It’s Time for an eBook about Skype!

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Introducing Experience Skype to the Max – a comprehensive guide to enriching your Skype experience.

I’ve been covering Skype via Skype Journal and Voice On The Web for over six years. I first experienced IP-based communications back in 1995-96 when I watched engineers at my employer of the day struggle to make voice calls work on 50MHz Pentium PC’s over a 43 kbps dialup modem. (Yes, it did eventually work; in fact at one point I participated in a demonstration for an analyst conference in London, U.K. from my home near Toronto.)

In the subsequent years I followed several attempts at using the underlying technology to develop a voice calling offering. One of my clients in the early 2000’s actually had it working as a feature within a desktop sharing collaboration tool. I signed up for an early subscription to 8×8’s initial service. But these offerings had no directory arrangements and calls had to be pre-arranged by email. Voice quality and robustness were not the best and the infrastructure required hosting on a server.

However in 2005 I learned about Skype and started using it with a Toronto-based medical software client who often traveled to Europe and California. I recall once making a Skype call from my PC in a Santa Barbara, CA medical office to my client in Oslo, Norway. Nobody in the customer’s office knew I had done this; no need to ask about using a phone or set up a long distance arrangement or otherwise bothering the customer’s personnel. No calling card was required. Then we started finding how useful Skype chat was as an effective and complementary conversation tool. I stopped billing my clients for long distance charges. To summarize, significant communications overhead for my consulting business evaporated!

In the spring of 2006 I attended a Voice over Net conference in Toronto and was asked to report for Skype Journal. Over the subsequent years I was exposed to the evolution of Skype and other IP-based communications offerings as well as the transition of mobile phones into smartphones. The Skype experience grew from voice calling and IM on PC’s to “Skype Everywhere” with voice, video, chat and collaboration on a wide range of devices and hardware platforms.

The book is complete, easy to navigate, clear, and straightforward. Useful, too. Phil Wolff, Editor, Skype Journal

Skype introduced its SILK codec providing crystal clear audio. Skype evolved video from postage stamp 320 x240 images to “amazing” HD video where the other party appears “live” across your desk on today’s larger flat panel monitors. Video calling arrived on mobile smartphones and tablets. Video conversations came to the family room with Skype for TV. As social networking grew, there appeared integration with Facebook. Skype Shop evolved into a fully featured e-commerce platform with a wide range of Skype-certified hardware peripherals.

When I completed a project for a Skype partner in the spring of 2011 I realized I had over 700 blog posts and lots of exposure to using  Skype. That exposure included not only Skype software but also Skype hardware. (I have somewhere near 100 pieces of hardware around my office.) Questions and stories from Skype users indicated a need for one comprehensive resource covering all the information needed to  get the most out of the Skype experience.

In April 2011 I wrote up an outline and started writing. Sixteen months and a few Skype revisions later (as well as the launch of Skype for iPad and evolution of Skype for TV) I am today launching a Kindle eBook: Experience Skype to the Max – the essential guide to the world’s leading Internet communications platform.

To expand on that theme it’s:

A guide to real time social networking for building and sustaining everyday personal and business relationships, whether geographically dispersed “friends and family”, road warriors, special interest groups, business teams, the wanderlust world traveler and anyone who wants to get more out of their Skype experience.

You can learn more about Experience Skype to the Max at the book’s website. It talks about the author, the content and the target audience. And it has the big “Available on Amazon Kindle” button that will take you to the eBook’s page on Amazon where you can buy in one click. (If you’re already sold click on the image to the right.) It’s also available via the U.S. and U.K. Skype Shops.

As for being a Kindle eBook you can read it not only on Kindle devices (Kindle Fire preferred; however, it’s only available in the U.S.) but also using Kindle Reader apps for iPad, Android tablets, Windows PC’s and Mac PC’s. (I did the proof reading on an Android tablet.)  The great features about Kindle include navigation, bookmarking, highlighting and even note making. If you have multiple devices registered to your Amazon Kindle account you can read it on any of them. Especially useful is the ability to click on a link, go to a web browser and, in one click, return to your place in the eBook.

One other reason for using Kindle: I can update the book periodically and easily have it distributed to all buyers via Amazon’s services. But Skype is a very dynamic, evolving platform, especially with integration into Microsoft products over the next year; to keep up to date and current on new features and developments as they occur register for email updates.

I look forward to your comments and feedback. At some point soon I will add a forum to the book website to engage readers in more conversation about the book.

One other comment: I’ll keep on reporting on not only Skype but other IP-based communications offerings; such a broad perspective is necessary to fully comprehend the entire Internet communications picture. I will continue to be critical – for instance I would like to see the return of separate chat windows and the addition of the Call Quality Info tool to Skype for Mac. But, at the same time, over 250 million are already benefiting from their Skype experiences. This is a reference resource for them to get the most out of Skype and for potential users to learn about Skype.

Disclaimer: This book and its contents have not been endorsed or reviewed by Skype. Any views or opinions expressed are entirely views of the author or the cited source only. The Skype name, associated trademarks and logos and the “S” logo are trademarks of Skype. More

Bottom line: for more information check out Experience Skype to the Max!

Finally, I need the acknowledge Dr. Christiane Werneck and her cardiovascular surgery team at Trillium Hospital in Mississauga. Without their efforts in April 2012, this eBook may never have been completed. I am still blown away by what they did and how far medical technology has progressed.

About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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