Taxes and VoIP

Just a link to another project I’m involved in, a blog my friend Ted Shelton started, IP Inferno. My latest post there: “Tax-Free VoIP Forever! Forever?” It’s a short review of the debate going on right now about whether the voice-over-Internet services, like Vonage, ought to be taxed the same way traditional telephone companies are.

Trying Something New: IP Inferno

After a year-plus of blogging (still a newbie by some standards, I know), I want to try to explore some other dimensions of the experience. There’s a well-advanced discussion going on about how blogs are evolving as media. Specifically, both practitioners and onlookers are debating their their role as complements to and venues for journalism and other editorial content and whether blogging can develop some sort of revenue model.

So, I’m all for experimenting. Ted Shelton, a friend and one-time colleague (we met at CMP’s NetGuide back in 1996 and have crossed paths occasionally since), has been working in a variety of high-level technology and online publishing jobs in the last decade, and is both active in blogging and intrigued about where it could go as a business. One of his project is IP Inferno, a blog focused on Internet Protocol-based communications and applications and how they”re changing the way we get in touch, talk to each other, and exchange information. I’m just a dabbler in the subject myself. About the same time Ted was launching IP Inferno, I was starting into some intensive research on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) firms for a magazine feature that never quite made it into print. The VoIP services you’re likely to know about are Vonage and AT&T CallVantage, because they advertise a lot. The provide innovative telephone services to people who have broadband Internet service — DSL or cable-based.

Anyway, Ted and I have been talking about blogs and their future. He’s looking to take IP Inferno, which has appeared on one influential list of the most influential VoIP bloggers (sort of like getting a Golden Globe, except without the national TV exposure). He wants to explore what it might take to get more exposure and turn his well-received site into a money-maker. As part of that, he’s looking for contributors, and I’ve signed on to do post some of my own especially insightful thoughts there. As I said, I’m all for experimenting. I also have an idea the experience is going to be helpful in developing my own subject-oriented, newsy blog project. And if nothing else, it’ll be fun and challenging to work on something with Ted.