Live from the Maryland Biz Expo, Part 1

You can almost smell the cooking of crabcakes in the air here at the MD Biz Expo, presented by the Maryland Association of CPAs. Gail Perry (CPA, Managing Editor) and I are fully immersed in this terrific gathering spearheaded by Tom Hood, Executive Director of the Maryland Society. Tom even treated me to a nice piece of salmon last night.

In yesterday's session on Second Life, the creator of Second Life, Philip Linden, popped in to the virtual session. Linden stated that he believes Second Life will replace a portion of business travel in the coming years. He sees Second Life expansion on the business side occurring as a substitute for teleconferencing, specifically for small business groups and remote workers.

So who in the accounting world is using Second Life effectively? For starters, IGAF Worldwide has a large presence in this virtual world. KPMG and Clifton Gunderson are also using it quite successfully for recruiting purposes.

Check out CPA Island. Tom Hood founded this world. www.cpaisland.com

My avatar is Quincy Greybeard. Gail Perry's character is Glal Landar.

Second Life is still a bit cumbersome, plus there's a real learning curve...but there are worthwhile business applications. Stats say that users are pretty evenly split between men and women, with the average user being 32 years old.

I think one day in the not-so-distant future we'll look back at Second Life in 2009 in much the way that we now look back at the rudimentary beginnings of the Commodore 64, VCRs and bulky mobile phones. This is just the beginning for Second Life.

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Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.

Prior to this role, Caleb served as the editor of Going Concern since its founding in 2009. During his time as editor, Going Concern quickly became one of the most popular and talked about websites in the accounting profession. He has been named one of Accounting Today's Top 100 Most Influential People every year since 2011 and has been published on numerous websites, including Above the Law, Deadspin, Denver Business Journal, and the Huffington Post.

Caleb is an adjunct professor of journalism the Community College of Denver in Denver, Colorado, where he teaches Internet Media.

Prior to falling bass ackwards into the media business, Caleb spent over five years working in public accounting, with more than three of those years at KPMG. Caleb received a Master of Science in Accounting from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Caleb spends a lot of time on a bicycle and reading, but never at the same time.

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