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The Voices of Unified Communications Through Podcasting

David ByrdIt is very common as you walk through the various expositions and events in our industry to see interviews taking place either on the show floor or in some more private area. Generally, I will sit for an interview in either the Broadvox booth or in the established video area. However, up until this year, I had not done a podcast. Doug Green of Telecom Reseller finally got me to do one on the merger of Broadvox and Cypress Communications during IT EXPO, and while I was at COMPTEL, he got me to sit again. Since podcasts are not high on my list of information sources, I discussed with Doug how many people participated or listened to the podcasts. He has quite a few posted on his site from a broad array of participants in the IP community. As I reviewed some of the subjects, it seemed that Doug has been very good at convincing people to sit in his booth and get interviewed. However, I was also interested in the general acceptance of podcasts. That was a lot more difficult to assess.

I was unable to find any recent studies on the adoption of podcasts by general users of the Internet. Most of the information regarding the interest and listenership of podcasts was older than five years. One comment did catch my eye as it referred to a podcasts as talking to oneself.” That has become a common refrain for blogging among younger users of the Internet. Blogging has been falling off for Internet users in their teens and 20s because they dont believe they are reaching an audience of any size. Similarly, individuals creating podcasts are probably only talking to themselves. However, when podcasts are used to convey industry knowledge and are consolidated on a respected site, then they are more likely to be accessed.

Therefore, I do not suggest that each of you establish an area on your websites for podcasts. Nor do I suggest paying some marketing firm thousands of dollars to develop and market a podcast. However, I do think that if you find someone like Doug who is developing a following with his podcasts, then participate. It may even be useful to link to certain ones that may be of interest to your customers, prospects, partners or employees. One thing is certain, according to eMarketer, the total U.S. podcast audience was 10 million in 2006 and forecasted to exceed 50 million in 2010 (again, old market data). Even if the numbers are off by 10-20 percent, that is a lot of people.

In addition to catching my two podcasts at http://www.telecomreseller.com, you can read my articles written for the magazine, including my most read article, Practicing Safe SIP.”

Listen and, indeed, learn.

David Byrd is vice president of marketing and sales for

Broadvox

, and is responsible for marketing and channel sales programs to SMBs, enterprises and carriers as well as defining the product offering. Prior to joining Broadvox, David was the vice president of Channels and Alliances for Eftia and Telcordia. As director of eBusiness Development with i2 Technologies, he developed major partnerships with many of the leaders in Internet eCommerce and supply chain management. As CEO of Planet Hollywood Online he was a pioneer in using early Internet technologies to build a branded entertainment and eCommerce website company partnered with Planet Hollywood. Having over 20 years of telecom sales and marketing experience, he has held executive positions with Hewlett-Packard, Sprint and Ericsson.


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