Missouri's chief information officer recently hired a tiny cat with a red bow tie.
Well, OK, not really. He really hired a recent computer engineering grad for the Department of Natural Resources, according to Government Technology News. But the guy first inquired about the position at the state's job fair in the virtual world Second Life. And his 3D representation in that world, or avatar, is a tiny cat in a tie.
Missouri CIO Dan Ross likely will lose more than 10 percent of his tech corps to retirement in the next decade, so he's recruiting aggressively in the real world too. But he figures his synthetic world ROI is pretty good. "Last year I was reporting about $100 spent. This year we've doubled that to $214. So the ROI is pretty quick," he says.