Reuters is organizing a series of in-world interviews over the next few days with major personalities attending this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, including today’s interview with prominent political blogger and journalist Arianna Huffington. This is part of the elite forum’s efforts to broaden the reach of the high-powered gathering in Switerland every year. According to their press release, they are employing a number of new media tools to let the public know what’s going on there:
The World Economic Forum will be using new Web applications to extend
the discussions at the Annual Meeting 2007 to a much wider audience.
Held under the theme The Shifting Power Equation, the debates
and discussions at the Meeting will be open to the general public via
traditional broadcast channels, but also via webcasts, podcasts and for
the first time, vodcasts. Internet users can field questions to
participants via blogs and videoblogs and selected participants will be
interviewed live in the virtual world of Second Life.
On the line-up for interviews are: Richard Edelman, Peter Gabriel, John Battelle, John B. Osborn, Sir Stelios Haji-loannou (of easyGroup), Mark R. Warner (who’s already visited Second Life), Joarne Ellehold, Gavin Newsom, Mitch Kapor, Fareed Zakaria, Maurice Levy and John Chambers.
Arianna spoke about everything from Adam Reuter’s choice of avatar clothing (too conservative), griefers as terrorists (they’re not), the role of blogs in the presidential elections (they’re really important), and whether or not Second Life is "for girls" (it’s for both girls and boys).
I was hoping Arianna would give more a flavor of what it’s like being somewhat of an outsider at this über-elite gathering. Does she have to sit at the little kids table in the dining hall? Is there hazing? Drunken debauchery? Most importantly, does being there make her a sell-out or a subversive?
Here’s a crowd shot, to give you a picture of what the event was like. Arianna spoke to us over audio, while we were able to submit questions via Instant Message to the moderator.
And yes, the silliness of me blogging about a blogger being interviewed by a reporter for a traditional media outlet in the virtual media platform of Second Life was not lost on me. This is so far removed from reality I don’t know how many "meta"s to add to it.