Now you can share any recording you make on Phonevite via your favorite social networks and your own blog/web site. Today, we show you how to share your voice clip on Facebook. Just follow these simple steps:
1. From the Send Phonevite page, click on the Facebook link under the recording you want to share:
2a. If you are not logged in to Facebook, you will be prompted to login:
2b. Add some caption comments:
3a. The voice clip will appear on your Facebook profile:
3b. When you click on the Play button, the embedded player will appear, and you’ll be able to hear the voice clip right from the Facebook Profile:
Have you received the robocall that goes something along the lines of “Your auto warranty has expired…” and then you are prompted to connect to a specialist to extend the warranty. Most of my friends and I have got these annoying messages. They are a huge scam. And I despise them because they give an awful rep. to a technology that can be used for great purposes (e.g. emergency notifications, practice/game reminders, birth announcements, etc.).
Well, the good news is that the Feds (the FTC specifically) are going after the perpetrators of this huge telephone scam. “This is one of the most aggressive telemarketing schemes the FTC has ever encountered,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. More than 1 billion of such calls have been made. Leibowitz added: “I’m not sure which is worse, the abusive telemarketing tactics of these companies, or the way they try to deceive people once they get them on the phone. Either way, we intend to shut them down.” Go Chairman Leibowitz! Please rid our phone networks from these junk calls. They are the equivalent of phishing spam in the email world.
However, just because 95% of all email traffic is spam does not mean that email technology is evil. I hope that people are able to see and enjoy the benefits of the relatively higher percentage of benign, community-oriented voice broadcasting (the other preferred term for robocalls).
Last week, we had the pleasure and honor of attending The FREE! Summit as one of the featured Greenhouse companies that received tons of FREE valuable feedback from the fellow-attendees. Mike Masnick from Techdirt emceed the event and Chris Anderson, editor in Chief of Wired and the author of The Long Tail, keynoted & shared many FREE! nuggets of wisdom (“If you don’t offer FREE! somebody else in your space will… the only way to make money is to monetize scarcity”) regarding successful Free-mium models (e.g. Nexon, Club Penguin). Then, Ooma‘s CMO Rich Buchanan, Yousendit‘s CTO Ranjith Kumaran and Robert Rowley of Practice Fusion, presented their respective, extremely interesting company Case Studies. Next, it was four different companies (Justin.tv, AD-village, isleptthroughclass.com and us, Phonevite) sharing challenges they face with FREE. We each gave our 5 minute pitch, and then we, the presenting companies and the whole crowd, were broken up into four different lunch rooms, where we shared lunch and Phonevite was treated to some great advice by the many sharp people present. Phonevite’s session was kindly moderated by Tami Bhaumik, VP of Corporate Marketing of Ooma. Rich Buchanan, from Ooma, and Ranjith Kumaran, from Yousendit, also shared the table with us, and we appreciated theirs as well all the amazing feedback we received from all the tables. Tami was kind enough to write down and send us some of the ideas we were given:
1) How do we overcome skepticism over “free?”
- Problems accepting a “free” in any business model is generational. Quite simply, older people are more skeptical. Younger are more in tune with getting things for free. They are willing to take a chance until they get burned.
- Offer up front payoff as to how you are offering something for “free.” Be transparent. No hidden agenda.
- Perhaps offer: “How are we able to be free?”
- Cite up front how you make money
- Free only works to a point
- Expand PhoneVite services to other sites to extend viral opportunities
- Cite customer case studies up front for top tier targets to visually grasp how it works and how it might work for them.
- At the end of the call, in order to position yourselves in a positive light, say “PhoneVite is concerned about your privacy…” making you seem more legitimate and trustworthy
2) How do we convert more to Premium and reduce churn?
- Differentiate the service more
- Reduce the number of free calls. Give them a taste and then get them to pay.
- Perhaps allow customers to use unlimited calls for 30 days and then pay.
- Refine target audience segmentation focus for those that are more apt to convert.
- Know your current users backwards and forwards. Conduct a survey to see why they are using it and what they like about it.
