Sometimes I want to SIP Hemlock

A friend writes about Ian’s article Nice article. Still not convinced that P2P is really necessary other than punching holes through access routers, but …

Things we know?
Like Rohan (and Cullen, IIRC) screaming in Niklaus’s face at the VON in London because he refused to drop everything and go with SIP?

Carl did an excellent circus master job there (as usual), and this did not end up with the punch-up that the cult representatives apparently wanted (as did most of the audience — amazing how quickly the cameras appeared in the hands of everyone out of range — I was just diving for cover).

Now — if I had a shiny toy that worked for all my customers, and the cult was offering a system that plain didn’t work through everyone’s home firewalls without serious tweaks, I would hope I acted with as much dignity (or disinterest) as did Niklaus. The height difference may have helped.

These battles are so irrelevant to the real story, one again I will say that I expect that any IPR that maybe outstanding is little more than a process patent on top of Paradial, which combined with the GIPS codec made Skype what it was.

Now Skype of course is becoming something more. The Mood Messages are putting into a social network motif and at least these are people I normally chat with and not just faces in the crowd.

If anyone wants my advice, I have a killer app that should be added to these tweets of wisdom.

Defending Verizon Wireless against Gigaom

I was struck by the criticism from Colin Gibbs regarding Verizons efforts to build their app store strategy.

First of all, Colin is normally gives great insight into the happenings around the industry, and the criticism may feel valid to the web apps developers that Verizon is trying to entice. But the app store that Verizon is chasing is very different then any other in the market.

They are indeed on a quest for the Network API. An elusive creature that adds value to being a Verizon Application.

As our friend Scott Snyder has pointed out in The New World of Wireless, 3G applications were the reason the money was spent by the carriers, and so far web developers have been the only applications of value.

At the end of the day, it may be that this is the best a carrier can hope for us to provide a great Internet experience. But repeatedly people suggest to carriers that they can do more with their role as a trusted service.

At the Verizon developers conference the team from Verizon explained their network API. It was not a strategy for most web developers. Entreprenuers’ in the garage, dorm room, mom’s kitchen, do not want to sit and consider the value of Parlay – X as an API to work with in connecting to Verizon’s systems.

But to those of us who use to work in the legacy of the telco systems where the Work Authorizaion Request form was a declaration of W.A.R. with IT this is an amazing extraction.

I also want to point out, that it may in the end be a necessary path for carriers, as the Network Neutrality debate implicates an ability to show non discriminatory interfaces.

So while I appreciate the goal of apps folks who want to port from the iPhone to Verizon, this is not the goal that Verizon has in mind.

VON The Taffy Pull

A lot of friends have been sending me the Virgo Newsletter with the announcement of their running of VON.  Congratulations to them.  Virgo has a history of delivering their community and I am sure it will continue.

When VON first started, free voice was the really cool idea and VoIP looked like the perfect vehicle.  VON was cool when Jeff Pulver started it and with Jeff’s background as a ham radio operator it  enabled him to think about the patch between packet and circuit as a given.  I came from the bell headed opposing side of the equation.  “Look at what this data traffic does to my switches”, I said when I was in the phone company and I was interested in putting the traffic on something that moved the traffic differently.  Together we were a blend of Internet and Bell thinking that was very good and I give Jeff a lot of credit for his creativity.

Jeff was on the cool apps side, while I brought in the people who wanted to make efficient networks to support them.  That to me was VON, but to our audience VON was a lot of things.  It was Cool Apps, New Opps, brillant minds and the switch to cheap voice, etc.

It maybe the community embraces Virgo’s VON as the place to meet. However, VON’s audience was fragmented and its important to note that it will probably stay that way at least for a while.  Comptel, GTM, IT Expo, SIP World, VoiceCon and VON will have community participation with people looking to save money.  Ecomm, Open Mobile, and SoComm and everything GigaOm’s shop does will have the cool apps and the social crowd.

I think VON was a phenomenon because it was at the center of the migration from circuit to packet and the embracing of the Internet for the Landline side.  I am now focused on a similar migration to wireless I call the 4G Wireless Evolution .

My carrier friends still deploy VoIP, but the end user does not benefit.  We lost the innovation of presence in delivering the voice when we connected to the PSTN. I know the same thing will not happen this time around, but I am not sure how it will manifest in our experience and hope its not just our phone number list having the green status dots now part of our mailbox?

The cool aspect is no longer cheap voice, its integrated voice.  Integrated voice that is Web 2.0, context – aware, voice embedded applications on your TV, browser, game box and your phone.  That thread will be in all of the events. I believe that voice will one day be a function and not a service, but for today the world is a blend of bundles; some in the old models, some in the new and some in unexpected ways.

In these times, I also believe all of our events will lose some old friends, find some new ones and be surprised by the unexpected.

Is Facebook the AOL of its time

Sometimes even typing the title of blog post is scary.  I expect to get some pushback on this one.

At Gigaom’s blog this weekend was the analysis that Social Networks had peeked.  I always try to be a contrarian.  My history is to never join a ground swell in either direction.  So this obviously has to be the an upbeat discussion.

So let me put this in terms of what I see with the wife and kids.  My wife is still an active AOL user.  She has email loops and favorites and if she ever was going to leave AOL it would be because those features disappear.  In other words, her good will is almost everlasting. AOL is her address book and her buddy list. AOL lost its “cool” was when broadband became available and apps were discovered by the subscribers that made AOL’s interm portals irrelevant.

Facebook has very similar relationships with my kids.  The “kewl” factors are the network they have with their friends. And the groups and apps are minor for them the networking and the wall is a great asynchronous communication amongst their friends.

So what would drive the friends off of Facebook?

I think a mis-step in privacy and the effort to insert more financially viable solutions may allow the kids to look elsewhere.  As Facebook starts to lose execs and add new executives from Google and Yahoo! the question is will the kids be everlasting Facebook users.

The obvious question is what are they willing to pay for? Unlike AOL, Facebook has set their prize at zero.

I would love the analysis of the change in Facebook use five years after graduation.

So far I don’t see the driver to leave.

September is the Month for Conference

Here are the conferences I am either going to or sending friends to .

September 10 -12
San Fransisco
CTIA – Wireless IT & Entertainment

September 16th
New York

September 16-18
Los Angeles,
Internet Telephony Expo West

September 18th
San Fransisco

September 23-25
Glendale, AZ

September 30th – October 2nd
WiMAX World