Saturday, August 19, 2006

VoIP and Volunteerism, Leveling the Playing Field

Is Asterisk... volunteerism? I'd rather you talk about that.

And what about the V word? A few weeks ago, an IT group I chair ( held a Business Continuity Forum composed of community leaders in utilities, government, military, and media*. Pensacola, Florida, I mean, think "Ivan," "Dennis," "Rita," "Charlie," and more.

Never one to talk and no show, we go from there to implementing the NERD (Northwest Florida Emergency Resources Database Information Technology volunteers), sparked interest in open source Linux and Asterisk, and Buzz Ritchie, Allan Alderman, and General Bob Kennedy's repeated references to the benefits of "clusters."

I read a news clip where Pensacola City Manager Tom Bonfield (one of the panelists) recommends reading The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. Muy interesante! John Dosh, Lisa Newell, Buz Eddy and J.T. Young all spoke of businesses collaborating in advance to volunteer in disaster-preparedness and post disaster help, now, not later.

Oh, and a huge thank you to Jay Massey who attended one of our meetings where the E-commerce speaker didn't show up. He was Jay-on-the-spot. We thank him tremendously. (

Back to VoIP and Volunteerism. SIP, DIDX, Skype, Inveneo... different types of volunteerism (freebies, open source, leveling the playing field).

Closing the digital divide... Whether it's open source code, free API on a DID exchange, free calls, or Internet run by human movement, it's refreshing. Finally, even the scrawniest kid in a most remote area of the world with a great idea can bat a home run in VoIP.

I noticed that Pulver's is offering VON attendance scholarships to university students. Very nice. awards IT scholarships to University of West Florida and Pensacola Junior College students. Sponsors include General Dynamics, Super Technologies, Inc.; Bit-Wizards, J&J Webpages**, Cox Business Services, Adaugeo, TechSoft and Tech Advanced.

* Notice that the media doesn't talk much about one of the globe's worst collaborative atrocities. Read Electric Beach by Joe Hilley.

** Its CEO is also the executive director of the Disability Network and will be the September 2006 presenter for

1 comment:

Robyn Philips, AFCEA Pensacola said...

It was a brilliantly coordinated event, allowing lessons learned and a “make a difference” attitude to businesses in our community. The Blue Angels AFCEA Pensacola Chapter was a proud co-host sponsor of the July 26th Business Continuity session. We hope that this is the first of many events of its kind to take place locally. It is our job as leaders in the community to help support others in business by bringing their attention to the need for better business continuity, business preparedness and disaster recovery.

Robyn Philips
Blue Angels Pensacola Chapter, President