RSSCategory: communication

Message Archiving: A New Era in Tracking Conversations

November 14, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

The birth of email significantly changed the way we communicate with each other. The world felt small as it progress and it has become one of the intangible mediums of communication. While some controversies arise with some government trying to track criminal activities and plot to overcome power, huge questions begin to swirl as to how far can the government dig should they be given access to these information, or how will it be regulated and to what extent can they use such information.

Emails, be it free, or paid for, have message archiving capabilities that keep messages for years. While this can vary depending on the email provider, the need for message archiving facilities or services then arises which some industries use to monitor employee activities. Financial firms for instance use this to address some requirements as requested by regulators or in the legal discovery process.

Email archiving solutions is not there to vouch against its clients but it works in their favor to help them address the requirements set by law in order to respond timely to FOIA (Free of Information Act) requests which includes keeping records of any electronic communications such as email and instant messages. It also helps in answering requests for evidence in a legal proceeding.

Email archiving provides email forensic and discovery tools that help process email retention management, advanced search capabilities, tag assignment, legal holds and production of evidence.

Healthcare industries need to comply with HIPAA regulations by keeping records of electronic communications as needed in producing evidence for a legal or regulatory discovery inquiry, and protecting patient confidentiality.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) states that federal court sees email as having a life expectancy of its own and that it must be of reasonable timeframe say 3 years and that businesses must follow suit in keeping orderly records of communication.

Web and Audio Conferencing Advantages

November 9, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Businesses in recent years have gone ways in finding solutions for their communication needs. Talking to clients, closing deals, encouraging investors and even training employees have become less location dependent meaning, communications have been possible at anytime and anywhere via the internet. This convenience is what encouraged businesses to adopt robust audio conferencing technologies that connects anyone from anywhere via the internet.

Companies like StartMeeting offers audio and web conferencing services that includes a set of intelligent tools designed for screen sharing and standard conferencing. Most services of this nature often combine desktop sharing with integrated audio capabilities that can be used simultaneously by individuals using the appropriate tools.

Audio conferencing of course can use regular landline phones with touchtone commands by simply dialing a number and an assigned meeting ID. International calls for audio conferencing is also possible via international toll dial-in numbers. If you’re not familiar, it works as a VoIP service similar to the many services out there that delivers audio conferencing and screen sharing capabilities that is connected via the internet.

There are many VoIP service providers in the market today however, it’s always best to choose which one offers the features that you need, delivers what they promise, and not to forget, fits your budget.

Not everyone is familiar with the ins-and-outs of this technology so it’s also equally important that the service provider you chose is technically competent and willing to work with you above and beyond so you can start using the service despite the technical challenges of using a new service or technology.

5 Tips For Improving Office Communication

May 16, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Despite the fact that new technology is being released seemingly every week to improve the efficiency of our communications, many businesses still struggle with sharing information in an effective manner. New and young employees often struggle to fit into existing communication systems in office environments; implementation of new technologies interrupts smoothly running policies; and even veterans in businesses forget to communicate effectively. These are common problems that exist at least to some extent in the majority of business and professional environments. However, they are not beyond solving. Here are five general tips for improving communication skills in the work place.

1. Establish Method

One of the most important things, particularly early in a business relationship, is establishing acceptable methods of communication. This makes it far less likely that messages will go unnoticed or unsent. For example, figure out whether your colleagues and superiors prefer email, texting, etc. for ordinary communications.

2. Establish Expectations

office communicationAdditionally, it is important to establish a thorough understanding on what sorts of communication are necessary. In some working environments, employees prefer a very open communication, with consistent clarification and updates. In others, people are expected to work more independently, only communicating when absolutely necessary. Work with your coworkers to figure out a system of expectations that works for all of you.

3. Establish Security

If you are in a position to have a say on your business’s communication security, it is important to make sure that you have a secure system. Contact a file sharing security company such as Share File to make sure that the emails and files exchanged between employees are at minimum risk for loss, theft, and damage. This is a vital step for any professional environment with a high volume of digital communication.

4. Don’t Abandon Face-To-Face Contact

No matter how much technology provides for efficient and thorough communications, don’t completely abandon face-to-face contact with your coworkers. Every now and then, an in person meeting is the best way to clear the air and make sure that everybody is on the same page, whether in a general sense or with regard to a specific project or issue.

5. Hold Regular Meetings

In addition to considering face-to-face meetings when a specific issue arises, it is also important to establish a regular meeting schedule. Having a monthly meeting is one of the best ways to make sure that you and your coworkers communicate effectively, no matter how busy things get. Even if it seems that there is nothing major to discuss, it helps to get together to give everybody the opportunity to speak or voice concerns if necessary.

Radio Advertising in a Social Network Era

March 26, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

The radio has been around for many years even before the first TV set entered the ordinary household. Over the years, the radio has evolved from the normal source of news to radio talk shows, drama, live events broadcast to just playing plain old music, the radio has in deed never lost its charisma to the listening public.

The boom of the internet has in deed shaken the mainstream media but the radio has been adept to the changes when the iPod first came to the scene. While it’s good to have mp3 players and playlists that the radio cannot provide, radio listeners still want the simplicity and the straightforwardness of the radio over other musical device.

A radio listener only needs to tune-in to his/her desired radio station and viola, problem solved.

As radio listeners get lured into paying music over iTunes or Xbox Music or Google Play, radio finds it ways of living through advertisements.

On-air advertisements right after a tune is their way of living. Internet radio makes this possible for radio stations to survive through internet streaming and of course, graphic ads through their website.

Radio advertising is inevitable. While a radio listener may be discouraged with ads on-air, they should understand that in order for their favorite radio station to survive and continue providing good music—radio companies have to mention their sponsors on-air whether their listeners like it or not.

Radio advertising however has changed as well over the years and the ads on-air have been unique as well. RadioActive Media, a radio advertising agency, has a unique way of relaying advertisement that the listeners will not find annoying and distracting to their listening pleasure.

Compelling radio ads that do not sound pushy and loud make a difference while still keeping in mind the overall listening experience a top priority.

