Posts categorized "Social Media"

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). :-)

If you found this post interesting or useful, please consider either subscribing to the RSS feed or following me on Twitter or

Technorati Tags: , ,

Directory forming of Twitter users related to Telephony/VoIP/Asterisk/etc.

telephonytwitterdirectory.jpgDo you use Twitter and are interested in finding people on Twitter to follow related to telephony, VoIP, Asterisk, communications, etc? Well the folks over at the VoIP Users Conference have put together a website that provides a directory of twitter users related to those topics. If you'd like, you can add yourself using this form.

It's nice to see a directory like that, although it's unfortunate that you can't simply click on the person's twitter name to see their page. Perhaps this was done to counteract spammers because if live links were allowed the directory might be rapidly overrun with spammers looking for SEO. I don't know... the good news is that Twitter names are all short.

Naturally I added myself, both with my personal 'danyork' Twitter account as well as the 'voxeo' Twitter account I use for our blog posts and other communication.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider either subscribing to the RSS feed or following me on Twitter or

Technorati Tags: , ,

VoIP blogger/analyst Jon Arnold has a new blog address...

My friend and fellow VoIP blogger Jon Arnold (who interviewed me not too long ago) has a new home for his blog:

As Jon explains in a post, he had been blogging at the same location off of since 2005 but recently found that the server was no longer online.  He is neither able to post to the server nor are all of his older articles online.  This was perhaps inevitable with the continuing changes within "the assets formerly owned by VON / Pulvermedia", but Jon had hung on at that site for as long as he could.

So now he's got a new home and is trying to get the word out to people who used to subscribe to him over there.  If you linked to Jon from a "blog roll" or other list of blog sites, he would definitely appreciate you changing your link.

And if you haven't followed Jon in the past, I'd encourage you to check out his writing... Jon has been in the telecom industry a good while and writes a lot about the service provider space. Being in Toronto, he also frequently provides a Canadian perspective on larger telecom issues - and also clues us outside of Canada into telecom-related happenings within Canada.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider either subscribing to the RSS feed or following me on Twitter or

Sheryl Breuker: "10 people you should follow on Twitter" (related to VoIP, telcom, etc.)

I was rather humbled to find myself included among Sheryl Breuker's list of "10 people you should follow on Twitter" related to VoIP/telecom/communications. I appreciate that she and others find value in what I post in my Twitter stream... or at least... they find enough value to outweigh the other random posts I put out in my Twitter stream. :-)

Seriously, Sheryl's list is a good one and if you are interested in the VoIP / telecom / communications space, I'd definitely encourage you to follow the others on Shery's list (it's probably not a surprise that I have been). If I were doing my own list, there's probably a few more I'd add... and maybe I'll have to do that sometime...

If you found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed for this blog or following me on Twitter or on

Skype group in LinkedIn...

skype_logo.pngI've been a LinkedIn user for years but only recently started paying attention to the "Groups" feature... and noticed a group related to Skype that does include people associated with Skype, such as Peter Parkes. It's not clear to me yet how much discussion will occur within the group, but if you are a LinkedIn user also interested in Skype, you may want to check it out.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Good to see James Enck blogging again at EuroTelcoblog...

It's good to see that James Enck is blogging again at EuroTelcoblog. For quite a few years, I enjoyed reading James' blog largely because he provided this North American writer with some perspective into telephony/telcos in Europe and also because he wrote about Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) a good bit and I learned from that.

Then in April 2007, after about 3 years of writing, James just... stopped.

But now he's back... with an interesting explanation.

Welcome back, James! I look forward to reading more of your views...

How do YOU see social networking changing enterprise communication?

1F986311-DE40-482A-B982-3300FE408328.jpgHow do you see "social networking" and "social media" changing communication within companies, enterprises, etc.? How do you think blogs, wikis, etc. will change enterprise communication? What about Facebook and other similar sites?

What would you say on this topic to an audience at VoiceCon Orlando this week?

That's the task ahead of Irwin Lazar and I as we talk with Eric Krapf and Fred Knight in a keynote "conversation" from 10:30-11:00am on Wednesday. The panel, called "Social Networking Meets Enterprise Communication"has this for a description:

It's no secret that world of enterprise communications is undergoing a transformation; IP Telephony and Unified Communications are changing the nature of the game. Now new forms of interaction, which began in the consumer/personal communications market -- blogs, wikis and online services like Facebook are migrating into the enterprise. Where do these social networking systems and mindset fit into the enterprise communications landscape? Join us for a discussion about what's real today and what's likely to happen in the future.

Obviously, this is a topic about which I am rather opinionated and have been writing about in my various blogs for years (including this blog, as well as on Disruptive Conversations and in my reports into For Immediate Release), so I'm very much looking forward to the session with Irwin on Wednesday.

We've already got a long list of points we can cover... and obviously won't be able to cover them all in only 30 minutes (and we've got a hard stop at 11am as what's next is a presentation with Al Gore and Cisco CEO John Chambers!). But I thought to myself - how can I do a keynote panel on the impact of social networking in enterprise communication if I don't somehow include social networking into the prep for that panel?

So here's my question for you all -

What do you see as the top one or two ways that social networking / social media will change the ways in which people communicate within enterprises?
Both internally among employees and also externally between the company and its customers and partners?

