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Posts from July 2011

Skype Opens Its Walls A Bit? Lets You IM Facebook Users Just Like Skype Users

skypelogo-shadow.pngDid Skype just add a XMPP gateway into their network and bring their walls down a bit more? Today's release of Skype 5.5 for Windows had one VERY cool piece of news:
Facebook integration
Now when you connect to Facebook you can see when your Facebook friends are online and IM with them directly from Skype.

Now I don't have Windows to test it out (as you would know from my earlier post), but in working with fellow blogger Jim Courtney who uses Skype on both operating systems, this has some interesting aspects to it.

For starters, in Skype 5.5, the chat with the Facebook user appears in your left-side list of chats just like a chat with a Skype user. You have the same user experience chatting with a FB user as with a Skype user. (Subject to the caveat that Jim found he couldn't edit a message sent to a FB user, but that makes sense given that the message would leave Skype's network to go over to Facebook's network.)

When Jim went into his Facebook contacts he found my name (he and I are friends on FB) that I was currently "offline":


He noted that he could call me via a regular phone number... but not through Skype, even though we are connected on Skype. (So a bit of future integration work that could be done.)

Once I opened a browser and logged into Facebook, I showed up to Jim as online:


Jim initiated a chat... and to me it seemed to be just like a regular Facebook chat:

Facebook skype55

On Jim's side, it looked like just a regular Skype chat.

This is VERY cool!

Why? Because this is really the first direct integration I am aware of between Skype and any other IM service. Sure, there are any number of services that people have connected to Skype to bridge Skype messages out to XMPP/Jabber or other networks... but they aren't directly supported by Skype and in my experience some of them haven't worked too well.

Now, I don't know how Skype actually accomplished the Facebook chat integration. I do know that Facebook supports XMPP (Jabber) for connections to external services for chat, so this would be one very obvious way for Skype to make the connection to Facebook. They might have done the integration at a deeper level. I don't know.

But if Skype did add an XMPP gateway to the edge of their network... that's great news... and perhaps may bode well for future integration with other IM services.

Skype 5.5 for Windows has a bunch of other updates, including those emoticons I ranted about, and if you are a Windows user I would suggest you look at upgrading.

Meanwhile, even if it is only on one platform, kudos to the folks at Skype for lowering the walls a bit and connecting out to the other IM networks!

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Skype Rolls Out New Emoticons - But Yet Again ONLY on Windows

skypelogo-shadow.pngSkype is very excited about rolling out new emoticons today... but continuing their fragmented product strategy, these new emoticons are Windows-only. So while on a Windows system they may look like (image from Skype's blog post):


What they look like on my Mac is this:


C'mon Skype... would it have killed you to make this available in a simultaneous Mac release?

I don't personally really care about access to these emoticons... my life will not be any better or worse based on whether or not I can use these emoticons (although I do see places where I could use them).

The point is that Skype once again continues to roll out features that work on one operating system but not on others.

Personally, I'd love to see Skype get to a point where it could be like Mozilla Firefox (or Voxeo's Prophecy) where a new release comes out across all operating systems.

Let's break the silos, Skype... and provide a more consistent user experience across ALL platforms!

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Video: Why is Sam Censored?

In the run-up to our presence at the SpeechTEK conference in New York starting on August 8th, some Voxeo marketing colleagues of mine put together this fun video:

And of course, if you want to find out WHY Sam is censored... well... you'll just have to wait until SpeechTEK! ;-)

P.S. There's also an outtake video :-)

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Voxeo Speakers Out at OSCON 2011 This Week... Crisis Comms, Open Source, IPv6

OSCON LogoIf you are out at O'Reilly's OSCON this week in Portland, Oregon, two of my colleagues from Voxeo will be out there speaking tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday. Johnny Diggz and Adam Kalsey will be speaking on:
  • Open Source Tools, Social Media and Crisis Response

  • Managing Open Source Releases of a Cloud Platform

  • Why Should You Care about IPv6? And What Should You Do about It?

I was supposed to be out there at OSCON giving that last presentation about IPv6, but unfortunately I'm not able to travel this week. Adam is thankfully delivering that presentation on my behalf.

If you are out there at OSCON, I hope you enjoy the event - it looks to yet again be a fantastic event!

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It's Been 3 Weeks - Where Is The Skype for iPad App?

skypelogo-shadow.pngThree+ weeks ago on June 24th, we were all buzzing about the Skype for iPad app that was rumored. I linked to a video from MacRumors which looked quite cool. There were numerous posts saying that the Skype for iPad app was "imminent" in the Apple AppStore. Others said it was coming the next Tuesday (3 weeks ago tomorrow).

And after all the buzz... where is it?


At least, it's not in the AppStore, as of just a couple of minutes ago.

Where is the hang-up, one wonders... delays on Apple's end? on Skype's end? Where?

Regardless, the net of it is that we iPad users are all left out here... wondering...

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Voxeo Customer Summit 2011 - Oct 10-12 - Agenda Now Available - Register Today!

Want to learn how to build powerful communications applications that work across voice, SMS/text messaging, IM, Twitter, web and mobile channels? Would you like to meet the people creating Voxeo's products and services such as Prophecy, PRISM,, Phono, SMSified, IMified, Evolution and more?

Would you like to understand how these services can grow your business? Make your operations more efficient? Open new revenue channels?

Are you concerned about being "locked in" to proprietary services or APIs?

Would you simply like to learn new products and skills to develop your own career?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, please plan on heading down to Orlando, Florida, for the Voxeo Customer Summit 2011 on October 10-12.

Courtesy of a number of sponsors, registration is FREE. You just, obviously, need to get down to Orlando and cover your hotel, etc.

From the Voxeo blog post announcing the agenda, here are some of the highlights:

  • A presentation of the 2011-12 product roadmap
  • Real strategies for creating competitive advantage with multi-channel, Social CRM and cross-channel analytics
  • Technical deep dives on PRISM, Phono and more
  • An interactive Demo Lounge showcasing products from Voxeo and Summit sponsors
  • A keynote presentation by Joseph Jaffe, author of Flip the Funnel
  • A hands-on pre-conference developer workshop: Building Apps with Phono and Building SMS Apps with SMSified (OneAPI)
  • Great networking events including the Party at the Plaza! Come check out our brand new office!

I'll be presenting a tutorial on IPv6 and how you can use it with our applications and will be around through the event blogging, tweeting, interviewing folks and generating other online content.

It promises to be a GREAT time and I'd love to see many of you down there. Register today!

P.S. The first version of this post had the dates incorrectly as Oct 8-10 - and in fact the URL still has those dates in it. However, the correct dates are Oct 10-12. My brain was temporarily confused with SpeechTEK 2011, where I will also be speaking, and is being held August 8-10.

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Slides from eComm 2011: How IPv6 Will Kill Telecom - And What We Need To Do About It

Last week at the eComm conference in San Francisco I spoke about how IPv6 will impact telecommunications and what we as a community should be doing about it. The session was recorded on video and will be posted at some point in the next few months. In the meantime, I have posted my slides on SlideShare - they may not be terribly useful without my narrative... but you may find some of the links of interest:

P.S. If you are interested in me giving a presentation like this to an audience you know of, please feel free to contact me.

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