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My new role at Voxeo: Director of Conversations

voxeologo.gifTwo weeks ago, I took on a new role within Voxeo, but rather ironically I've just been too straight out to write about the role change with the launch, our activities at eComm and, well, the new role itself. I've given some teasers in my Twitter stream, told a number of folks out at eComm and outright gave it away in my weekly report into FIR #426, but I haven't written about it. Some of you may laugh, but I also, quite frankly, find it a bit odd to write about, well, me. I prefer to tell the story, rather than to be the subject.

When I joined Voxeo back in October 2007, I wrote about the move and said that a part of my role in the Office of the CTO was this: Basically I get to help tell Voxeo's story. And for the past 1.5 years I've been doing that through blog posts and podcasts over on, through my external blogging, through my many presentations at all sorts of conferences, through Twitter and Facebook and probably a hundred other venues and services.

Now, though, telling Voxeo's story is no longer a part of my role... it is my role.

After four years in "strategic technology" roles where "social media" was a part of my role, I'm now shifting to head up Voxeo's marketing/communications/PR/AR/events/etc. - not just the "social media" but all of the traditional media and channels as well.

Those of you who know me may not view this as a big shift - I've always had one foot in technology and one foot in communications/marketing/PR. Even in my online writing. Just look at Disruptive Telephony and Blue Box on one side - and Disruptive Conversations and my weekly reports into For Immediate Release on the other. My job roles over the years have oscillated between those poles, sometimes heavily into tech, sometimes heavily into communications... very often a strong combination of both.

With this new position, obviously, communications/marketing/PR is front and center, but of course in 2009 in the Era of Search, SEO, social media and information self-service - technology plays a strong role.

I'm looking forward to it. Voxeo has some great stories to be told. There are some great conversations out there to engage in. Communities to help foster. I have an awesome staff to work with (who, like me, are distributed all around geographically). I report directly to a CEO who twitters, uses Facebook and is heavily into SEO. I am surrounded by some truly amazing people doing incredible work. It will be fun and frustrating and joyous and overwhelming and all the other polarities that come with intense jobs.

As to the job title, Director of Conversations, it's really a recognition that in the Age of Google and Facebook and reviews (in iTunes, Amazon, etc.) and Twitter and everything else, what we think of as "marketing" is increasingly all about joining into all the various conversations that are happening out there. Ten years later, many of the theses of Cluetrain are more true than ever. The conversations are happening. Our challenge is to find the most appropriate ways to join in.

That's the news... with that out now I can thankfully get back to the regular storytelling of this blog...

P.S. One amusing aspect of this new role is that it is now a zillion times easier to explain what I do. The title may be "different", but saying you "head up marketing/communications/PR" is more understandable to most people than saying you "explore and analyze how both the ways in which we communicate and the tools we use are changing and then write/speak/talk about those changes both publicly and to the company and customers" (my previous OCTO role). :-)

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