- You must define your user group pods. You cannot effectively market to everyone.
- Move your value proposition above the fold and reduce the amount of clutter on your website.
3) Pricing on tiers?
- Potential elasticity testing. Price high with couponing to test price elasticity
- Pre-paid testing
- Subscription Model testing
- Offer a certain amount of time for free and then turn on paid model.
Now, we must get busy executing these concepts. Thanks everyone.
With the pandemic rise of swine flu, and the worries and panic associated with such outbreaks, it is important that community members stay closely informed of the most recent developments.
Phonevite is temporarily upgrading its free outreach program to allow schools, churches, municipalities and other community organizations of ALL sizes, to broadcast time-critical phone alerts and updates for free* during this time of global crisis.
Click here for more details.
One of the partnerships that we are thrilled about is the one with Musicshake, a user-generated music site that allows anyone to create their own music. Through the partnership with Phonevite, Musicshakers can share the music they have created or that they enjoy over the phone. Check out the video below that shows how it’s done:
Musicshake can be found at http://www.musicshake.com
Last week, March 25-27, we had the opportunity to present at the Pitch Competition of the Global Technology Symposium at Stanford. We were chosen as one of 6 pre-screened/selected start-ups to present our respective companies. This was perhaps our 5th or 6th stat-up beauty contest that we appeared at, and though experience should have made me calm, I was actually quite nervous. The Global Tech Symposium was quite different from other conferences like TechCrunch50 in that it drew an older, more serious, global crowd (maybe that’s why I was a little more anxious).
The first company to present was Befunky, an Istanbul (Turkey) start-up that “develops applications that empowers everyday people with the ability to breathe new life into their photos and videos, become instant artists in one click, share their creations with the world, do it all without any technical knowhow and complicated software”. Although I wasn’t too impressed with their application, their numbers were quite amazing. The VC panelists thought the same.
The second company was Coda, from the Czech Republic. They were innovating technologies for Self-Inflating Tires. Quite interesting, but the VC’s thought that they needed yet to be proven and to first pass regulatory muster.
I was starting to think that all the companies were from overseas, and was getting some funny line ready to fit in (e.g. “we may not be based overseas, but we are of Korean background, I grew up in Spain, and I used to work at the UN), but fortunately the next company was based in Menlo Park, CA.
Crystal Clear Technologies was a water-purifying tech development company packed with Ph.D.’s. Howard Hartenbaum (August Capital, Skype’s first investor) picked on them for this fact alone, mentioning that companies with many Ph.D’s in the management were not likely to succeed because if they had the patience to go through a Ph.D. program it also might mean that they are too patient to succeed and become big/profitable. Another funny episode from this presentation was when the CEO was showing their financial projections in a slide, but the conversion of the file to Mac (the computer we were using was a Mac) made all the numbers go blurry, and the title on the top was “Crystal Clear Financials” with totally unreadable numbers everywhere.
Next it was us, and once on stage, surprisingly, my nervousness disappeared and I was able to deliver our demo & presentation in a straight-forward fashion. The feedback we received from the judges was that we should have bragged about our numbers/stats a little more (I told them I’d send them the stats later by email) and that I should have given a live demo (instead of showing the Youtube demo, with which I had some technical trouble due to my unfamiliarity with the Mac).
The two remaining start-ups were Sputnik Ecommerce, from San Francisco, providing storefronts and production management web tools for print vendors (neither the judges nor I understood very well the business), and Visuvi, a search engine for images (which seemed to have grander plans than they could swallow).
Many in the crowd came afterward to tell us they thought ours was the best presentation, but at this competition, unlike in American Idol, the crowd’s opinion didn’t matter. In the end, the VC judges deliberated, and they picked Crystal Clear Technologies. I had the chance to talk to some of the judges – 2 of them were already friends, and 2 others I became friends during and after the conference. The sort of inside story was that while Phonevite was one of the favorites, Crystal Clear elicited enough curiosity (i.e. the VC’s didn’t understand the industry well enough to judge it as a potential winner/failure) to become the less controversial and agreeable pick. Oh well…