Life, living and Web 2.0

Web 2.0 and more

  • Author: Amol Dalvi

    Amol Dalvi

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Connections ’07 Day 2

Posted by Amol Dalvi on October 3, 2007

The second day has flown by and was just as wonderful as the first day. The day was full of sessions on different tracks ranging from beginner level (Email 101) to advanced tracks (Email 201, Integration and Deliverability). Many attendees stopped by the Right On Interactive booth (in fact we had more stop by in the morning than the whole day Monday). I asked several of them what they thought of the conference and the sessions. Every one of them reported that they were very happy and were learning things. A handful did mention that the challenge to them is to take all this back and incorporate in their daily work life. Yep, that is definitely a hallmark of a successful conference.

The evening  was a formal sit-down dinner and awards ceremony. The food, company and setting was wonderful. ExactTarget pulled a surprise on everyone when they had the “The evolution of dance” guy perform live on stage! He was just awesome!

Closer to home, 5Buckets  has been very successful. We had several people walk up to the booth unsure of what we do; but I see their eyes light up just as soon as we walk them through 5Buckets. Check it out here if you are interested 🙂


Posted in ExactTarget | 1 Comment »

Connections ’07 Day 1

Posted by Amol Dalvi on October 1, 2007

The first day of ExactTarget’s Connections ’07 conference has been absolutely wonderful! Scott Dorsey kicked off the conference at 1pm with his keynote followed by Scott McCorkle showcasing upcoming Fall release. Beyond email, ExactTarget will now support SMS and voice messaging! The focus seems to be on “one-to-one” marketing and a new feature called “Interactions” is being introduced. ExactTarget’s UI has been one of it’s strenghts and now there are some new features that take the UI to the next level. Thumbnail previews, context menus to edit emails in place! All good stuff.

One astonishing fact I learnt today – ExactTarget has invested $5MM in infrastructure. Wow, I can’t wait for the application to get speedy.

Posted in ExactTarget | 1 Comment »

Right On Interactive at ExactTarget conference

Posted by Amol Dalvi on October 1, 2007

ExactTarget has their annual conference – Connections ’07 – going on in Indianapolis, IN. ROI is a proud sponsor. We have a booth and several ExactTarget users have already stopped by and shown interest in “5Buckets”.

With over 500 attendees, this is going to be a great event. Come visit at Booth #10. Oct 1st through Oct 2nd, 2007.

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

Webconferencing – one more post

Posted by Amol Dalvi on September 11, 2007

A quick update on Yugma. We have been using it for the past month or so now. And I am happy to report that the product has worked out very well. Only “drawback” is that there is no toll-free number for participants to call in.

We have gone ahead & signed up and become a paying customer! Go Yugma!

Posted in Technology | 1 Comment »

Yugma webconferencing

Posted by Amol Dalvi on August 12, 2007

Last week I posted about webconferencing – particularly WebEx and ReadyTalk pricing. I had a couple of people post about GoTo meeting (thanks Doug and Bo). I have been a participant in GoTo meetings before and it works well. I really like their clear flat pricing too.

 Interestingly enough I had a sales/marketing post by a webconferencing company called Yugma. I hadn’t heard of them so I went over to their site unsure of what to find. I was pretty impressed by what I saw. Their pricing starts at $9.99 per month for up to 10 participants. They even have a free version, which they said is ad-based. But over the weekend I gave it a try and I did not see any advertisements. I did have to install Java runtime, which frankly is no different than having to install something (ActiveX control?) from WebEx. Overall  I have to give Yugma two thumbs up. I have not tried a live, client conference yet. So I will let you know if I run in to any issues there.

See a screenshot here – Using annotations in Yugma

Posted in Technology, Web 2.0 | 2 Comments »

Webconferencing tools

Posted by Amol Dalvi on August 4, 2007

A lot of us  have been in webinars and web conferences. I have attended many and even presented in one. I really loved it and was amazed when they first came out with the concept back in the late 90s. I think it must have been 1998 or 1999. I am not sure if WebEx pioneered it, but they were the first ones.

So recently when a client asked for my help setting up a webinar he could host (it is his first time), I pointed him to WebEx. We went to the site together and tried to sign him up for a webinar. The web site was really good at giving some information. There were a myraid of options but fortunately it was easy to locate the section that talked about webinars. However, there was no pricing online. So, we decided to pick up the phone and call Webex. The person on the phone was nice and took down all the information – but was nothing more than a secretary. He could not give us pricing and had to setup an appointment for someone to call us back. Alright, I walked over to the client’s office again at the appointed time – but no one called. Finally, almost an hour later we got a hold of our appointed inside sales rep. He said it was a “consultative” approach to tell us what the pricing is. After answering some of the same questions as before here is pricing we got –

33 cents a minute for the web conference

20 cents a minute for the audio portion (which, btw, he shared only after we specifically asked about the audio portion)

Adding up to 53 cents a minute. I about fell out of my chair. Client is expecting around twenty attendes, for about 60minutes. That would be $636.00 for a one time webinar!

