BlogFerence Starts Tomorrow

The two day Blogference starts in about 9 hours at the IDC in Herzliya, Israel. One of my favorite bloggers, Om Malik and others will be arriving from abroad to take part in it. Depending on wifi availability I hope to blog live from the floor…

Want to know more about the Blogference? Here is what their web site says.. Have a nice week!

The Sammy Ofer School of Communications at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya will host Blogference, an international bloggers conference, July 1st-2nd, 2007. The conference will discuss different aspects and issues raised by the growing blogosphere phenomenon. Blogference combines both the academic and practical aspects of blogging, addressing both the latest research and showcasing new blogging elements.

 

Day one of the Blogference (July 1st) will focus on academic exploration of the blogosphere, the psychology of blogging, the role of blogging in politics and the impact of blogging on journalism. Day two (July 2nd) brings a series of hands-on workshops introducing the latest blogging trends and technologies. The workshops will be led by top bloggers from around the world and Israeli industry leaders. Class size will be limited to enable participants to gain personal experience. The workshops aim to draw in both the business sector and individuals.

 

Blogference will be held at the Sammy Ofer School of Communications at IDC Herzliya. The school, inaugurated in October 2006, offers an Undergraduate degree in Communications. It is equipped with the very latest communications facilities.

Facebook!

A revolution is taking place. The Facebook revolution.

Jeff Pulver as many of you know is a generous guy, when he sees something that he likes, he shares it with his friends. A couple of days ago I received (like over a 1000 others…) an invitation from Jeff to join Facebook.

Facebook is a place for college kids to play – right? Well that is what I thought until I tried it out. It seems in the last few weeks Facebook has become the place to be for business, and is fast replacing Linkedin as the preferred business networking site.

Linkedin is like a British club, quiet and conservative, Facebook is exciting, there is always something hopping. But the killer is that Facebook is a platform with an open API, so you can add numerous applications. The Web 2.0 world is packed with what I call “one function companies” like Dopplr and Twitter, Jajah and others. But a function doesn’t make a company! Here comes Facebook and provides business people with a full platform for networking. On one platform you can track your friends, communicate with them, share trips, ask questions, join groups, plan events etc…

So far from what I can see it works! This may be a “Netscape Moment” which changes the web, what do you think?

GrandCentral is The Future and it is here for all of us!

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According to TechCrunch Google is buying Grandcentral!!

I first met them at Etel, and Craig seemed to me a great guy with a great product.

GrandCentral is a telecom dashboard that gives you one number which forwards to all your phones and easily manage incoming calls. In addition you can forward calls to any phone number and provider certain callers or groups of callers with special rings, specific rules, etc. You can also use a ring back tone derived from an MP3 file so callers can hear the song of your choosing.What I really like is the call screening so you will know who is calling before you answer.

You can even listen in when people leave voicemail and pull people out. You can block callers. You can even switch calls from one phone to another mid-call.

This is the future of telephony, merging the IP capabilities with traditional telephony. The possibilities are unlimited and what is great about it anyone can do it!

The important part is to have a great idea and marketing plan. Once you have those all you need to do is to sign up for an account at the Flat Planet Phone Company, do a little programming and start marketing your Voice 2.0 service! (Oh and don’t forget to hire Andy Abramson as Your PR agency….)

Your other option — if you really want to do cool things and merge your business processes with telephony is to contact Thomas Howe the Voice Mashup Man. Whatever you do the future is here! Don’t miss out on it!!

Congrats to Craig and team for a fantastic product and great execution!!!

The Flat Planet Phone System works on the iPhone

flatplanet1.gifWell, it is now official FPPC works on the iPhone, at least the website does… after all with all these companies raising $2om-$25m for simple VoiP applications – Hype is the name of the game :-)

This was all verified by Thomas Howe The VoIP Mashup man who  tried out the iPhone simulator with a number of VoIP web sites such as us, Skype, iotum and Grandstream.

You can read all about the iPhone simulator here.

VoiP is more reliable than the PSTN!

According to Rodrigue Ullens, CEO  of Voxbone (the international origination specialist), “VoIP, in fact, can be more reliable then public switched telephone network  (PSTN), if well configured. While achieving the same type of redundancy with PSTN is not impossible, it is very costly to implement and maintain.”

Ullens adds, “Our redundant SIP trunk feature was the last missing piece to provide 100% resiliency for customers. When a customer activates this feature, our systems start monitoring its primary Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), which is configured by the customer. Whenever our system detects a failure, for example, because the server is down or there is a network problem in the datacenter, calls are automatically re-routed to the backup URI until the primary URI is live again.”

The new feature is particularly attractive to distributed call centers and other businesses in which 100 percent reliability is crucial. For example, a customer may have equipment in two datacenters, one on the East Coast and the other on the West Coast. The customer’s primary SIP trunk would connect to the first datacenter, while the backup SIP trunk would connect to its second datacenter. In the case of a failure on the primary SIP trunk, all calls would be re-routed to the backup SIP trunk, effectively preventing an outage.

With this new feature, every DID can be mapped to a backup URI in addition to a primary URI, and whenever Voxbone receives a call on a DID, its switches send the call to the currently active URI.

Want to stand out? Get someone to block you!

james-tagg.jpgMobile VoIP is a hot area with many startups vying for your attention. Rebtel, Jajah, Truphone, Talkplus, Fring are just a few of the better known ones. Now, if I as someone who is involved in the VoIP industry, do not have a clear understanding of who is who and what is what, how do you, as a mobile voip player, stand out?

Well, the easiest way is to have someone block you!

Truphone is a great example. I haven’t really had time to look at their application (though I did have dinner with their team in Stockholm last week) Truphone has seen a flurry of publicity since they were blocked by T-Mobile last week, probably giving them more public awareness, then any of their own initiatives.

How to Click to Call and increase sales

clickcall.jpgDid you know that research shows that a click to call button on your web site can double your sales in comparision with a classic toll free number?

Well that is just part of the data that my friend Dean brings on the advantages of putting a click to call or a click to speak button on your web site.

Not only does Dean bring statistics, but more important than that he has a detailed tutorial how to use Asterisk to get click to call functionality on any web site. Read more

If you want to have your own ready made system contact us at the Flat Planet Phone Company 

To learn more about the commercial applications, look to Luca’s blog

Von Europe Summary

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Von Europe will continue tomorrow, but I am on my way home, so it is time to sum up my 3 days in Stockholm. Von actually has three parts, the conference, the exhibition and the community. For me the best part was to catch up with people I know and forge new relationships with others active in the VoIP community (picture at left – Daniel from OpenSer, Tjardick Van der Kraan otherwise known as TJ, Martyn Davies, Carmelo our man from the Agence Wallonee des Telecommunications of Belgium, yours truly and Pat Phelan thanks to Dean from voip-user who is on the other side of the camera). Some of the conference sessions were definitely interesting and you can see my live reports below in the blog. There was a sentiment that I heard expressed by veteran Von Europe participants that the exhibition was a little weak with low participation. Although for me it was actually worthwhile to visit the booths and see demos of a number of softswitches and systems.

Thank you Jeff and company for organizing the conference and see you all at Von Israel!

New Invention extends Wifi range to 300 miles and more!

1button.gifWhile at VON Europe, a friend of mine sent me an email about a new invention which extends your home Wifi connection to hundreds of miles. Though it is hard to believe, there is a movie here that explains it all- Wifi Movie

Imagine what this invention does for VoIP !!! You can now use your your Wifi connection and make free VoIP calls where ever you go. How do they do it? Watch the movie and figure it out. It is actually pretty simple and even a little hilarious.

Send your solution to wifi at flatplanetphone dot com, I would love to hear it!

Do you want to start your own “extended range wifi” phone company? We can have you up and running with the same type of service almost immediately! From what I see their profit margins run at approx. 60%… not bad! email me at extendedwifi at flatplanetphone dot com.

VozTelecom announces at VON, Free Hosted PBX

xavier.jpgXavier Casajoana of VozTelecom is speaking about their new offering Free Hosted PBX for the SMB market. An interesting offering that will help push this fast growing market forward.

Though if you think about it, it is just a nice marketing message -since it is really not free. You still have to pay for origination (DIDs) and termination (outgoing calls). That said I applaud VozTelecom for coming out with an idea that will hopfully entice small businesses to try out a hosted IP PBX.