How Web Based Call Management Systems Can Boost Your Business

March 26, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

We all know that businesses in order to be effective relies on communication channels that they provide their customers whether its via social network such as Twitter or Facebook, or email, physical address but most importantly, the oldest method of communication—via phone call.

Businesses with free-to-call communication lines are the most admired by consumers because it provides them the security they need that when something goes wrong, they have a number to call to ask for help or assistance and they don’t even have to spend a dime to get one.

Web-based call management systems are a growing trend in call management operations today. It allows businesses to manage calls on where they should go, when, and how they are managed.

Hosted online management allows users to login and set-up call routing instantly. Diverting calls to alternate target numbers are made easy if a call cannot be answered right away or if the line is busy.

Diverting to a landline or mobile phone is a no-brainer. Even call diverts can be managed on scheduled hours of the day especially when businesses operate only during daytime office hours.

Diverted calls can be sent via voicemail into an email recipient. Number of rings can be set as well before any call is diverted.

Web-based call management systems have disaster recovery feature such that calls are diverted online when a phone line goes down or awry.

There many other features not mentioned here though, so if you’re looking to boost your business by strengthening your call management operations, visit https://www.telecomsworldplc.co.uk/numbers/0800/ for more information.

Fight the Flu and Work from Home with VoIP Service

January 24, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

The only thing worse than coughing and sneezing with a case of the flu, is spreading it around your office. Sometimes you can’t make it into the office, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to let your work pile up. The good news is that thanks to VoIP service, you can continue to conduct business from the comfort of your own home.

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology that relies on the Internet instead of the traditional phone line to transmit calls. If your office uses a business VoIP provider for Internet telephony, then chances are there are multiple ways in which you can still keep up on your business phone calls from the comfort of your bed.

Find Me Follow Me

voip serviceVoIP providers offer the Find Me Follow Me option on basic plans for no extra cost. This feature lets you program other phones to ring when a caller dials your business VoIP telephone number. With the Find Me Follow Me feature, you can forward calls to your mobile device or even your home landline.

The Find Me Follow Me feature directs those important client or customer calls straight to another phone without your callers knowing that you’re not taking the call in your office.

Voicemail to Email VoIP Feature

Just because you’re bedridden doesn’t always mean you can ignore your voicemails. This Voicemail to Email feature turns your voicemail messages into mp3 files and then sends them to your email address.

This gives you the option of listening to your business voicemails from your computer at home or even from your smartphone.

Mobile VoIP App

Numerous business VoIP companies offer VoIP mobile apps for smartphones. If you use an iPhone or Android, you can download the VoIP mobile app for free on your phone. The app then syncs up with your business VoIP telephone number, allowing you to send and receive calls from that number.

Not only does this mobile app feature allow you to conduct business wherever and whenever you have your mobile device, but it also connects to WiFi for service instead of eating up your cell phone minutes.

Another beneficial aspect of the mobile app is that you can access the same VoIP features that you use on your office phone on your mobile phone. Some of these options include three-way calling, call waiting, and call forwarding.

Virtual Extensions

Businesses that use virtual extensions provide their employees with business telephone numbers that are connected solely to their cell phones. This is a perfect service for an employee who travels frequently or works remotely, like a sales person. These virtual extensions allow for increased employee mobility and flexibility, as callers can reach employees through the regular office PBX, even when the employees work in remote locations.

Chloe Mulliner is a telecom and tech writer in California.

Meet your New Year’s Resolution: Save Money with VoIP in 2013

January 24, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

Just because it’s already almost a month into the new year doesn’t mean it’s too late to draft up some New Year’s resolutions. And if you’ve found yourself desperately pinching pennies when it comes to your business expenses as tax season approaches, perhaps it’s time to put money saving on that resolution list.

Of course saving money is important when it comes to running a successful company, but your business shouldn’t suffer as a result of all those pennies pinched. There are ways to spend less in certain areas of your business without cutting corners, and switching your traditional phone service over to a VoIP provider is a prime example of this.

typical voipVoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) provides a unique way of sending and receiving phone calls in that it uses the Internet instead of the traditional phone line. Businesses that have changed their phone service over to a VoIP provider have experienced savings of anywhere from hundreds to the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So, is it possible that you’re overpaying for a basic utility with traditional phone service? The answer is yes, but with a VoIP company, you can receive the same reliable service with additional benefits for a much cheaper price tag. Here are just a few ways in which switching over to a VoIP provider could save your business big bucks without forgoing great service or reliability.

Free Nationwide Calling

Traditional phone companies often charge you for long distance calls. Whether those are long distance intrastate calls, perhaps from your business in San Diego to your client in San Francisco, or interstate calls, from San Diego to a customer in New York, your traditional phone company may be charging you different per minute for each of those calls. In fact, your service provider may have a complex system of per minute rates that they charge you for your different calls, whether local or international, without you even knowing.

In contrast, business VoIP companies offer free and unlimited nationwide calling. Regardless of whether your business makes long distance statewide calls, or calls to the other side of the country, you won’t incur any per minute charges. Additionally, you won’t be charge for the length of your calls. You can call any number you want and talk as long as you want without worry.

Cheap International Calls

Traditional service providers may also charge astronomically high rates on international calls. It’s not uncommon for a traditional phone provider to charge anywhere from $1.00 to $3.00 per minute for a call outside of the US. Those per minute rates can quickly add up, especially if you’re on the line more than five or ten minutes and make multiple international calls per day.

Top VoIP providers on the other hand charge pennies per minute for international calls. Some charge as low as $0.01/minute for certain international destinations. VoIP provider Axvoice, for instance, charges just $0.015/minute for all calls to Mexico. A full one hour phone call to Mexico with a VoIP company could cost less than the price of a one minute call to Mexico with a traditional phone company.

Free VoIP to VoIP Calls

Another way in which your business could save big time is on in-house calling, or calling between any two extensions within your business. Let’s say your business has a branch in San Diego, but also a branch in Los Angeles. You can use the same hosted PBX VoIP system for each of these offices, and keep all calls in-house, and thereby free.

Any calls between numbers carried by the same VoIP provider are generally free, so you can also enjoy free calling if any of the businesses you regularly call, or any family members use the same VoIP service.

