Tag Archive | scoble

Etel, Ecomm and VoIP Mashups

Etel VoIP Mashup – Virtual Conference App.

Update: Looks like I am not the only one who has had it with old school conferences. Scoble has some great points here!

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Since it is unlikely that my idea of a virtual Etel conference will make it on it's own, here is another thought. Why not have a mashup contest with the target application being a Virtual Conference application that could be used with ANY physical conference or expo?

This new app could be used to provide those of us who can't afford or just simply can't physically be at conferences the opportunity to participate. There would be video and audio of each session streamed live over the net, during Q and A attendees on the net could click a button and their phone would ring. At the other end would be a session host who would take your question, introduce the attendee to the panel and then the attendee would ask the question.

We could also integrate presence and show notes in an very interesting way by making use of Twitter, Pownce etc.

If there is to be another Etel (or Ecomm), I think we should step out of the 20th Century and push the IP communications envelope, that is what the essence of Etel was all about, wasn't it?

VoIP Mashups and Building VoIP Applications

VoIP APIs + Development = VoIP Mashup 

Scoble posted a great video of a Zude demo the other day which looks to have some great promise. It's like a social network mashup within a social network. Make sense?  I am not going to go into greate detail on the service apart from saying that I was impressed with the ease at which I was able to drop code my Zude page and manipulate images with relative ease, 2 of my pet peaves with any existing web app/blog software.

So the social network scene is heating up which is a good thing, Facebook and MySpace need the competition. There has also been some action in the VoIP Mashup scene of late led primarily by Thomas Howe and Company, go Thomas!

VoIP Mashups are not really all that new. VoIP APIs / SDKs / toolkits have been used in combination with other VoIP APIs in many instances over the years to create various telephony applications. Going WAY back I can remember dorking around with the NetMeeting SDK and other toolkits to produce what could be considered an early H.323 version of Skype.

The technology has come a long way since then and SIP now rules the open standards VoIP roost and I believe we are all better off because of it. As I look back on the state of the industry from the mid-late 90's I can see some distinct similarities in the sales and marketing approach of the old school VARs and the VoIP consultants of today.

The multi-port protocols of old and the lack of support for the SDKs that were represented back then are behind us. In their place are some very well designed and thoroughly supported APIs that can deliver just about anything any company would ever dream of when building a new telephony application or integrating VoIP into an existing application.

So what's missing? If today's APIs are so great why do we need consultants to tell us which one is better for our potential projects? One theory is that we as humans are generally pretty damn lazy. As a rule we also like it when others tell us what we should do thereby averting disaster when the dung hits the fan.

Folks, there is no Black Magic required when building or integrating VoIP into your apps. Do your research and talk to as many industry professionals as possible. In some cases you will not need to know anything about VoIP, SIP or H.323 etc. Make an educated decision, then take that API and build something great.

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