Ellen Writes:

Story Pitches (that work by telling editors why readers should care)

A tailored pitch that picks up and continues the thread of a writer's previous coverage on GigaOm.

A tailored pitch to a cheeky young writer for ZDNet.

A pitch that tells why this product launch isn't just another hosted phone service.

A pitch to a healthcare outlet on a new breast cancer treatment.

A pitch delivering the same news to a general consumer publication.

A pitch to personal finance editors on a new smart phone app for gift cards.



Hi Liz:

Re Om’s post of today, “All Hail the Gmail,” and his mention of your “How the Email Inbox Can Become an App Platform” story: We’re wondering if you would like to continue this thread by looking at another startup using Gmail (and Google Contacts, in particular) to build an app upon. Like Etacts, Ringio is using Google Contacts in a CRM scenario, but here it’s in the traditional CRM sense: for business, and telephony integrated.

We’re talking virtual call center for the masses; a screen pop of your Google contact record delivered with a call, Google Voice-style, with all the hosted PBX trimmings SMBs have already heard about. And some they haven’t. With Google Contacts and a $99 monthly subscription to Ringio’s double-cloud service, an SMB has a cheat sheet when the phone rings and a lot of fancy call control and call routing intelligence, too; like offering the caller the chance to connect to the person they spoke with last.

Interested? Shout!

Hi Zack:

Your “igeneration” site and writing style at ZDNet has attracted attention over here at Comunicano, where some of us are right out of college and some – myself included – are currently putting their kids through.

That makes me “t” (for TV) generation, I guess, and it makes me a parental boomer.

So I see it as my motherly duty -- because a) I’m old enough to be your mom and b) I want to continue putting my second kid through college, and telling bright young writers about good client products and services is one way I do that – to tell you about some of our more i-generational clients and their offerings. Please consider trying them out and sharing with your readers:

Let’s start with YouGetitBack.com. Are you, like my first-born, always leaving things behind (smartphones, ipods, whole CD collections) on trains, in restaurants, classes, and at friends’ houses? You want to know about YouGetitBack, which makes it very, very likely that even moderately good people return your lost device and very, very hard for really bad people to hack into it.

That real-time spoken conversation thing? I know, scary. If you can’t imagine what people did before the six-second delay of instant messaging response, you want Palringo running on your smartphone. Palringo lets you carry IM out the door and in your pocket, and the three best parts are these: 1) you can send phone-camera photos and snippets of your speech in the same IM conversation with text, 2) you can “converse” with friends on eight other IM services through one interface, and 3) you can send your instant vocal, text, or photo messages to whole groups at once. And you make up the groups. (Think rare sightings of … oh, I don’t know, anything your friends would thank you for sending instant photo messages of. I have no clue, really. Ask my kids.)

I see you’ve been writing about document sharing and collaboration, as well as webcams and video chat.

Do you know about iotum’s new Calliflower service? Yeah, the name is cheesy but the service is great: Facebook meets Audioconferencing. Maybe you don’t know yet (ask me) how soporific long phone conferences can be. Not with Calliflower. You talk, you listen, you raise your hands to speak, you post pictures, links, files, icons, draw pictures – everybody stays awake and keeps copies of the online hand-outs. You could use this on team assignments, right? Especially with those on semester abroad -- did I mention it’s free on a VoIP connection or a local call to the U.S. or France?

Do you know about SightSpeed? Soon to be built into every new Dell, SightSpeed is simpler-than-ever videoconferencing for consumers with better-than-ever picture and motion quality. It lets you send your sweetie video mail, video-record long-distance interviews and post them, and even have nine-way videoconferences. Yes, it’s a Facebook application, too.

Maybe you’ve heard of Truphone: They’re fellow Brits in very cool office digs in Southwark. They’re about mobile VoIP; they let you talk over IP on your Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone, for very cheap international rates. They’re part of the “we can’t keep giving this stuff away for free” Internet story, but they’ve been smarter about it than most.

Let’s face it; both “I” and “T” generations spend far more time in front of PC screens than TV. Still, there are a few things (especially in the UK) worth watching on ThemTube, if only you knew what and when. That’s what Vizimo is about. No, not channel listings or onscreen-guides, heaven forbid: This is about programming that gets smart enough to find you, learn your tastes, pop you a notice and take your recording or viewing wishes to your set-top box and DVR. Facebook angle? Sure: Share your “MyGuide” viewing preferences profile with online communities, watch virtually together and share live commentary in mobile text chat. Everything but chip and dip.

We’ve also got Boingo. Maybe you’ve heard of them, the global Wi-Fi people? One account, one log-in on Boingo and you’re good to go at over 100,000 hot spots in airports, hotels, restaurants, municipalities – even campgrounds and parks should you need to browse under the stars.

So Zack, can I fix you up with any of these services, their execs or more info? Call and let me provide, or tell me what else you’re looking for... we’re introducing more newcomers all the time.

Yours intergenerationally,






Dear < >:

Say you’re a small business person. The next phone call you get can relate to any of a dozen different issues you’re carrying around in your head. It can come from any of hundreds of callers, ranging in importance (to you) from “don’t care” to “drop everything” and everything in between.

What if:
• You knew not only who was calling when the phone rang, but how you know him, what he last bought from you/sold to you, what he needs and how you can help him now?
• You could make every caller feel as if you’ve been waiting just to speak to him or her?

Ring.io, a new company, has made this possible. How?
• By tapping the cloud for the information you need to put this call in context
• By tapping the cloud for the telecom/IP infrastructure that makes your phones ring and transfer or send to voicemail -- and tells you who’s available
• By integrating the two enclouded services in such a way that both call and context arrive together -- either on your PC desktop or on your smart phone.

Ring.io calls this Rich Calling, and it makes everything important to your caller sound fresh in your mind. It can make the difference between a quickly resolved issue and more rounds of phone tag, between a sale and a pass, or between a well-informed, coordinated response or an uninformed, out-on-a-limb decision.

Can we show and tell you more about Ring.io, the great CRM leveler between small-business Davids and call-center Goliaths? The service will be launched and demo’ed at eComm in San Francisco on April 21, but we’d love to set up an online demo and/or interview, and give you an advance glimpse. Just give me a call.