Free Softphone Application

Businesses that set up a cloud-based or hosted business VoIP provider may also get free softphone applications. What this means, is that you can sign into your VoIP account from any laptop, computer, or smartphone. Once you’re logged in, a dial pad softphone will appear on your screen, which allows you to send and receive calls from your business telephone number. More importantly, you can take advantage of those low nationwide rates and free VoIP to VoIP calls from your smartphone.

With this softphone, you can take your work with you and benefit from the money saving VoIP features in your home, hotel, or even in the backseat of a cab.

Chloe Mulliner graduated from James Madison University. She currently writes tech and telecom content in California.

The benefits of hosted online video communication platforms

December 18, 2012 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

The way we communicate has evolved over the years due to technological advancements in VOIP, smartphones, tablets and social media networks. Platforms such as Skype, or TeamViewer are just one of the many mediums out there that makes possible for organizations to communicate internally. While adopting these easy-to-use readily available technology may be convenient, a security focused enterprise may take a different route and create its own secure private networks for their internal communications needs, talent pool trainings, and digital display.

video platform onlineSome enterprise media platforms can be distributed over Internet Content Delivery Networks, Satellite Networks or Corporate Wide Area Networks which maybe combined to provide wider reach not limited to computers, TVs, and mobile devices anywhere in the world in real-time.

In this regard, businesses can provide distance-learning programs or remote trainings to its employees.

In this smartphone age, live and on-demand streaming media is already common not to forget tablet computers. While online access is the way to go, offline interactive training via mobile devices is a plus.

These enterprise video communication solutions does not limit itself between viewer and presenter alone but provides interactivity or viewer-to-presenter engagement plus group chat activities during live broadcasts and may also allow viewers to share their own video content.

Performance metrics of systems is an intangible part of businesses in order to establish which platforms work well that delivers their expectations, thus, analytics is in place. Network efficiency is measured, data gathered and accounted for.

While these are just some of the many enterprise solutions that you can get from video platform online, choosing the right provider is the challenge in order to get your desired results.

Tips in choosing the right non-geo number for your business

May 25, 2012 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Small businesses worldwide that are trying to cut costs often face a multitude of challenges when it comes to choosing which aspect of their business can they spend less but get more optimal results in the long haul. With these at hand, business have ventured into adapting cost cutting measures in terms of communication mediums without the need to sacrifice the ability to interact with clients and their customers—this is where non-geo numbers come into play.

Cost reduction in calls plus more flexibility in terms of mobility is one of the best feature that you can get when you buy 0845 number, 08 or any non-geographical phone numbers.

non-geo numbersThe best non-geo number to choose depends on your business needs. The following geo-numbers and their application to businesses might help enlighten your decision making.

0800 – these numbers generally used for marketing and sales purposes. It attracts as free to call your number without charging your customers thus incoming calls are charged to the number owner. A major flaw of this number however does not allow free call from mobiles and may not be called from outside the UK.

0845 – are Lo-Call numbers wherein calls are charged at local rates made from landlines regardless of the caller’s location.
However, the charges on both local and national calls to ordinary geo numbers are no longer different.

0844 – is a revenue generating and/or sharing number wherein both the owner and provider gets a portion of revenue from each call. This number is advisable for use only on specialized services provided by your business.

0870 – is introduced as low cost, revenue sharing numbers as well.

0871 – is similar to 0870 but with higher call charges but also pays a revenue share and is regulated by a certain body and the customer is notified of the cost of the call afterwards.

09xxx are real premium numbers with rates that can be £1+ per minute but with a more specialized used.

There you have it, if any of your businesses functions fall into any of these non-geo numbers, then you can finally decide which one to choose.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Non-Geo Numbers

May 17, 2012 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Recently, I have posted an article about non-geographical phone numbers and if you happen to have missed it, I’d be more than glad to give you a heads up on what’s about non-geo numbers and what makes it interesting.

Non-geo numbers are prefixed numbers normally 0800, 0844, 0845, etc. and they work like normal conventional numbers diverted which means whenever a non-geo number is dialed, it’s electronically intercepted then diverted into any number you’d like within seconds. Non-geo numbers are permanently diverted.

nongeo numbersAs a result, 0845 numbers when dialed automatically diverts calls to the owner of that number regardless of his location and the medium on which he wants to receive the call. This gives more freedom to the user especially when travelling and important calls cannot be missed.

There are many alternative to 0845 numbers to choose from with various features customers can take advantage of like freephone from landlines, low cost to call from mobile phones, low cost to call from landline, etc.

Non-geo numbers allow flexibility for business and users to choose a phone number that your customers can easily remember. With a 0845 number, you can literally choose from a million different combinations to find the right one which you think is best. You can also assign prefixed numbers where you can get a heap of profit for your customer service efforts over the phone in case you have one.

There are drawbacks of course with non-geo numbers but as much as disadvantages are concerned, there are more advantages to it than anyone could ever find.

While you may opt of a 0845 or 0870 number, it’s always to be keen on your service provider. Not all companies that offer these services are equal. Always go after the reputable ones to save yourself from future headaches and over-the-top costs of keeping their services. It’s standard practice to be charged for the number you want but be vigilant on companies charging you even for incoming calls, huge setup fees and per minute charges otherwise you may end up paying for more.

Why Use Non Geo Numbers?

May 14, 2012 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Non Geo Numbers, if you’ve heard it first here, are telephone numbers that are up for private sale and are not assigned to a particular telephone line or circuit. These kinds of numbers do not provide any indication of geographical location of the user or business when adapted for such. Unlike 01 and 02 numbers, they clearly indicate locality or geographical information relative to the number attached to the series.

Non Geo numbers enables businesses to compete in the market in a national level due to its nonlocal attachment compared to the traditional telephone numbers you can find. Non Geo numbers does not replace your existing telephone number/s even if you relocate. So changing your location does not mean your existing fixed line will be changed as well thus is inspires trust from your customers.

non geo numbersThere are several types of non geo numbers so it’s crucial to purchase a non geo number that is easy to memorize for your customers or something that may sound familiar to them.

