know more of us here at Dell on that personal level.

Laura Pevehouse

About the Author: Laura Pevehouse

Laura Pevehouse was profiled as one of five “social media mavens” in the March 2009 issue of Austin Woman Magazine and named an AdWeek’s TweetFreak Five to Follow. She has been part of the Dell organization for more than 15 years in various corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and online communication roles. From 2014-2018, Laura was Chief Blogger/Editor-in-Chief for Direct2DellEMC and Direct2Dell, Dell’s official corporate blog that she help launch in 2007. She is now a member of the Dell Technologies Chairman Communications team. Earlier in her Dell career she focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations as part of the Global Communications team. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team. When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of Dell.com, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in the virtual world Second Life. Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.