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July 13, 2010

Once Upon a Time at Cluecon: Music + Developers + Entrepreneurs + Chicago = Cluecon

By TMCnet Special Guest
Suzanne Bowen, VP, Super Technologies, Inc.

An interview between Suzanne Bowen, VP of DIDX and Techistan with Anthony Minessale II, lead developer and creator of freeSWITCH, an open source soft-switch / application media server discovers the story of Cluecon, past, present and future. Readers can make plans to participate in Cluecon Aug. 3-5, 2010 at the Trump Hotel, Chicago, Illinois.
Suzanne Bowen: Compare the first Cluecon with the one scheduled for 2010.
Anthony Minessale II: There is a drastic difference between the first ClueCon and ClueCon MMX (2010). The first ClueCon was in an obscure hotel near one of the airports very far from downtown.  There were several people in attendance who were intrigued by the idea of an open source developers' conference.  There was no FreeSWITCH at that time. It was only an idea brewing in my head.  One major difference is that it's the only time Mark Spencer (News - Alert) attended, giving a presentation on Asterisk.  Today, after 5 years of ClueCon, we are in downtown Chicago (have been since 2006) and this year we are at the luxurious Trump Hotel and we expect the biggest and best ClueCon ever!

Bowen: I attended the 2007 and 2009 Cluecon conferences and have some great memories like West in pajamas, the hot but friendly debates in Q&A sessions that I have recorded on Youtube, playing basketball with everyone, meeting a BBC correspondent, learning from Kamailio, openSIPs, freeSWITCH, Opal, Asterisk (News - Alert) and other open source developers and entrepreneurs. Would you share a hilarious story about a past Cluecon, Anthony?
Minessale: In 2008, we had a night where after the presentation we had beer and pizza in the conference hall.  At 8pm they told us we had to clear the room for the night and we were stuck with 2 half-barrels on a luggage cart.  With nowhere else to turn, we went to someone's room where we hung out and played some instruments.  The next day we realized it was on you tube at
We still carry the tradition to this day to bring instruments to the conference for the night time.

Bowen: I play the piano, Anthony. Can I bring it this year? I remember you guys taking us in 2007 to the DIDX-sponsored Cluecon party in a limousine, about 20 of us. The parties are just as creative and memorable as the conference itself. So, share a story about one of the best business developments from a Cluecon conference.
Minessale: The number one best business development we have ever had from ClueCon is our relationship with Sangoma Technologies (News - Alert).  They have been a proud sponsor of the conference every single year since the first.  This year they will be announcing their commitment to the FreeSWITCH project by adopting the maintenance of our TDM abstraction layer FreeTDM (formerly OpenZAP) We are happy to have them in attendance and we can't wait to see our friends!

Bowen: Sangoma is wonderful. I met their CEO David Mandelstam last year at CommunicAsia (News - Alert). We spent a lot of time brainstorming business development ideas and ways to better enable more of the IP communications industry to Sangoma, DIDX and open source telephony applications like freeSWITCH. Give us a tiny blurb, plug-in about voip phone numbers and how DIDX just might happen to be a good service to jumpstart and grow one's freeSWITCH or other open source telephony application and IP communications consulting and business. What do you think? I don't mind some suggestions and critique, too.
Minessale: FreeSWITCH lends itself well to services like DIDX.  With a simple configuration tweak, calls can be routed in and out of FreeSWITCH instances all over the world allowing anyone to gateway the PSTN into VoIP space and to many FreeSWITCH services like conferencing , voicemail etc.

Bowen: Let me tell you. Many DIDXchange (News - Alert) members, readers of our media channels like the TMCnet DID/DDI channel, our blogs, and our new online magazine Techistan can't wait to get together with you guys. Tell the venue, date, place, and how to sign up to sponsor, present, and participate in any way again please.
Minessale: ClueCon will be held at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, IL (312) 588-8000. The Trump is located at 401 N. Wabash Avenue Chicago, IL 60611. (See below for maps and directions.) When contacting the hotel to book rooms, please call 877-45-TRUMP (87867) and refer to booking number 4347 (FreeSWITCH Solutions or ClueCon).

Sponsors and anyone interested in attending can contact us at  1.877.742.CLUE (+18777423583) or on the web at or

We are giving away some great prizes including 2 Ipads and a MacBook PRO engraved with the attached image. DIDXchange is a media partner for Cluecon 2010.

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Edited by Alice Straight

Technology Marketing Corporation

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