There are fixed rate numbers (0844 numbers / 0871 numbers) which charge customers to call your business or you may also op to choose a 0845 telephone number which allows long distance callers to call you from their location at local rates, this in return will give your customers the ability to save themselves against the high cost of calling long distance. All of these types of non geo numbers are very flexible.

Software Critics Rewards Top Commentator 125×125 Ad Spot

April 30, 2010 | By | 7 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

As we draw closer to the end of the month, I have decided that since I have removed the top commentators list on this site, I might was well replace it with something better.

Starting May 1st 2010 onwards, I’ll be giving the most valuable commentator a 125×125 ad spot on this blog’s sidebar as a reward wherein the person with the most comments at the end of each month gets the ad space automatically as a prize.

Drawing first blood will be that person with the highest number of comments for the month of April.

Having thousands of page impressions that this site normally projects each month, it’s just a great way to appreciate a reader’s month-long support.

While most advertisers pay for these ad spots for around $30-50 per month and other weblogs making this ad space as a prize for a giveaway or contest, here, you can get the ad spot for your website or blog free for one month by simply leaving your comment and engaging with the discussion on each post of your liking.

Express Yourself and Be RewardedNo retweeting, no fan us requirement on Facebook, and no blog posting required. Just talk it over and speak your mind. That’s it. But I still moderate comments so spammers get lost and lamers out.

Are you in for additional traffic to your site or blog? Then, go ahead and leave your comment. Let’s talk.

5 Dreadful Blog Comment Pitfalls You Should Avoid

April 23, 2010 | By | 8 Replies More

Reading time: 5 – 8 minutes

There is nothing new with moderating comments to avoid spam and being linked to bad neighborhoods. However, for supportive communities utilizing KeywordLuv and dofollow plugins, leaving a comment can be tricky.

The essence of leaving a comment on other blogs can be attributed to engaging in a conversation and developing relationships thus putting your best foot forward through your comments can make or break your reputation.

Your first comment on a blog creates a lasting impression of the kind of person or blogger you are so if you want to come out as professional and trustworthy, it’s best to polish your commenting skills or otherwise forget about the idea and move on.

Why do some people fall for these mistakes repeatedly? Do they really know what they’re getting into or they’re just simply lazy and arrogant to even bother learning some simple netiquette?

The real story behind comment moderation varies from blog to blog. Some blogs that have been long standing moderate comments to filter spam and retain only those comments that add value to a particular conversation or post. Once approved, succeeding comments are automatically published on the blog as a result of trust while others moderate all comments regardless if a previous visitor’s comment has been approved.

Understanding simple rules of conduct and demeanor can provide lasting results on your efforts. Blogs have existed long before social media entered the scene and to this day still exists giving viral power to published content.

As administrator of this blog, I have long been moderating comments since I started this site in 2008. I started blogging since 2004 back in the days when Friendster was still a fad.

I’ve had my fair share of experiences when it comes to moderating comments and it was not until today that got me inspired to write this post about the most common pitfalls people make when commenting on blogs.

Pitfall! (my version)

Unclear Motives

Your words speak about your motives when writing a comment. Whether you sugar coat it or not, ulterior motives come out like pungent odor trying to escape from a trash bin. SEO-driven comments are like hungry predators trying to find a prey with their lousy keywords and obfuscated links pointing to questionable sites. Do follow or not, these links are followed by Google and linking to bad neighborhoods can drastically affect SERP and pagerank of particular pages where the bad links reside.

Determine what you want to accomplish with each comment you make on somebody’s site—to connect with the author, add to the conversation or establish yourself as an expert in your field. This way, you wouldn’t fall into the trap of coming out as lame link baiter.

Dishonesty and Insincerity

If you think you can get away with “great post”, “nice post” kind of comments. Think again. The trend right now with VAs (virtual assistants) being paid to comment on blogs (esp. on do follow ones) is that they bombard you with endless praises that are full of flowery words just for their comments to be approved. If you’re the kind of blogger who’s not used to flattery or a newbie waiting for some recognition about your post, you’re definitely fall into their booby trap thus injecting your blog comments with nasty links.

Sincerity goes a long way and honesty will work to your favor. If you don’t know something, go ahead and ask. Pretending will just make you look awful and desperate.

Out-Of-Context Messages

While it’s fine to have off-topic comments sometimes, please be mindful that you’re swaying away other readers from the context of the post. Why not search for the “contact page” and leave your personal intentions where it should. A little consideration can work wonders and leaving a message via the site contact form most of the time reflects professionalism aside from the fact that you have a bigger chance of actually engaging with the author on a more personal level.

Rudeness and Disrespect

There are instances that you may not agree to what an author has said on his article and since you think you are more intelligent, you bash him for being stupid. While this may get to the author’s moderation, prepare for being tagged as a spammer for total ban with your comment being trashed. Such actions only show mental incapacity and lack of manners.

I once read a blog post on a friend’s site (where I’ve also left a comment on) a certain SEO blogger/internet marketer who happens to have written several comments that are four or five times longer than the author’s post combined. How’s that for a takeover?

Keep your comment short and succinct. It shows that you’re intelligent and emotionally balanced.

Typos, Caps Locks and Grammatical Errors

The presence of spell checkers on major browsers leaves almost everyone online no excuse for typographical errors. Grammatical errors on the other hand can be corrected by using document writers.

It isn’t that hard to type on MS Word then pressing F7 and copy pasting your comments on the comment field of a post. Doing this will ensure that there are no loopholes in your writing and it shows that your taking the time to genuinely contribute to the blog post and share what you know.

Doing things right is a choice, not an option. It only takes a minute for a habit to be formed than an old way to be straightened out.

Learning to follow simple rules like a comment policy is not too much to ask unless you would want to be treated the same way.

The way we project ourselves online are the only means where people can get a grasp of who we are and formulate their thoughts about us so let’s make it work in our favor and stop going against it if we want to achieve something.

If you think I’ve missed something important or you would want to add your insights regarding this topic, let’s talk it over at the comments section.

Have You Already Spokn?

