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Spam blogs ruin the web for everyone.

by alec on May 16, 2011

I keep an RSS search for terms like conference call, and conference calling.  It’s a simple way to keep tabs on competitors to Calliflower.  In recent years, though, it’s become a meaningless sludge pile of garbled English as SEO “consultants” create endless spam blogs by “respinning” content using a combination of thesaurus’ and reordering of sentences.

Take, for example, this gem from the spam blog called All Conference, titled “Flat Rate Conference Calling”:

Flat rate conference calling is a service provided by a meeting phoning company which bills by toned prices. This particular rate usually includes a interferance per-minute charge, allowing companies the data of just how much they’ll spend per person per hour. How do we determine if flatrate conference calling suits your company?

To know flat rate meetings, you need to have a near take a look at how many associates you will use during a phone. In other words, the number of individuals will be logging onto these types of calls for each program? This can be hard if your company intends to hold a number of conference phone calls per month, each along with variable numbers of participants. For example, assume the first business call of the month will probably be using the panel associated with company directors. This might only be ten to twelve individuals. But, after this phone you may want to possess a session with your department mind there are gone 50 of these. Later that month, you want upon having a phone together with your entire employees, which is within the 1000′s! You can observe exactly where toned rate meeting phoning could be a issue.

What are “toned prices”?  “Interferance per-minute charges”?  The hyperlinks in this piece (all removed by me) simply link back to the main site.  The purpose of this “keyword rich” nonsense is to boost the search ranking for the main page, which consists of nothing but blog postings scraped from other people’s RSS feeds and advertising.  All Conference is simply a way for it’s owner to make a few hundred dollars per month in advertising.  Multiple that by a thousand, and suddenly you have a business.

And how about this gem on “article” repository  Titled “Keep Away from Conference Calls that Waste Everybody’s Time”, it reads:

It’s slightly simple to have a conference call move awry. All it needs is a loss of ok planning. Positive, Convention calls are easy to make, contain much less bodily effort (via traveling), and save time. On the other hand, at the turn aspect, a conference name that may be badly controlled will certainly be a disaster. Just as in a regular meeting, everyone has to be informed, and everybody should come on time. Should you thought reaching a gathering late used to be unhealthy business etiquette, so is being late for a convention call. In any case, it’s merely a gathering in a different incarnation.

Grammatically mangled garbage spit out of a bot that uses a thesaurus to perform word substitutions to create new “original” content and game the search engine.  Just what is a “Convention call”?? To add insult to injury, the piece finishes with a hyperlink to a website on yeast infections.

What happened to the web of quality content?

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Riding out the storm

by alec on February 3, 2011

A couple of days ago one of our competitors sent out email to their customer base.  The pitch?  Stay home through the winter storm engulfing most of North America, and meet on a conference call instead.

Clever, no?  And indeed, we had a record breaking day yesterday ourselves, as we completed more conference calls on any day in our company history.

It got me thinking about what a great business opportunity natural disasters are for companies that bill by the minute for conferencing services.  After all, if our competitors’ bill rate is $0.10/min, and customers decide to hold, say, 5 extra four person meetings on conference calls because of a snow day, that could easily amount to $120 in windfall revenue.

As you know, Calliflower doesn’t bill that way.  The wholesale cost of telecom is so low, that we can afford to deliver flat rate local dial conferencing.  And so we do.  We pass our wholesale savings onto the customer.  Despite the heavy usage, yesterday we didn’t make any extra money.   Some people would argue that’s a lost a opportunity, but to me that’s vindication that we’ve got the right model.

So, how much could you save on a flat rate conferencing plan?


5 mobile workforce predictions for 2011. iPass Mobile peers into their crystal ball.

December 9, 2010
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Mobility is one of the defining trends of today’s workforce.  More and more people are working on the go, outside of “normal” office hours, and from an increasing array of different kinds of mobile devices. Today iPass Mobile has released their report titled The iPass Mobile Workforce Report, Year End Review and 2011 Predictions.  It […]

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Enjoy the beaches, Tom!

December 7, 2010
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Monday morning one of our engineers, Tom, jumped on a plane for Australia.  He’s going to be living there with some friends for the next 12 months.  Tom’s not leaving us, though.  We’re going to use our own products to work productively and effectively with Tom as a part of our team. Initially I had […]

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Hurricane Earl doesn’t have to ruin your day!

September 1, 2010
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Hurricane Earl is already doing damage to people’s productivity.  Just check out the trending topics on Twitter.  Conversation about Earl is hitting a high, as the Twitterati focus in on this new distraction. Fortunately, even if Earl does touch down on Thursday as some are predicting, it doesn’t have to impede your productivity. Natural disasters […]

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Why we love Skype Connect for Calliflower Conference Calls

August 30, 2010
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In beta since March of last year, Skype Connect (formerly Skype for SIP) is now officially launched.  The purpose of Skype Connect is to allow companies to connect corporate phone systems to Skype, letting customers who use Skype contact the company via an IP call, and allowing the company to take advantage of Skype’s cheap […]

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Solve your customers problems by understanding them first.

August 18, 2010

I’ve been doing a ton of customer service recently.  Pat, who does sales for us and handles a lot of customer service related calls, has been off at his son’s wedding.  So I’ve been picking up the phone, selling Calliflower subscriptions, and helping people to understand our offerings as well as the odd bit of […]

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Ottawa #Earthquake Vividly Demonstrates Value of Cloud Services

June 24, 2010

In the middle of finishing up a conference call yesterday afternoon, I suddenly had a flashback to my days of living in Redmond and the 2001 6.2 magnitude earthquake. The floors started to rumble, windows rattle, and the building creaked and groaned as if it was in pain.  I could tell the Ottawa quake was […]

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World Cup Conference Calls!

June 8, 2010

There are just two days to go until one of the largest sporting events in the world gets underway.  Yes, I’m talking about the FIFA World Cup, hosted in Cape Town, South Africa. So, in honour of the World Cup we’ve added four South African cities to the Calliflower Conference Call Network: South Africa Cape […]

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You’re Welcome, Skype!

June 2, 2010

I always feel a little smug when our band of smart developers helps out one of our really big partners.  Today’s “recipient of our largesse” is none other than Skype.  Late last week Jim Courtney noticed that the CalliflowerSkype link wasn’t working any more.  We alerted Skype.  They had just upgraded their SIP servers it […]

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