Monday, May 22, 2006

TechCrunch says Bebo Closes $15M in Financing - was Skype a factor?

Michael Arrington just reported that Bebo, a popular European social networking site has just closed 15M in financing. This is big news, but not for the obvious reasons.

Bebo, if you are not aware is essentially a EU version of Myspace/Facebook and is gaining in popularity very quickly by concentrating on a market not saturated by Social networks like NA. But what is most interesting is Bebo (along with Jyve - disclaimer I work with the Jyve guys) was one of the first social networks to fully and completely support Skype for instant messaging and voice chat rather than developing there own proprietary VoIP/Chat piece.

Skype & Bebo
Bebo and Skype have joined forces to offer an integrated IM client and free calls for all Bebo users.

  • Beboers can Call (voice) or Chat (text) directly with other Beboers

  • See when other Beboers are online and available

  • Skype integrates directly into Bebo, for free

I am pretty confident saying that Skype support was a major (allbeit not the only one) factor in their success. Skype is wildly popular in the EU/UK/EMEA due to high telephony costs. This is great news for the Skype ecosystem, funding is available for innovative and leading edge web applications such as Bebo, and EQO. The lesson learned here is a clear shot across the bow of other major Social networking sites - Skype support = users = traffic.

Jyve will be presenting at eBay Live, June 9-14th, drop me a line if attending and I will gladly set up a meeting time with the team.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The BBC gets the wrong 'Guy' literally.. :)

This really floats my boat, for two reasons.

1. I have spoken to Guy Kewney in the past, he is a very good reporter and excellent writer.

2. Guy is a white English male, who had met with the folks at the BBC on numerous occasions in the past to provide commentary.

Linked is the video on where the BBC in studio reporter asked Guy for a comment on music downloading during an on air morning newshow. You will see that the black French speaking taxicab driver whom they mistakenly grabbed out of the waiting room was very 'surprised' to find out he was no on the air in front of millions of people. I can barely type this I am laughing so hard.

The real Web site editor, Guy Kewney, who watched with
astonishment at reception, said the mix-up was hard to explain
because BBC staff had seen his picture in advance. Kewney is
white and the mystery guest was black.

"He seemed as baffled as I felt," Kewney wrote on his Web
site, which has a link to the interview,
broadcast live on Friday.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Free SkypeOut, in US and Canada

Hmm, looks like the cost per call for domestic PSTN calls on Skype is now zero in the US and Canada until the end of this year.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

"E.T. PhoneGnome" ~ he should have called Iotum.

Remember E.T. that beloved alien, that wanted to do nothing more than 'phone home'. Well that tearjerking little movie from the 80's would have had a quick finish if E.T. had the PhoneGnome - enabled with Iotum's Relevance Engine. He wouldn't have missed the call to get back on the damn ship, as that call was very 'relevant' to his situation - and the Engine wouldn't have given up trying to find him.

So what is a PhoneGnome? - simply put it is a next generation voice platform solution, it requires no LNP, new hardware or complicated installation and opens real "VoIP" applications to anyone with a broadband internet connection, and now Phonegnome and Iotum have bumped uglies and resulting offspring is a true Voice 2.0 solution that really can't be matched for features by any of the big boys; Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL and even my beloved Skype :) ...

However all is not lost in the world of VoIP communications, the seas need not boil, and locusts need not fly - as both PhoneGnome and Iotum are platforms; which means they are designed to enable other solutions - just as a PhoneGnome is provider agnostic, Iotum is network agnostic - it works with VoIP, celluar, PSTN etc., any SIP friendly gateway. Skype, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL have an opportunity to embrace this now before they are looking over there shoulder saying "I wish we had that".

Just talking about next generation voice services isn't enough, listen up kids, I don't want to wait 10 years for my phone to know whether or not I want to take a call, I want it today and there is no reason why I can't have it, the tools exist right now.

Nortel, Cisco, Mitel, Avaya, Panasonic, NEC all have a need to offer this - interoperate with Outlook; and secure a place on the business desk, Iotum provides a tool to do it. Eventually (I think) they will all do this, it just makes too much sense - but the fun part is the first one to take advantage of this technology wins BIG.

"it's not the big that beats the small; it's the fast that beats the slow"~ Niklas Zennstrom

Monday, May 01, 2006

Firefox Contest winners

The video entitled Daredevil, won the Fireflicks contest as announced last week. Of all the submissions it was hands down the most artistic, and told the message the best.

The tagline at the end, really nailed the Firefox community. "My other browser is a surfboard"

Click to see the winning video.

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