December 27, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

The holiday’s isn’t over yet and I’m sure that right from the start of this season, you have been calling your families and friends and checking them out after all these years and wishing them happy holidays.

Like how many among you call your loved ones by phone? Chat via instant messenger like Yahoo, MSN, or AIM? How many of you decided on using a VoIP service like Skype for your calls?

I’ve discussed on this blog numerous times about VoIP services and their advantages, I have also written before that “Skype usernames cannot be changed” which up until now still remains relevant.

This time, in terms of VoIP services, I came across a startup VoIP/Internet telephony provider known as Spokn (pronounced Spoken) which delivers free incoming calls from regular phones, a voice messaging service and call forwarding plus the ability to get a dedicated phone number in the US, UK, Canada and other countries.

Spokn can be used on a variety of mediums such as Windows Desktop, Windows Mobile, Nokia, Blackberry, and SIP devices.

In order to make low cost international calls, you may wish to refer to this call through numbers found here. Your account will then be deducted with each call as long as you have credits.

To make calls on any Spokn ID, simply refer to these access lines here.

Calling rates can be found here.

So, if you want to call me, simply dial an access line, wait for the prompt then dial my Spokn ID which is 3463452. If I’m online, I can simply answer your call otherwise you will be prompted to leave me with a voice message after 15 seconds.

Spokn

I’d be more than glad if we could talk sometime. If you have questions or inquiries about anything you can find on this blog, call or message me. To know more about this service, watch the video below. Your comments are most welcome.

Sweet Games: Online Games via Instant Messenger

December 17, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Some months ago, I have featured an instant messenger enhancer or add-on known as SweetIM. The add-on was really fun to use and so far I haven’t encountered any problem with ever since it was incorporated on my Yahoo Messenger.

At present, it seems that the makers of this app is planning to add online gaming functionality within the add-on for a more fun-filled experience so without further a do, here the video they have produced with regards to their plan.

Hosted PBX for Small Businesses Explained

November 24, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

I have discussed before the benefits small businesses could get out of VoIP services and where to get them. Although I haven’t explained thoroughly the more detailed concepts of VoIP for the sake of just getting the gist out of this technology, let me introduce you to one of the four different PBX phone system option—the hosted PBX.

Hosted PBX is a private business phone service that utilizes the VoIP technology which means the phone service is delivered over the internet. Service providers focusing on this area normally maintains the equipment, hosts the software and runs the upgrades minus the hassle of maintaining PABX equipment with seamless installation and scalability.

Compared to regular telephone lines, hosted PBX offers a cost-effective way of running your business efficiently while keeping your communication lines open. One fancy feature that you could get out of hosted PBX is they are plug-and-play. Any non-tech person can easily setup the phone within minutes through an easy to use online interface connected to a broadband connection.

If you’d like to embrace this technology or would like to know more, visit websites for small business voip solutions with hosted PBX to find out if this is a good fit for your business needs.

Ten Commandments of Human Relations (Blogger Edition)

November 11, 2009 | By | 8 Replies More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

For almost a year that I’ve been blogging, I’ve been observing the way bloggers behave and the traits each one project online. The truth is, I may not like everyone and so do you but having tried to please fellow bloggers in my own little way is also worth it.

I have gained friends along the way and I’m thankful that having a bunch would still increase so I thought of maybe coming up with my own version of the Ten Commandments of Human Relations for bloggers. Here’s what I’m able to come up with and I hope you’d enjoy it.

1. Speak to People. Mingle with fellow bloggers. Speak to them online by leaving comments on their blogs or emailing them. Develop the habit of speaking up online because these are the avenues where you can engage in a conversation. Try to network with fellow bloggers offline by attending WordCamps and blogging events. Just don’t forget those business cards, speak up and smile.Aheram, Meet Ron Paul2. Smile at People. Science as documented that you use 72 facial muscles when you frown but only 14 whenever you smile so don’t strain your facial muscles on unhealthy activities instead smile while your writing a post and do it consistently, I’m sure you’ll reap positive results.

3. Call People by Name. It would be rude not to call people by name. On this blog, keywords are not allowed on the comments name field mainly because I would want to be more personal with my approach on every commentator. It’s also showing some respect. So, if you leave a blog with a keyword instead of your name, it simply shows rudeness and disrespect on the blogger.

4. Be Friendly and Helpful. This can be very self-explanatory but oftentimes simple gestures of kindness are not always evident on some bloggers. For some bloggers, you may flaunt it or not that you are well-known, do show some appreciation whenever someone comments on your blog. Join the conversation. I know that some of you write great content and get plenty of visitors and comments but what bothers me is that some of you don’t even reply on the comments thread. It seems that you’re just bragging the numbers and these small promising bloggers don’t even get it. You’re voicing out an opinion without being acknowledged which seems like you’re taking to the hand. Wake up people! These big guys are only after your IP visits and are busy counting your clicks. If they can’t even respond to a comment, that simply means on thing. They don’t care.

5. Be Cordial. It simply means to be polite and sincere while being yourself.

6. Be genuinely interested in People. You can’t please everyone but at least you’ve tried.

7. Be generous with Praise, Cautious with Criticism. Be tactful. Appreciate someone’s writing. You may not like all the blogger’s posts but at least try to impart what you know and share it to the blog post because that is what the comment’s section is intended for.

8. Be Considerate of the Feelings of Others. Hot topics on blogs can spur different feelings and reactions but be mindful of what you’ll say and consider the feelings of those who will read it. If you’re commenting on a controversial topic, watch your words closely so you don’t offend people. You can always have your say but if you feel like it would be a little harsh just post it on your own blog if you have one because there, you can rant all you want.

9. Be Thoughtful of the Opinions of Others. Commenting on blogs is a two-way street. It’s either you end up presenting yourself well or break your online reputation. Your comments are public and whatever people read tells something about you.

10. Be Alert to Give Service. Be always ready to help. Bloggers who offers their advice and shares what they know without asking for anything in return really value relationships. On this blog, I support open source and freeware and I’m open to bloggers who needs help and advice. I even review and feature bloggers for free and I think that’s the best deed that I could do in my own little way.

