After quite some time, a recent business venture led me to dust off my Skype account. I actually got the account a long time back but really had little cause to use it. That and the built-in mic I use sounded like poop. In reality, I was intrigued by the whole VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) thing when I started down the “new media”. (If the yellow brick road had the munchkins, imagine what this road has. Yikes)
Anyway, I have the need to speak with my partner on this venture regularly so we decided to use Skype for our regular chats and it was interesting to get up and running on this rather social media offering. So I’m thinking, “Phil, you’re sooo cutting edge.”
Then the family and I are at church when in the middle of the weekly announcements, our Pastor introduces one of the other Pastors “live” from India via Skype. We’ve all become accustom to those video phone interviews on CNN. Seeing an embedded reporter’s jerky and sometime out of sync updates is a fairly normal occurrence these days, but having your worship leader give you the scoop on a mission trip at three in the morning where he was took me by surprise. (OK, we went to church on Saturday night. The title just didn’t seem as snappy.) There it was…all main-stream and stuff.
I started thinking about all the uses for Skype beyond me talking to a colleague and getting reports from India. There are many: Have you got a conference with the suits coming up and you want to include others around the company? Skype it. Interview for your podcast or website? Skype it. Talking with Uncle Chutney in London and the phone card is tapped? You get the idea.
The Skype site can give you the complete skinny on the service. My point is that it’s one of the tools that can help you in your efforts to communicate. Remember, that to really get the most out of it, you and the person you’re talking with will need a high speed internet connection. Also, don’t skimp on a microphone or headset. We found that a Bluetooth headset and a wireless network is quite dicey…at best.
If you’re going to use Skype for a professional reason and the technical things aren’t in place. Don’t do it. Remember, know the audience and the level of technology they have access to.
Time to call Uncle Chutney….