Friday, January 2, 2009

VoIP's Prognosis - Depends Who You Ask/What Sources Work For You?

When I published my latest Service Provider Views article on TMCnet on Monday - "I'm Not Dead" - I didn't give it much thought once it went live. My articles get comments here and there, but nothing like this.

Andy Abramson and Alec Saunders picked up on it first, and from there, it sure has hit a nerve. Over the past couple of days, the premise as to whether VoIP is dead or alive has taken a life of its own in the blogosphere, and there are clearly fans on both sides. Alec has done a great job keeping this dialog going, and I'll point you to his post from Wednesday night that has a very helpful roundup of links to the most noteable commentary, including Jeff Pulver (yes!), Om Malik, Ken Camp, Ted Wallingford, Andy Abramson, Garrett Smith, Lee Dryburgh, as well as our posts - his and mine - that ran on Circle ID.

Since then, I'd like to add a few other voices to the mix - Stuart Henshall, Lee's more extensive comments on the eComm blog, Jazinga's Shidan Gouran (on his brand new blog - welcome!), and Israeli colleague Moshe Maeir from Flat Planet Phone Company.

Lots to think about there, and with this post being a day or two removed from most of the recent commentary, I'm not so sure there's much connection any more with my article. I find it really interesting how these conversations evolve in the blogosphere, and that everyone has an opinion, and people take sides very quickly. From what I can tell, I'm the only person in this mix whose views were presented in the form of a published article. Everything else has been blog posts, and it sure is interesting to see how organically and virally conversations evolve in this medium.

Before moving on, I just want to pass a hat tip on to Andy Abramson. He was the first to cite my article, and that's when this whole thing started to pick up momentum. My blog is not as widely followed as others cited above, and more importantly, I don't think bloggers follow the industry media all that much any more. So, if not for Andy, I'm not so sure any of these conversations would be happening.

So, for me, this is an interesting sidebar to whether you think VoIP is dead or alive. Most bloggers I follow are much better informed about our space than the media, and all the threads I've read on this topic have valid points of view. But they're not getting published in the mainstream, and I see two problems stemming from that.

First, the mainstream is missing out on some valuable insights from people who are really in the know. Of course there are tons of journalistic issues around this, but that's another conversation.

Second, the blogosphere can be insular and self-selecting, so we're often just talking amongst ourselves. Am not sure if there's an indifference towards the trade press from bloggers, but I do wonder if there's an unhealthy disconnect out there between these two camps. Yes, there are journalists/editors who blog, but most bloggers are not from this world.

By the way, I'm not taking sides here - am reflecting more on how the process of getting and staying informed is changing in the Internet world, and how it's different for everyone. I don't have the answers at hand for these issues, but I think they're important, and probably warrant a forum for separate conversation. That's another thread I'd like to keep going in 2009.


Andy said...

Your welcome Jon. As the Marketing Terrorist I am, I'm always happy to put more gasoline onto the fire :-)

Dave Michels said...

I think it is a great conversation.

I think VoIP as a technology is here to stay in a variety of ways - but voip as a value prop, particularly to the business user will come under fire unless the pbx value prop changes.

Please see my blog at where I posted my view in more detail.

Thanks - Dave.

Jon Arnold said...

Hi Dave - nice to hear from you and thanks for picking up on this. I agree, it's a great conversation, and I sure hope it keeps going in '09 - lots to talk about. Glad you shared your link - not much there on VoIP per se, but I like your thoughts on PBX, UC, SIP trunking, etc. Always glad to hear from new voices, so please pop back in soon, and I'll keep an eye on your posts.

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