If you have something to add to the list or just wanted to share your thoughts, please do share it. I’d appreciate it.

Goodbye Hab.la, Welcome Olark!

August 6, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

You might be wondering why the title of this post seemed like I was conveying a certain message to someone. In deed, I was trying to bid farewell and welcoming something new but it’s not a person but a name of a particular service, a chat service to be exact.

A few days ago, I came across this chat service known as Hab.la. Hab.la allows your website visitors to chat with you without any extra chat software. As your website visitors chat with you via the instant messenger interface embedded within your site, you can read their messages through your favorite instant messaging application like Yahoo Messenger, MSN, Google Talk, ICQ, AIM and many others . Olark is easy for webmasters or bloggers to set up and is very user-friendly to your visitors and web browsers alike. Hab.la just recently switched it name to Olark a few days ago before I even had a problem with my ISP that’s why this post was delayed.

Hab.la chat now known as Olark chat retains all its features especially the free version. The free version of Olark Beta is utilized on this blog as you can see on the bottom left corner. The glassy black tint of the chat window is non-obtrusive and highly customizable. You’ll be amazed with how this chat service can deliver real time information whenever someone visits your site. I personally used this along with Pidgin which was an open source chat client capable of working on multiple chat or instant messenger accounts within an easy to use interface on a single operating application, compact and tiny free software yet very powerful and useful.

Hab.la changed its name to Olark due to issues with SEO and SERPS since they can’t rank well with the Spanish term “habla” (which means “language” in English) not even with hab.la (pronounced H-A-B-DOT-L-A) which was at first quite strange having an unusual domain extension and since getting the habla.com domain name could cost them a fortune, they decided to just change the name to Olark.com however it’s still unknown why they chose Olark.

If you would like to try this chat service, better watch the video below and see for yourself.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems: Changing the Way Phone Calls are Answered

July 29, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Most of you may have already experienced calling your favorite service provider for mobile, internet, or cable television, etc. and find yourself talking to a monotonously sounding representative over the phone who simply asks questions and allows you to respond within a short time frame. Sometimes it transfers your call to a different department in order to speak with a live person whom you sometimes thought of being just another prerecorded answering machine, right? If your answer is yes, then you might have just encountered some virtual interactive voice response systems adopted by the company you’re trying to reach.

An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology filters out specific caller inquiries using interactive voice and touchstone keypad recognition by which questions are asked by pre-recorded or dynamically generated audio that routes calls to specific extensions or departments based on the generated caller responses. It can be annoying at times but the more you get exposed to these systems, the more you get used to it.

The challenge that is left here for customer service front liners is to satisfy every caller’s needs after going through a hurdle in attempting to reach the right department or extension in order to speak with a live agent especially for the not-so-tech-savvy people as this could sometimes be overwhelming. For the IVR providers, the benefit of a highly scalable technology is an added advantage but for the companies who are currently adopting the technology, it’s a must that they implement the system in a simpler way within the grasp of their customers spearheaded by highly competent and friendly frontline agents.

Looking for Cutting-Edge VOIP Services on the Internet?

June 21, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

While this is not the first time VoIP has been covered on this blog, today’s post focuses on the companies providing VoIP services. For simplicity of facts, VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol which refers to a system of transmission technologies that delivers voice communications over the Internet or other packet-switched networks. Also known for many terms such as IP telephony and Internet telephony, voice-over-IP systems carry telephony speech as digital audio which makes it inexpensive when communication is done via the internet.

Among the leading services that we know include AT&T CallVantage, Cox Communications Digital Telephone, Vonage, and Skype with the latter being the most widely used service via a free software client which enables communication over the internet for free minus the internet facility with the exception of some paid premium services.

Sources of VOIP Reviews on the internet are aplenty though there are few that really stand out. And since we are talking about VoIP service providers, why not enjoy the best VOIP and DSL services from Spectrotel, a telecommunications company that offers quality services. Visit Spectrotel’s profile here.

There are just so many VoIP service providers around so the ultimate criteria to consider before subscribing to any VoIP solutions provider is their ability to consistently deliver cost-effective, efficient and quality service at all times.

How to fix Yahoo! Messenger sign in error 81003002

June 9, 2009 | By | 20 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

There was one incident noted today by one of our intercafe clients that Yahoo! Messenger is inaccessible. As I figured it out, the sign in problem in Yahoo that he has been getting was error 81003002 which normally advises users to find out if they were putting in their correct Yahoo! ID and password. Having to try it many times could be stressful and annoying. The sign in error was not remote because it was the same for all PCs running within the network.

Yahoo Error 81003002

Yahoo Error 81003002

Unlike Yahoo! error 81003004, Yahoo messenger error 81003002 has nothing to do with internet connection. Like most users have observed while using Yahoo Messenger 9, its bugs really causes a lot of issues which are not even resolved in their blog.

Here’s what you need to do in case you encountered Yahoo messenger error 81003002:

  • Double check your Yahoo ID and password. If at several times of sign in attempts but you still get the same error, restart you PC and if you are connected to a modem or router, do the same.

If you are sure that no virus has actually penetrated the system, there is no need to run a system scan.

  • While some blogs advice reinstallation of the software (of the same verision, i.e. v9) and some may even advice removal of v.9 and installation on an older Yahoo messenger version like Yahoo Messenger 8, do not waste your time as I have already done that. The older version of the IM software no longer works.

Again, if you have had error 81003002 while attempting to sign in to Yahoo, open Windows Task Manager (by pressing CLT+ALT+DEL), select Processes and find YahooMessenger.exe and click End Process. Try to do this several times but if it does not work, then try to reinstall the software. Doing this step does not guarantee that you will be able to sign in but its worth the try. The surprising thing is that when it happened to me, I removed Yahoo Messenger v9 on one of the PCs within my nextwork, the next day when my sister checked it out, she was able to sign in. It just simply fixed itself overtime. Huh?! It’s fascinating why did it happen? Could it be that our IP has been blocked by Yahoo for the entire day and restored it afterward? It’s not a virus as I’m 100% sure. It could be a bug though but I’m not certain what caused it so what I did was reinstall the instant messenger again and I was able to sign in to Yahoo messenger finally.

