Skype: In the End It’s Really About the Users

VOTW.logo.Vertical.125x125 Over the past six weeks I have attended four local social media and technology events – a PodCamp, a monthly social networking seminar, an annual project management ski day and  WordCamp Toronto 2010. At each I was able to bring along a few Skype Everyman headsets to be given away as prizes.

Prior to selecting the prize winners I had two or three minutes to talk about how the Everyman worked and their affiliation with Skype; the outcome was not simply a mere handing out of hardware but rather became an opportunity to learn about how broadly and enthusiastically Skype is accepted and used across a range of personal and business communications activities. I started by asking how many in the audience use Skype – usually about 50% to 60% raise their hands but at WordCamp Toronto Saturday about 95% of the 400 attendees raised their hands; three who came up to talk with me later said they had to start using it.

But here’s the best part – it was the spontaneous emotional enthusiasm they exhibited for their use of Skype. Not only when handing out the prizes but by the questions and inquiries I received during subsequent networking breaks. It was the smile on their faces telling about the success they had experienced.

I heard stories of weekly family calls back to South Africa, Europe and the Far East, often with video. I heard stories of how small business entrepreneurs depend on Skype for weekly conference calls to manage their projects and the use of screen sharing to build business relationships around the world.

On the other hand, some conversations would become a mini-training session. Skype has so many features of which users are unaware. Editing chat messages, one-to-one screen sharing and using the FireFox and Internet Explorer Skype toolbars were some of the subjects of conversations during networking breaks at WordCamp Toronto.

As a result Voice On The Web will be introducing two new features:

  • Skype in My Life: how users use Skype to support their personal and business life.
  • SkypeHints: a twitter feed that will provide daily tips and hints reminding users of the many individual features that are available within Skype with links back to more details at the Voice On The Web reference guide.

If you have a story, tip or hint that you would like to share send your suggestions to me at jim dot courtney at voiceontheweb dot biz or contact me on Skype (mention Skype Hints or Skype Stories in the chat message or contact request).

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About Jim Courtney

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

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