Audio Interview: Mozilla's Nils Ohlmeier about Firefox and WebRTC
XKCD Comic Perfectly Captures Sad, Fragmented State of Messaging / Chat Systems

Celebrating 10 Years of Blogging at Disruptive Telephony

DisTel Dec2006

Ten years ago today, on December 18, 2006, I launched this blog with a very short 1-paragraph post:

Welcome to Disruptive Telephony! For a number of years, I have been blogging about VoIP as part of my personal blog, "". However, I'm now in the process of splitting out some parts of my writing into separate blogs. This is one of those blogs. Right now... I'm just setting it up, so don't expect to see much here. Stay tuned, though... much will be happening soon.

At the time, I was living in Burlington, Vermont, and working remotely for the Office of the CTO at Mitel Networks back up in Ottawa, Ontario (where we lived from 2000-2005). Dave Edwards, a friend from Ottawa, left the only comment on that post.

In 2006, the "VoIP blogging" world was quite small - and we all pretty much knew other. Om Malik was writing on his own site (it was yet to become GigaOm). Andy Abramson had VoIPWatch. Jeff Pulver was writing on his sites. Tom Keating at his "VoIP and Gadgets blog" on TMC. Martin Geddes had his "Telepocalypse" site. Alec Saunders had "Saunderslog". And there were a few others...

This was back in the day when we read each others blog posts, commented on them, excerpted each other's posts, etc. And "social media" was not yet a big thing.

It's been a crazy 10 years since... being "restructured" out of a role at Mitel in 2007 after their merger with Inter-Tel, finding a role with Voxeo through this Disruptive Telephony blog (they read this post about telephony not mattering, and then my post about the role I was seeking)... moving to Keene, NH, in 2008... joining the Internet Society in September 2011... it's been a wild ride!

Along the way, I wrote a ton of articles about Skype, SIP, Google and many other VoIP technologies.  MANY relating to security. At one point I seemed to have become Skype's receptionist since no one could find a phone number on Skype's (pre-Microsoft) web site. I wrote about startups that showed great promise, and also about when those promises faded. Many articles on many different topics...

I learned a huge amount and met many great people and made great connections from the writing on this site.

Over this decade of writing, TypePad gives me these stats:

  • 1,209,851 Lifetime Pageviews
  • 331.10 Pageviews/Day
  • 800 Total Posts (including this post)
  • 924 Total Comments

Very appropriately - and with no plan whatsoever - this is the 800th post on this site.

I started using Google Analytics on the site in October 2007 and it tells me I've had 1,817,045 pageviews since time, proving, once again, how difficult it is to track viewers, since the stats are different. More interestingly, GA shows me the top posts that have attracted interest over the years:

1. Google Voice Now Offers SIP Addresses For Calling Directly Over IP (March 2011)

2. Understanding Today's Skype Outage: Explaining Supernodes (December 2010)

3. Did Google Hang Up On Calling Google Voice Via SIP? (March 2011)

4. Will iOS 9 Make My iPad2 Usable Again? (June 2015)

5. What is an Over-The-Top (OTT) Application or Service? - A Brief Explanation (July 2012)

6. How To Set A Skype Chat So That New Arrivals See (Some) Chat History (March 2011)

7. You Can Now Call Into Google+ From Regular Phones - Google Connects Google Voice To Hangouts (May 2013)

8. UPDATE: Will iOS 9 Make My iPad2 Usable Again? (Reports after the upgrade.) (September 2015)

9. Why Is Skype Forcing A Software Upgrade On All Of Us? (Plus The Community Outrage) (August 2014)

10. Did Google REALLY Kill Off All XMPP/Jabber Support In Google+ Hangouts? It Still Seems To Partially Work (May 2013) 

 No real surprises there... my post about Google Voice and SIP addresses STILL receives a significant volume of interest, even though that capability died long ago. For a while, back in maybe 2009-2012, I was one of the main people writing about Skype, and so many of my posts of that era were highly viewed.

A few of my own favorite posts that aren't on that list include:

A. The Directory Dilemma - Why Facebook, Google and Skype May Win the Mobile App War (June 2015 and December 2014) - one of my longer pieces diving into what I see as the prime challenge for new entrants into VoIP / messaging. (The link is to the updated version on CircleID, but the original version was here on this site.)

B. Why The Opus Codec Matters - Even If You Don't Care About Audio (July 2013) - my thoughts on why people need to care about audio codecs.

C. Moving Beyond Telephone Numbers - The Need For A Secure, Ubiquitous Application-Layer Identifier (May 2013) - After SIPNOC 2013, I dove into the whole area around "What do we use as an application-layer identifier for Internet-connected devices?"

D. A Brief Primer on the Tech Behind Skype, P2PSIP and P2P Networks (November 2010) - I kept needing to explain peer-to-peer (P2P) networks to people, and Skype's setup in particular, that I felt compelled to do a deep dive and explain how P2P systems worked. Fun to write!

E. Hypervoice - The Fundamental Flaw In The Proposal (October 2012) - this piece analyzing a proposal from Martin Geddes and the ensuing comment trail make for good reading about different viewpoints on the future of telecommunications.

F. Ch-changes - Taking A New Job At The Internet Society To Join The Fight For The Open Internet (September 2011) - this one is of course a favorite as it explains why I am doing what I am doing now with the Internet Society.

There were many other favorites, like my rant about WebRTC and who we were building it for, but these were the main ones.

Of course, if you look at both of those lists you can notice that with the exception of the two iPad / iOS9 posts and the updated "Directory Dilemma" in 2015, all of these are older posts.

This shows, though, the decline I've had in posting here.  Look at these numbers:

  • 2016 - only 7 blog posts (including this one)
  • 2015 - 25 blog posts
  • 2014 - 28 blog posts
  • 2013 - 30 blog posts
  • 2012 - 40 blog posts
  • 2011 - 154 blog posts
  • 2010 - 90 blog posts
  • 2009 - 52 blog posts
  • 2008 - 110 blog posts
  • 2007 - 234 blog posts

Clearly my velocity has decreased in a serious way, mostly as a result of new responsiblities with the Internet Society and a decreased amount of time for writing here.

I have a loooooonnnnnnnggggg queue of articles I want to write here. The reality is that while some things have changed over the 10 years, many of the same issues are still here.

We'll see where I go with this in 2017. I have a great amount of focus I'd like to give to messaging... let's see if I can make that happen!

Meanwhile... today I will just say THANK YOU TO ALL THE READERS OVER THE 10 YEARS! I'm glad to have helped many people along the way - and I'm glad to have been challenged by many people as well.

I'm looking forward to the next 10 years of writing here... because one thing is definitely for certain: telephony will continue to be disrupted!