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 (www.itgulfcoast.org) 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. (http://www.cocodesign.com/)
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 Von.com is offering VON attendance scholarships to university students. Very nice. www.itgulfcoast.org 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 www.ITGulfcoast.org.