Tuesday, October 11, 2005

VOIP

We’re giving it a try. Enough of my friends are using it, and enough annoyance with the phone company has transpired.

After a bit of research and talking to users, I decided to go with Packet8.net. Hopefully my experience will be a good one. Common among reviews (online and from friends) is that their support stinks, but the service is good. Well, that’s okay, I guess. I’m usually a DIY kinda guy, so calling support tends to be a last ditch effort, usually ending with stumping the Indian on the other side, and getting an RMA number issued. I’d rather the product be good then the support. A ‘Maytag” man philosophy, one might say. I ordered it last Wednesday and finally today (Monday) got an email confirming the product and info had shipped. FedEx – two days… One week to get it from Santa Jose, Ca. – about five hours from here. Maybe not the greatest start, but eh… we’ll see. For the moment, we’re using a temporary phone number. If we like it, we’ll ‘LNP’ our land line phone number. That’s “Line Number Portability” for those of you who haven’t had to go through the hell of switching cell phone providers while keeping your phone number.

I’ll report on the status of my VOIP experience.

Talked to a friend at length in Argentina via Skype. That system works pretty darn well – especially, considering the price of the call. HEHE. Since I’m talking into my computer though, I am more accepting of the occasional garble. We’re so used to perfect land lines, that VOIP has a bit of an uphill battle.

We live in interesting times. As I’ve pondered before – the technology is wonderful, allowing us to do things never before possible. It’s also becoming fascinating to see how some companies are making fortunes while others are finding it tougher to continue to make fortunes. Change happens. Nothing you can do about it. Dinosaurs grumble, but will go extinct if they don’t evolve.
The record industry, the telephone industry – change is happening, whether you like it or not.

Next up – the motion picture industry.

In 2000, I had a conversation with Michael Shamberg of Jersey Films – brief, but I pitched him an idea. Let the public see a version – a complete version of a movie before it’s made. For free – give it away on the net. Build hype early. There was a lot more to it, but that was the essence of it. My argument was if you saw a comic book version (or animatic) of a cool movie, you’d want to see the movie when it came out. Conversely, if you saw a comic book of a crappy movie, you wouldn’t waste money to see the real thing. It could allow movies to “test screen” before being made, to evolve in a bigger way. It could lead to much higher quality movies actually being made, and a higher percentage of profitable movies. One could gather so much information, business and artistic, that it’d redefine movie making.

He thought it was a bold, but risky. At least that’s what he told me – he might have thought the idea was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard. He went on to say that he didn’t think it would go far.  I paraphrase, “The movie industry is a mature and extremely slow moving industry”. That was the end of it – and end of my hopes of having a professional relationship with an extremely cool company and person.  At that point in time, he was, most likely, right.  Now, five years later, Peter Jackson has done a very similar thing with his web site for King Kong. Of course it will work now. The movie will do gangbusters – A. because the story is a classic, and being done by a great filmmaker, and B. because the hype is going to be incredible.

The studios don’t know what to do. They fear marketing differently. They fear releasing movies differently. Heck, they still don’t want to do things digitally. Now Mark Cuban is quickly becoming their biggest pain in the ass.

He’ll be a bit harder to ignore than me.

I have maintained now for five years, that there’s gotta be a way how to give movies away for free, legally and still make a ton of money.

Think about it for a while.

1 comment:

  1. I believe all small business should have business phone service. If you are one or two employee company or in business where all your staff is on the road, then you don't really need a business line. Just get a Toll Free number and it will work on top of your staff personal cell phones. When they receive a call, it will indicate that it is a business call on their call display so they can answer it professionally. All your staff can have their own professional voicemail system. You can monitor how many calls are answered and missed. I have been usingbusiness phone service from telcan. Check them out at: Check out Check out Business Phone Service

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