Ok, so it was time to shop around. We, Right On Interactive, use ReadyTalk from time to time. And have had good very experience with it. I wasn’t sure how much we paid, but I knew it wasn’t 53 cents a minute. So, next place to shop was ReadyTalk. A quick call to the ReadyTalk sales number told us that the rates were 13 and 8 cents for web & audio portion. Much better! That adds up to 21cents per minute per attendee, or about $252.00. Still expensive but cheaper than client driving out-of-town to present in person.

Posted in Technology, Web 2.0 | 7 Comments »

Great move from Microsoft

Posted by Amol Dalvi on July 27, 2007

If you haven’t heard already – Microsoft has made a major leap forward towards open source. See this article from O’Reilly Radar.

I am not sure if the right words are “leap forward towards open source”. I think it is more of an acceptance of open source. There are far too many applications, OS, products on open source. From a pure ecnonomics MS is never going to be able to compete with the price point that open source provides – free or near free. And no matter what, the legions of open source programmers are not going away.

 I am a very happy open source user. While I haven’t donated money back to any open source projects (when I went to give OpenOffice some money they would accept only PayPal), I have become a huge proponent of open source and am regularly recommending it to my customers (if it meets their needs).

 I am not sure what to make of the approach MS is taking with open source. You can read more about it on their new open source site. They are touting VS Studio Express edition and MS SQL Server Express editions. Which is great that those products are free and available to everyone, but the real power of open source is that the source code is available freely too (under GPL or some other open source license).

My prediction – over the coming years, most if not all the software applications will be a) hosted (which means annual subscription); and b) be available as a free basic version, along with two or three paid versions, each stair stepping the prices higher.

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Climate change

Posted by Amol Dalvi on July 8, 2007

I didn’t get to watch the LiveEarth concerts on TV. It was a busy weekend and I got about 5 minutes in front of the TV. But in honor of LiveEarth and all the good citizens of the world that do wonderful things to slow down climate change:

 1. Change your light bulbs at home, even if it is one at a time. See the site I really love what they are doing there, and it all started with one person deciding to make it happen. Here is a snaphsot of what Indiana is doing –

Indiana (US) Bulbs Change Statistics

 2. Please, please don’t idle your car. At the parking lot, at the gas station, when you are picking up your kids at school, when you want to run back in to your house quickly because you forgot something. Or don’t start your car and then spend two minutes in the garage before you back out and get on your way. You can probably afford the gas but we all can’t afford to keep hurting the environment.

Posted in Life & living | Leave a Comment »

Signature blocks

Posted by Amol Dalvi on July 1, 2007

Last week I updated my email signature block. I made a couple of changes; actually more than a couple if I include the formatting changes. The signature now has my full name, my title, name of company hyperlinked to my company’s website, my desk phone number, link to my blog. Something new I added last week was a link to my LinkedIn profile.

I have seen some really nice looking email signatures. Professional, short and give you the information you need. I have some people include graphics in their signatures. I don’t like that personally.

In my signature the link to my blog and my LinkedIn profile is blatant self-promotion. However, in some sense you are your own brand and the face of the company. It is important that people get to know you and are able to build a close business relationship with you. In today’s social networking world you have to let others know you beyond your pure business side.

The other thing I did was I dropped all the details from Reply & Fwd emails. If I am replying to an email or forwarding someone an email, it is quite likely they know who I am; there is need to add a block of text especially if there ends up being a string of replies.

Posted in Life & living | 1 Comment »

Linked In Groups

Posted by Amol Dalvi on June 24, 2007

For the last several months I had been trying to figure out how to get all the ex-ExactTarget employees to stay connected – somewhat like an ExactTarget alumni group. I had considered setting up a blog – a private blog with access to only the ex-ETers. But I wasn’t so sure about that. I didn’t want anyone posting derogotary comments or just souring the mood with negative comments.

 Well, I think I have found the perfect answer. The credit should really go to Troy. We were talking about Linked In a few weeks ago; he suggested setting up a Group on Linked In.

I am sure you are familiar with Linked In – it’s a popular business networking site. You can sign up for free, set up your profile (resume) and then set up connections with other Linked In users. There are lots of things beyond that and you can find all the info here on their About page. The real benefit is the connections you create. It’s a perfect way to stay in touch with business contacts. Even if you finish projects, change jobs or move cities.

Linked In now has Groups. I don’t know when they started it, but it is relatively new. With Groups, I as a Group Administrator can invite certain Linked In users to join the Group. Once they accept the invitation, the Group Association logo shows up on their profile. So, it is a way for others to know they once worked at ExactTarget. And another networking opportunity.

 Check it out, you can find more information about Linked Groups here. And I welcome setting up a connection with you on Linked In. Click here to see my profile.

Posted in About, Technology, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »