eComm 2009 - Direct Updates from Lee Dryburgh

Am doing a fair bit of boosterism lately for conferences I'm spending time at - well, times are tough, and viral marketing is easy and cheap to do.

On Monday, Lee Dryburgh did his Squawk Box segment with Alec Saunders, so it's a good chance to hear first hand from "LeeComm" how things are coming along and what you can expect to see at eComm 2009.

The podcast was just posted late last night, but it's as timely now as it was Monday morning! It's a long listen - almost an hour - but there's lots to talk about. The eComm roster is strong, and the content will be first rate, so if disruption and innovation is your thing, this should be on your March calendar.

Lee continues to tirelessly transcribe interviews he's done with some of the presenters, and you can read these on the eComm blog. The most recent entries are interviews with Jan Linden of Global IP Solutions and Andreas Constantinou of Vision Mobile.

eComm Updates

Yesterday, the IT Expo; today, eComm.

These two events have been keeping me busy lately, and I've got two items to share about eComm 2009. As I've been posting recently, the program is coming together nicely and the sponsor support has been healthy. That's great news considering how difficult the economy is. The next step is getting the word out and ultimately getting attendees to register so we know who's coming!

Before getting to the eComm news, I wanted to share a great post from Andy Abramson, who's just back from MacWorld and CES last week. He goes to way more events than me, and his post is a great read for anyone worried about the health of the conference space. Of course they're all hurting financially and are scaling back accordingly. However, as Andy can attest first-hand, there is still tremendous value in attending.

Even if the shows are smaller, the key players are usually there, and there's no better opportunity to learn from and network among your peers over a few days. How's that for a nice segue into eComm? And of course, it applies equally well to the IT Expo, and any other show you have some history with. We all have to be more selective these days, but events like these matter, and are still the best way to stay involved.

On that note, the press release for eComm 2009 went out this morning, and you should give it a read for the latest list of topics and sponsors. Not to mention the early bird discount! I posted about getting this discount last month, and if you didn't take advantage of that, here's your second chance!

There's also a more interactive news item to pass along. Alec Saunders is going to resume his widely-followed Squawk Box interviews, and next Tuesday - January 20 - he'll be interviewing eComm founder Lee Dryburgh. It will be a great opportunity to hear from Lee directly about what eComm 2009 is focusing on, and of course to join the conversation yourself. The interview will be hosted on Alec's Calliflower platform, and you can read the details on his post.

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.