This is what happened and it’s something that I don’t have any technical reason to offer but I suspect that it was really a bug. Have you experienced the same scenario? What did you do?

FYI, if you are in need of using the application but was caught in a situation similar to the one discussed, you can try signing in to these alternative link or sites to get Yahoo! Messenger access.

Links:

http://web.im

http://webmessenger.yahoo.com/

Websites:

http://www.ebuddy.com/

https://imo.im/

http://orgoo.com

http://www.meebo.com

http://paltalk.com-includes IM software or chat client

http://www.koolim.com/

http://www.imhaha.com/webmsg/index.jsp

Update: 23 November 2009

I have just discovered another workaround to get rid of this error. Head over to my post about Yahoo Error 81003004 and follow the steps stated from the 20th of November update and choose Option 1. I haven’t tried Option 2 yet on this error but hopefully Option 1 should do the job. If you have any questions, use the contact us page.

SweetIM: A Fun-filled Instant Messenger Software Enhancer

June 1, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

Instant messenger software like Yahoo!, ICQ, and MSN among others are very useful in keeping up with our social interactions. Yahoo! Messenger and Yahoo! Multi-Messenger patch come in handly to provide a multi-functional instant messenger experience. However, if you are looking for variety, I have found a great instant messenger enhancement software that will surely light up a boaring IM window.

Introducing SweetIM, an instant messenger software enhancer that comes with two separate and fun-filled functionality–the SweetIM Software and the SweetIM Toolbar. SweetIM software enhances messenger experience by adding emoticons, winks, audibles, sound FX, display pictures, and nudges while the SweetIM Toolbar (which is only compatible with Internet Explorer) allows users to add favorite icons and emoticons to any web based application including web based email such as Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Web Forums, Blogs, etc.

SweetIM is elegantly designed but the lack of compatibility with other widely used browsers like Firefox, Opera, and Safari is still a work in progress. Let me share with you a screen shot of SweetIM integrated on Yahoo! Messenger and SweetIM Toolbar on IE.

Sweet IM in Yahoo Messenger

Sweet IM in Yahoo Messenger

Also, here is an embed video taken from the SweetIM Toolbar on IE (which can also be sent via email) with Zac Efron on it. Enjoy!

If you liked this post, you might also be interested in Resolving Yahoo! Messenger sign in error 81003004.

Warning: Skype Username is Unchangeable!

January 18, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 5 – 8 minutes

Using instant messenger or IM to communicate is definitely the most dynamic way of engaging into conversations with people. The immediate response coming from the parties involved makes it faster and much easier to send and convey information. What if this dynamism is put into question with vague security policy and poor customer support? Will you still be using it?

If you are familiar with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or if not that much because of the term, you probably must have heard about Skype.

Making telephone calls over the internetthrough Skype is possible. Many people utilize Skype for business and personal reasons.

Installation of this software is easy and the user-interface is just friendly. However, if you might assume that this would be perfect in all terms better think again.

Software developers normally have a help or support center that cater to user’s different needs and queries. What if this help center cannot help you?

Now let me share to you how Skype support center responded in my query to change my username and here’s what they said:

“Unfortunately, it is not possible to change a username and due security reasons we cannot make an exception.”

This statement was copied “as is” from the email they sent me. Looks canned isn’t it?

Have a look at the email below:

How helpful do you think is this response? They even mentioned security reasons?

The Skype security they are talking about does makes sense but why can’t they not change my username when in fact I am the legitimate account holder. I can have my user details, email and even password to provide them if they want.

For the few emails I’ve sent them, it always bears the same opening paragraph. Most customer service people use canned documents. They just cut-and-paste them to make it easier to respond to an email however, even if they do such system, their focus should still be in resolving their customers concern.

They kept on implying security reasons as another alibi to cover up their mistakes. Why can’t they just change it if I cannot do it on the application itself as it runs?
Here’s an excerpt from a forum thread about how Skype handle usernames in their database:

“So this is total bullsh….Even if you don’t allow me to delete physically my old unwanted name, one should allow to remove it at least from all directories!!! If not, there are lots of wrong addresses in Skype. Therefore after some time nobody trusts the directory anymore. If I was Skype I would change that as quickly as possible…”

Having read it, Skype can’t even delete your username which true.

From the letter below reads

and I quote,

“After approximately 10 – 21 days, your user profile will no longer appear in the Skype user directory. Please be aware that if you try to log into your account after the 21 day period, your user profile may re-appear. Please also be aware that your username will not be deleted and the same username cannot be used to open another Skype account.”

Why did they say that the user profile will no longer appear in Skype directory after you stopped using their service for several days but when you log back into your unwanted account, it’s replenished?

What in the world are they trying to say? Confusing isn’t it?

After exerting efforts trying to get resolution, I finally got a voice so I can get heard.
I’ve got email survey form that allows me to share my experience with Skype. I don’t really know if they take their surveys seriously but I answered it anyway.

Here’s how it looked like,

Dealing with my Skype username change request is really a pain. In fact, it was not resolved. I have also stopped using my Skype because of it. I certainly value my security as much as they do (Skype) but it just doesn’t make sense to me why they cannot change my username nor delete it? Why do they have to keep unwanted usernames?

It’s not just me who has rants about this issue. I’ve found some Skype username issues over the internet to help strengthen my case and I have also read from Yahoo!Answers UK telling Skype to stop remembering Skype name by a nameless fellow.

If Skype cannot do anything about it, they should have stated in their sign-up form that a Skype username is unchangeable once it is registered.

Having said that, we cannot discount the fact that people makes changes to their preferences most of the time (in so many ways including basic necessities). Customers have many reasons why they make changes to their preferences and if they feel that they are deprived of this option, they go somewhere else and this is something that Skype has to think about.

The ease of implementing our decisions and choices that we make in a timely fashion makes the consumer powerful enough to make or break any form of business. Where will we go if this freedom is denied from us?

Using a VoIP service is advantageous. However, the personal security of a user must be of primary importance while also taking into consideration their preferences, options and the help that they can get out of using the products and services these VoIP companies provide.

