Just got back from ISPCON West. (American Airlines sucks, btw!) WISPA probably had the most pop -- largest reception turn out, new vendor sign-ups, new member sign-ups, and kind of their own track of sessions.
The CEO Exchange is back! After I thought I single handedly killed it in Orlando, it is revived with help from Jon Price and Charles Wu. During a pizza break at 11 PM Wed. night, Jon Price looked out at the room, at all the pockets of conversations - passionate, animated, excited conversations going on. THAT is what it is all about. Why come to a show like ISPCON? To have the chance, the opportunity, to find someone else with similar business who you can learn, share, grow, support, help, gain from. THAT is the top reason. THAT is where the ROI is to leave your business for a couple of days per year.
There were 5 tracks - the biggest being the wireless track - plus hosting, business, VoIP, and technology. I did 3 sessions: Social Networks, Hiring 101, and 50 Ideas in 50 Minutes. (Two out of 3 were full). If you missed the sessions, you can buy my book. Or join a seminar.
The exhibit floor had some interesting booths (thanks to Neil): WISPA, InscapeData, CrashPlan (backup), yousendit, PowerCode, R1Soft, CALEA (including Procera and IP Fabrics, even though he called me old :), wireless gear and VoIP. The surprise for me was Neustar (Hi, Mariana!).Some familiar faces were back like Sutus (an office in a box), Adzilla (ad network), Blue Tie (email), AT&T Wholesale, Coppercom, ImageStream (Linux router), CoreTel (CLEC), Freeside (open source billing), everyone.net (outsource your email), Hostopia, HostMySite, GroupSpark.
Apparently, one of the biggest pains for ISP Owners is email -- unfortunately, it is the main app that users need and it is the stickiest app. Well, you could try everyone.net -- they did get high marks. So did Roaring Penguin for filtering. Postini, the new Google division, received high praise from many. Frank Muto is a reseller. Drop him a line.
Protopage is a Private Label Web 2.0 company. Check them out. Resi ISP's should each have their own version of Craig'sList running for thier community to create a sticky environment for their users and readers. And if you can get the local newspaper to partner with you on that, you will have a big win.
I missed the keynote due to a clothes/luggage issue, but TheWHIR has a nice review of Dave Schaeffer's speech. (Dave is founder and CEO of Cogent.)Oh, yeah, SitePal was there. They make avatars for websites. Pretty nifty web design stuff.
The next ISPCON is set for May 13-15 in Chicago. Plan now. Your business could use the fresh view and you could use the battery re-charge.