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Posts from August 2005

GizmoProject To Link With GoogleTalk

Give Michael Robertson credit, he knows how to make news. With one of the best networks of people in the developer community he has used that market intel to time the release of GizmoProject 1.0 to that of GoogleTalk.

Gizmo's parent SIPphone has also agreed to expand their network by linking with the newly launched Google Talk network. Gizmo Project and Google Talk users will be able to exchange instant messages and voice calls among each other in future versions. "Our goal is to link the entire world into one giant free dialing directory and joining forces with Google is a great step in that direction," said SIPphone CEO Michael Robertson. "Gizmo Project users can now call more than two dozen voice networks and 150,000 University phones using GUPS, which makes us the largest SIP based network in the world." See:

Now normally one would think that GoogleTalk would be all the buzz, but by making saying Gizmo will be interoperable and part of the Google federation concept he's moved from Me Too to Me Also, but still hasn't hit the Me Different level yet.

Blogger Panel Goes Prime Time

I woke up this morning to some very good news. It seems the Blogger Panel has gone Prime Time at VON, or at least as close to it as possible in a trade show and conference setting. We're also being promoted to the level of General Session or in conference terms a Plenary Session. As such we'll stand alone and be the only game in town for that time slot.

The new time and date is September 20th from 5 PM until 6:30 PM. That's just in time for the news crews to cover us, so I sure hope Todd and Susan, the highly charged, and very capable media relations mavens of VON make that happen, as our crew will certainly not be shy about saying things during the General/Plenary Session.

For those who don't know the meaning of Plenary defines it as:

1. Complete in all respects; unlimited or full: a diplomat with plenary powers.

2. Fully attended by all qualified members: a plenary session of the council.

The folks at PulverMedia worked hard to make this happen, mostly Carl Ford and Peggy Kilburn for whom we all say thanks to, as I know from past conference experiences of my own that moving anything is always painful to someone. Thanks !

Skype Opens Platform-Seeks Wider Integration

It's starting to happen more. The Balkanization of the Messaging Platforms. Today Skype announced their open platform approach. Google, with GoogleTalk is also setting to seek a standard via XMPP, something that lets various platforms work together already.

Then you have SIP which is the Voice standard. So instead of everyone being on one standard you have more. Unlike the telephone and their networks that all work together and interconnect with every other one, you now have various interests trying to take centerstage and be the driver of the standards. While I'm all for advancement, I wonder how this will all pan out. Will dollars be the decider, or will what the users want be the final determinator. I'm not sure, as even with all the money in the world in the tech sector neither AOL with IM, nor Yahoo, nor Microsoft's Messenger(s) have become THE standard. Upstart SKYPE sure gained a lot of users faster and seems to have taken that sector by storm, being the first to really drive adoption of Voice by IM users, while all the rest seemed to make it an after-thought. Even now, only Yahoo of the three is making a push, while Microsoft seems to say, we can do that too, yet not really make a big todo of it.

Then there's AOL. They had the world by the you know what's in messaging. ICQ was the SKYPE before there was SKYPE. They also have AIM, but yet it seems they lost focus and neither one seems to be THE cool app that it once was.

Yesterday I coined the phrase ME TOO, ME ALSO, ME DIFFERENT. I think in the products and services sector it's so apropos. Me Too are those that are clones of what someone else does. Me Also are those companies that get into the game much later, say me too, but want to offer their own twists and likely are really adding in functionality. ME DIFFERENT is another breed. Those are products and services that do things that change the way people work or do something. Right now what I see from Google is a lot of Me Too and by sheer fact of what they do some of Me Also. What I'm not seeing from them is any ME DIFFERENT.

The same can be said for VoIP right now. A few companies are doing things different. They Think Different and operate differently. Those are the things I want to see and hear about, and of all the IM and VoIP soft clients it's SKYPE in the consumer space that keeps saying ME Different, yet, at the same time they too are staring to fall into the ME Also category.

The CallVantage Outage

Apparently CallVantage had an outage yesterday. Since I was traveling I didn't know until a chat with Yak's Dave Hurwitz. He told me my number was giving some kind of not available message. I tried CallVantage's web site, had no luck so I dialed my number and heard what he heard.

But the service was back up within the hour so I figured it was just an outage. Tom Keating has more details.

Interviews Wanted By A Daily Paper Reporter

I received a request for help from a reporter who is looking for interesting stories involving the use of Voice, as part of their Internet experience.

The reporter would like to find people who are using voice with other Internet applications, like gaming, dating, IM and more.

He's asked me to act as mailman so send them to me at and they will be forwarded to the reporter.

Deadline is noon Wednesday August 24, which is tomorrow, Eastern time.

Google To Launch A Messaging and Voice Federation

Reports are that Google, a recent entrant into the messaging and voice arena is going launch a "federation" that will enable the messaging and voice players to be interoperable with one another.

Expect to see the likes of the SIP crowd in it. My guess is that SipPhone will be one of the first to jump in the arena. The big question is will Yahoo or Skype be a party to the play?

Update--Earthlink has piped up and told me also that they are the first ISP to collaborate with Google to open up its instant messaging and voice communication product.

VC Wants Smarter VoIP Applications

For as long as I've been writing about VoIP I've been saying that it's the apps that matter. It seems one of the more veteran VCs in Silicon Valley is on that page also.

The app she's referring to in the Business 2.0 story by Michael Copeland isreally a VoiceXML type of application that shouldn't be that hard to do. Parus Interactive already has lots of this type of technology and may actually hold some patents that put them in the cat-birds seat on this one.

Other companies are starting to hit this sweet spot and likely will be bubbling to the surface at Fall VON or even sooner, next week at VoiceCon here in San Diego.