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Archive for May 29th, 2012

Comments from a Skype convert

It’s official – I’m no longer a Skype virgin. I suppose technically I wasn’t really a virgin anyway, as I’d seen Skype calls in action before and participated in a family call with my husband’s niece who lives in New York City. But there’s something very different about a business call and a “chat” with an uninterested 2-and-a-half-year-old.

I realize that like other things (MP3s and childbirth come to mind), I’m not the first to discover and marvel at something that’s new to me but which others have been doing for quite some time. (Note: There were 4 MILLION other users online when I was on my call.) However, all I can do is share from my limited personal lens.

I assume I’m also not the only one who watched those TV shows as a kid and one day imagined being able to see the person on the other end of the phone, rather than just listen to them. We all thought it would be so cool. Then the technology actually arrived, and I was no early adopter. I frankly didn’t get the appeal. Sure, I don’t necessarily have to leave my house to have that meeting, but I still have to pay attention that the shirt I’m wearing doesn’t have mustard stains on it and that I don’t have bed head.

So, I delayed becoming a Skyper. People would ask about it and I’d put them off. I had the camera and software installed on my computer, but we’d either do old-fashioned phone calls, the much more labor intensive online video conferencing, or meet in person. Until yesterday.

My client Maria, rather to my annoyance, was persistent in her desire for this Skype call. It was only once we connected and she said, “I prefer this way to just using the phone because it’s much more intimate and personal,” that I finally understood.

It’s also useful! Neither of had to scan and save and send – or drive 20+ miles to meet in the middle – for her to show me some images she’s considering for an upcoming presentation. She just held the pictures up to the camera and I got the full impact there and then.

My first foray into this free video conference service wasn’t without a hitch, however. Maria wasn’t able to hear me, so we used our phones while we connected visually via Skype. I found out later it was a simple setting issue on my end – now that it’s repaired, our next Skype adventure will likely be easier and even more fruitful.

Please don’t mistake me. I’m not a proselytizer or Skype missionary – just someone who’s had a change of heart and thought you might want to reconsider it if you’d been avoiding this new technology, as I did for so long.

Happy Skyping!

Laura

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