To perhaps get the conversation going, here are a few of the topics that Irwin and I already have in our list:

  • interest in the opportunities to improve collaboration among employees, especially virtual/distributed
  • interest in the opportunities to improve collaboration with customers and partners/vendors
  • concerns over enterprise usage of public sites/services, i.e. what security is there for corporate data out on these sites?
  • challenges with rolling out these services internally (from a deployment point-of-view as well as business case, who owns it, integration of different systems, etc.)
  • expectations of new generation of incoming workers
What do you think? How do you see social apps/services changing enterprise communication? (Or do you take the contrarian view that it won't?) Your feedback is definitely welcome... (thanks in advance)

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

RIP, Marc Orchant... you will be missed in the world...

200712092013The world is a bit darker tonight. Oliver Starr relayed the tragic news that Marc Orchant passed away earlier today. I've sat here tonight saddened... with my thoughts very definitely going out to his family... especially at this time of year.

And then, as a writer, I feel compelled to write. It seems really the only way to honor Marc's passing.

By most measures, I did not know Marc well. We never met face-to-face. I did not work directly with him. He had not ever interviewed me, nor I him. We had not participated in any joint projects. But in this crazy world of interconnected social media, it sure felt like I knew him. I'd been reading his ZDNet "Office Evolution" blog all along up until August when he left to join Oliver Starr in starting up There on blognation I enjoyed his writing and followed along as wrote about the latest Apple happenings, talked about how he liked his Kindle reader and ultimately how he removed himself from Facebook. Since he occasionally wrote about Skype, something I cover here as well, I did pay attention especially to those posts.

Marc and I did "meet" virtually through Robert Sanzalone's "Pacific IT" Skype groupchat, where Marc participated for a few months this fall. He pointed me to what he considered the best mobile VoIP handset around. We chatted about the new MacBookPro's. He sent me a Jaiku invite when I was looking for one... the kind of ordinary things that happens in such group chat rooms. He was helpful, kind, courteous... a consummate professional.

Perhaps why his death strikes me so hard is because he was one of us... a "tech blogger"... a writer... a storyteller.

He used words to help try to make sense out of the insanity that surrounds us on any given day. He tried to educate... enlighten... de-mystify. He wrote well and with an enjoyable style. He told stories.

And now he is gone.

What remains is his family (donations are being collected by Oliver Starr) and, of course, in this era of Google and seemingly infinite disk farms... his words:

And undoubtedly many more places than those I've listed here. Technorati also pulled up this video of Marc in 2005 explaining what a blog is:

There are perhaps more of those out there as well... and undoubtedly pictures in Flickr and other such sites.

Now, for the rest of us, all we can really do (outside of donating to Marc's family) is to remember him. Consider this my entry in building that collective memory... in helping in some small way to tell Marc's story. I've seen posts already from Alec Saunders, Aaron Brazell, Tris Hussey (on blognation),Robert Scoble... and I'm sure we'll see many more in the hours and days ahead.

No mere words can ever replace a loved one, but perhaps in some small way they can offer some degree of solace to Marc's family to know that he was valued by others... that what he did mattered... and that the world is a better place for him having been here.

Rest in peace, Marc... thank you for all you shared.

Technorati Tags: ,

My interview on PulverTV today...

200710301421Today at Fall VON in Boston, Jeff Pulver hosted a special version of his Pulver TV show where he interviewed a number of people from the conference including me. First up was Jason Calcanis of Mahalo fame. Next was James Tagg, Founder and CEO of TruPhone. I followed and then the show wrapped up with Bob Frankston who is perhaps most widely known as one of the inventors of VisiCalc.

200710301433-1My part of the show starts at 14:30 and goes until 23:24. (When I nicely leave the stage without taking off the lapel mic! Oops! Sorry about that... ) We talked about my presentation at VON (on Thursday), application platforms like Facebook, my new role with Voxeo, social media in general and much more. It was a good bit of fun to do and I have to thank Jeff for giving me the opportunity to participate.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

MySpace is NOT giving away free cell phones but instead launching a free ad-supported phone VERSION (of the site)....

200709240538In what looks like a classic case of someone leaving a critical word out of a headline, the Associated Press this morning came out with this report that MySpace is apparently launching an advertising supported free cell-phone. As indicated in the news release:

The company already offers premium, subscription-based versions of MySpace through AT&T Inc. and Helio wireless services. Those versions include special features integrated into specific handsets, such as uploading cell phone photos directly to a user's profile page.

The new version set to launch Monday will work on all U.S. carriers and will allow users to send and receive messages and friend requests, comment on pictures, post bulletins, update blogs, and find and search for friends.

At first I went along with the headline but the more I read it the more it made no sense whatsoever. There was no mention of phones... rate plans... or anything else. Gradually it dawned on me that while the AP headline was this:

Myspace to launch ad-supported cell phone

what they really meant was this:

Myspace to launch ad-supported cell phone version


And here I was getting all excited that News Corp. was doing something truly stunning and had figured out a way to use advertising to drive the costs of all calls to $0 and give away all the phones and minutes for free! Given the huge community of MySpace users out there, they would probably have immediate pickup and would truly disrupt the industry.

Ah, well... the truth appears to be that they are just making it easier to use MySpace on web-enabled cell-phones without paying for the subscription version. Commendable... but not even remotely as exciting.

Let's see how far people run with the "MySpace to give away free cell phones" theme today!

Technorati Tags: , , , ,