Friday, May 04, 2007

Past, Presence and Future

Some 18 months ago I wrote a post on Presence; Presence of Mined.

I figured it was time to revisit the subject of presence and see what is being said today.

The first post of interest is a piece over on ThreeDimensionalPeople is presence a red herring.

The core themes for presence not stacking up are:

  • unbound data means that everybody knows where you are, or aren't. This allows for negative reinforcement of people's opinions unless....
  • you can slice up you world and have your presence set my subscriber. This is the same process that you can perform in Yahoo Messenger by group and individual settings (but not Skype [yet]) but if you tried it then you know how time consuming it is, and this is their point. The other point for me is you need to be careful that your worlds don't overlap, otherwise you need to be able to control which setting takes precedence... the presence precedent
  • Context centricity, presence needs to be more subjective in how it's set [and received]
So where does this leave the players in the space today and in the future?

Andy Abramson, VoIP Watch has a nice piece on how (if at all) you can turn presence into cash money. It's worth a read as a great way to set context in the domain where it merges with voice revenues.

Before you read on it be worth taking a trip over to Wikipedia and looking at the key concepts from the collaborative publisher.

Chris Gare has written a very informative post on some of the key challenges today, the problem of too much access and maybe too many presence engines. He has part of the solution as PresenceWorks to control a global view of your presence from YIM, MSN, ICQ etc.

GigaOm were able to interview Alec Saunders (Iotum) about the TalkNow presence engine for Blackberry. This is aimed at bringing presence from the IM platform to the normal voice instrument to control what is termed as "telephone tag".

The real innovation in here would be combining this with roaming. I know that when I am away from Thailand I often resign myself to either leaving the phone on and running the risk of taking a non-important call (at my cost) or turning it off and maybe missing something important.
This binary state is ripe for changing and allowing authorized people to get me roaming and others not. Ideally the middle state of receive the call, but not connect and allow me to choose. I know this is as simple as look at your phone and see the number, but "private number calling" doesn't tell me a lot.

For some up to date stats on why presence matters read through Gary Kim on IPBusiness.

Rounding off the current state of presence the key theme for me today is the use of presence avoidance. The interruption management stuff we all get caught doing, making ourselves invisible or appearing offline to hide our true state. The final contributions here are from ConversationWare and Ken Camp.

So what's in the future? a great setter for where presence could, and some would say should, go is from Thomas Howe.

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