How to Setup Undisclosed Recipients in Yahoo!Mail

January 2, 2009 | By | 9 Replies More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

One of the most popular free email provider we know is Yahoo!Mail. A spam is definitely the most hated email we could ever get because it is unsolicited which normally comes in bulk and since we’re also concerned of our security especially to those identity thefts.

In order for us to prevent ourselves from these unscrupulous spam bots, I have come to discover how we can get rid of spam by teaching our friends or those people we know how to undisclosed their contacts email addresses in case they’ll be sending bulk emails. This is easy to setup and can be done in just a minute, no software or program needed.

So here’s how to do it,

First, sign in to your Yahoo!Mail as you see below:

After signing in, navigate to your right status bar

then press “Add Contact”, to add a new contact.

From the Add Contact page, fill out the boxes as shown below:

Note: only the fields below should be filled out, nothing else.

After filling out the boxes shown above, hover down to the bottom right of the page then click, “Save”.

Afterwards, click “Done” to confirm the added contact.

So, we have already created a contact under the name “Undisclosed recipients”.

This is done to create an undisclosed recipient contact that would shadow the email addresses of the recipients in cases of sending an email to many recipients.

Now, how do we apply “Undisclosed recipients” for multiple messages to be sent? Click “Compose” to create an email.

From your address book, tick the box next to “Undisclosed recipients“.

then, remember to click “Show Bcc” so that the email addresses of the recipients will be blind copied. What will happen is that, each receiver will see ONLY the sender’s email address but will not know the email addresses to whom the sender also sent the same email.
That is why it’s marked “undisclosed”.

See what it would look like below:

On the “Bcc” box is where you should be typing all the recipients email addresses.

Then, click “Send”.

So, from here we’re able to know how we can get rid of spammers, spam bots or with some people we don’t know who might be the spammers within our midst.

For questions, please leave it at the comments section.

Have you tried our toolbar yet? Software Critics Community Toolbar Free Download.

Related Post with video tutorial, “Yahoo! Mail undisclosed recipients made easy.”

Y! Multi Messenger: Multiple problems?

December 10, 2008 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

Y! Multi Messenger with versions 8.x and 9.x according to some freeware download sites is more than just a free and useful utility that allows you to run multiple instances of Yahoo! Messenger instead of only keeping one open.

Yahoo Multi-messenger

Yahoo Multi-messenger

A certain website quoted,

“This is perfect for those who run under several names. There are others out like this…but have an “update prompt”, this does NOT have that!

Which means, it doesn’t work well with older versions of Yahoo! Messenger, you should be running at least Yahoo!Messenger v8 or v9. Currently, there is no compatible version of Y! Multi Messenger for the newest Yahoo Messenger for Windows Vista!

It works best for its intended use at first. But, the second time I use it, it didn’t work and had caused ACTIVEX errors on my pc as detected by my registry error cleaner. Despite several attempts to open my Yahoo! Messenger, this so called useful utility did not respond and failed to prove its claims.

APPLICATION ANALYSES:

Y!Multi v8 and v9 Instructions:

The version 8 patching program is NOT version specific, it will work with all versions of YM 8! All you need to do is launch the Y!Multi Messenger.exe file and then you can select to enable or disable the polygamy patch. Once its patched (either way) it will remain that way until changed again. The only time you will now use the Y!Multi Messenger.exe file is to change the real patching, otherwise, you will now use the normal Yahoo Messenger icons.

Installation Instructions:

Before installing, please read ALL included documentation! Run the installation setup program to install Y!Multi Messenger. This will automatically install to C:Program FilesYahoo!Messenger. (based on the attached instructions file in word format that goes together with the application’s folder: This is NO LONGER an installer. This has been converted to a manual patched for easier use!)

“On my end, the first time I downloaded it, the zip file was located in my completed downloads folder since I use a download manager. I installed the patcher (the Y!Multi Messenger) from my completed downloads folder then I executed a test run of the patcher afterwards and it worked. But after its first use, it already failed.”

Sequence of action taken after file download:

file location C: my completed downloads from same location, opened folder Y! Multi Messenger, run installation.

If you have installed Yahoo Messenger to a different folder, make sure to follow the correct path in the Y!Multi Messenger setup wizard. Failure to have it install to the Yahoo Messenger program files folder will likely result in dll (driver file) errors.

Up/Downgrading Instructions:

Should you upgrade or downgrade versions of Yahoo Messenger, please delete the Y!Multi Messenger.exe file from the Yahoo program files folder first, then uninstall/upgrade Yahoo Messenger. Then if you are wanting to install Multi, make sure you have the same version of it and install it. It is important to delete the Y!Multi Messenger.exe file before up/down grading it as sometimes it may not get overwritten and can cause errors!

“After the errors I’ve met, I tried to re-download the patch, as usual, sent it to my completed downloads folder. Please take note that I actually moved the extracted zip file’s folder(the Y!Multi Messenger patch) to my program files folder and had it pasted into my Yahoo! files folder (C: Program files Yahoo!) and had it installed from there. It worked. I opened two yahoo IDs or two instances, closed the other and had one ID logged-in to my Yahoo! Messenger mobile. Again, I tried to open two yahoo IDs and what I’ve had are two opened Yahoo! Messenger.”

Sequence of action taken after file download:

file location C: my completed downloads (depends if user has download manager but could be anywhere)
from same location, moved folder Y! Multi Messenger to Program files folder
moving folder location C:Program FilesYahoo! then pasted Y! Multi Messenger folder, then run installation/executed actual patching (clicking Y! Multi Messenger PS Soft Icon)

Right now, I’m still running some tests about how this Y! Multi Messenger would respond after few instances of usage. I hope that after sometime, I wouldn’t get any pc error.

Follow up: So far,Yahoo! Multi Messenger has performed well and I should say that this is a must have for people who have multiple accounts.

Update 09 September 2009: I’m no longer using this program however I really do find this useful, I just wanted to add that if you are to use this, be careful not to click the Yahoo icon luncher several times as this can cause multiple Yahoo messenger windows to open and may freeze your computer and crash the application.