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January 2007 SIP Magazine
Volume 2 / Number 1
SIP Magazine January 2007 Issue

Everything 2.0

By Richard “Zippy” Grigonis, Editor's Note

 
 

 

With all the verbiage over Web 2.0 generated in 2006 (and now into 2007), one of the few things one can pin down about it is that collaboration functions such as document and calendar sharing will be paramount and that these will be helped by the kind of sharing and presence-awareness made possible by SIP/SIMPLE support in IM platforms and business applications. (Note the article on SIMPLE in this issue of SIP.)

“2.0 mania” has continued with Voice 2.0, the idea that IM/presence and VoIP will converge — or is it that the web and IP Telephony will converge? In any case, you get the general idea. There’s still a lot of mileage left in the term “convergence”.

Alec Saunders, the visionary technology evangelist and blogger, even wrote a Voice 2.0 Manifesto back in October 2005. More recently, Saunders has written the following: “When the Voice 2.0 Manifesto was written, it identified presence as the enabler of conversation, allowing parties to easily determine each others willingness to engage, and by which technology. Presence, today, remains an unfulfilled promise despite the numbers of writers touting it as the future of communications for the better part of three decades now. . . The solution is user driven presence — the New Presence model. Presence geeks will notice the absence of discussion around standards like XMPP, SIP/SIMPLE, and IMS in this piece. My assumption is that we’re going to get to a standard, and rather than debate the niki-norks of a particular protocol, this piece is about a vision for what presence might be when those details are completed. . . New Presence is a user-centric view of presence. Instead of merely reflecting the crude, device specific ‘availability awareness’ of today, New Presence systems understand our context, relationships, wants and desires. The New Presence model reflects the integrated conversation web we live in today.”




Saunders’ thoughts on the matter have kicked into high gear the usual army of bloggers. The general consensus is that we all have too many simultaneous examples of communications, IM and presence competing for our attention on a minute-by-minute basis (e.g. Skype, Google, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, AOL, softphones), and that various devices and software should be aware of each other and of a master rich presence methodology. In other words, everything should be tied into one overarching standard and users should have one “identity” across all devices and platforms. That may take a while to come to fruition.

In the meantime, the IM-to-Voice aspects of Voice 2.0 have struck a chord with the public and the technology has gained real momentum. Talkster has caused quite a stir as a service that lets you make free calls from your mobile phone to your buddies who use voice-enabled instant messaging services. No downloads or software installations are required to your phone or PC. The Talkster network (news - alert) relies on web services to handle both calling services and a dynamic contact list containing users’ presence data (“status”) utilized by instant messaging services. Talkster also offers international calling rates as low as 2 cents per minute, which many Europeans may find even more tantalizing than the IM-to-Voice link. One reason for this generous offer is that Talkster is still in beta — sign up now at http://www.talkster.com and start using the beta service today. The full “official” enterprise version of Talkster will be released in spring 2007 and will be a centrally-managed, policy-based, full-fledged voice and text communications solution.

Let’s just hope Yours Truly doesn’t get replaced with Editor 2.0.

Richard Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC’s IP Communications Group.

 

 


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