Online Marketers: How-To Hold Branded Blabs

OnSip-SMBlabLong-time VUC sponsor OnSIP has been running a series of video chats they call #SMBLAB. Blab is a newer, kinda Hangout-like video chat tool built using WebRTC. This week I participated in one with Mike Oeth, CEO of OnSIP, Angela Leavitt of Mojo Marketing, and Randy Resnick, founder of the VUC.

Blab is dead simple to use. It integrates with Twitter for user authentication, allowing up to four people to join each Blab (call?)  The resulting video chats are recorded. Throw in good social media integration and you can see why it’s an online marketers dream.

As nice as blab is, it’s visual presentation is a bit generic. It doesn’t have the image overlay or lower-third capability that you find in Hangouts. That means that you can’t readily add your name or company logo.

That said, it doesn’t need to be this way! You can take matters into your own hands and deliver strong, visually branded blabs…if you want to. It takes a little effort in advance, but it’s not difficult…and it will strengthen your brand presentation.

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Blue Jeans Network: H.323 & Skype Video Conferencing

A couple of weeks ago I started to play with a new service called Blue Jeans Network. This startup offers a cloud-based video conferencing service, effectively a cloud-based MCU. The service is presently free as it’s in a limited beta program. The beta program, originally set to expire this month, was just extended until June 15th.

At present their service supports connectivity via H.323, Skype and the PSTN. Of course,the PSTN dial-up means voice conferencing only…and thus only G.711. Clients connected via Skype get VGA resolution video and nice SILK-encoded audio.

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A Big Round Of Thanks!

…and the award for most tireless, knowledgeable and patient technical support goes to….

Over the past month or so the effort to find and move to new hosting was considerable. It was certainly much more involved than I had anticipated. I did not make it through the process on my own.

During the course of my search for hosting and the various migrations between hosts I’ve relied upon the invaluable advice and assistance of a few friends. In particular, I’d like to express my gratitude to Fred Posner of Team Forrest and Randy Resnick of Resmo / VUC.

Not only do these two guys truly know their stuff, but they’re patient with the quirks of foolish newbies like me. Imagine how great that must be if you’re one of their clients!

VUC Video Calls: A Two Act Play

As many of you may know I’ve been trying to put together a video call for the VUC over the past few months. After a lot of thought, but little action, act one of this little project will get underway this coming Friday, August 13th at 1pm EDT.

The basic idea for the project has been with me for a year, ever since I trialed the Polycom VVX-1500 video phones last summer. It evolved as I was later asked to research video conferencing systems for my employer, a project which was eventually tabled in Q4/09.

There are quite a number of factors to consider when you’re thinking about implementing a video conference solution. At its most basic I needed in some substantive way to grasp the difference between one-to-one video calling using desk phone, traditional video conferencing and “Telepresence.”

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Randy On The Typical Mac User Podcast

Earlier this week VUC founder Randy Resnick (@voipusers) made a guest appearance on The Typical Mac User Podcast to discuss all things VoIP-ish on OSX. This is kind of funny because, in my experience, Randy is probably anything but a typical Mac User.

It’s also worth noting that Apple has done an exemplary job of handling audio for VoIP on their line of laptops. Normally I’d recommend using a headset over the built-in hardware, but Mac’s, and particularly Skype on a Mac laptops, do an unusually good job of echo cancellation.

It’s nice to see a friend and co-conspirator getting around and being recognized for not only his expertise, but his ability to convey things with both depth and clarity.

Codecs, Wideband & Stereo: A Conversation At AMOOCON

AMOOCON-200Back in the spring of this year VUC founder Randy Resnick made the trek to Germany to attend AMOOCON, a conference for Asterisk Users. AMOOCON started out in 2007 known as AsteriskTAG which literally translated means “Asterisk Day.”

While at AMOOCON Randy made a point of recording some of the presentations. These recordings can be found on the VoIP Users Conference site. Various sessions were recorded by the conference organizers and are available on the AMOOCON site. There they also have quite a lot of video of the formal sessions.

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