Vonage Co-Founder on the Social Revolution

    May 24, 2011

I think we can all agree that the world is in the midst of a social media revolution. Social media not only plays an integral role in our personal lives, but it is also a critical component in our professional environments.

How has the social media revolution changed your life? Share your story with us.

According to Jeff Pulver, who is known for his work with VoIP and as the co-founder of Vonage, everything he ever needed to know about social media, he discovered at age 15. At that point, he understood that social media was all about listening, connecting, sharing, and engaging.

Pulver told us that all his work with VoIP was motivated by his goal of connecting people both on the telephone and on the computer. He believes that social media is not about single platform. Instead, he believes it creates more places to have conversations.

Three of his favorite words are “fear, greed, and disruption.” He said these words have “affected the way we all communicate in business.” While these words appear to be negative, Pulver pointed out that there such a thing as “positive disruption,” which triggers change. Social media is one example of this “positive disruption” and the changes it has brought about are extensive.

He associates social sites such as Facebook and Twitter with the “Purple Minutes” classification that he popularized back in the early 2000’s. The term was used to describe the value-added IP traffic to separate it from the black and white phone minutes.

“It’s all these years later we’re starting to start to see how people are using IP-based networks to do things they never could do before,” he said.

It is for these reasons that Pulver believes we are experiencing a social media revolution in which everyone has access to information.

“It’s not a revolution about ‘we the people,’ but about ‘me the people.’ It’s these individual ‘me’s’ that are able to leverage these technologies directly and indirectly to effect positive and forceful change in the world,” he said.

Recent events such as the chaos in the Middle East and the band of natural disasters show how social media is sparking a revolution that is bringing people together throughout the world. As the revolution continues to evolve, those that do not jump on board with it are likely to face challenges.

“The companies that don’t get it may be disrupted out of business… those companies that understand this can actually change the way they do their business,” said Pulver.