| Skype Stories|
Grandmother on eBay and Skype
Rocking the Podcasts and Band Practice
Non-profit Connects Cheaply with Co-workers
Techno-phobes use Skype
GRANDMOTHER ON EBAY AND SKYPE
Devon, England, UK
How Skype Keeps Families in Touch: Christine is a proud grandmother who uses Skype to keep in touch with her grandchildren Kieran, Jaime, Rebecca, and Christina. The 6-year old Kieran calls her constantly, and they switched to Skype in order to avoid the mounting phone bills that were piling up between Essex and Devon, UK. Christine also Skypes her niece in Holland almost twice a day, joking that the niece rarely talks to her own parents due to the fact that they've yet to make the transition from expensive landlines.
Skype's Superb Voice Quality: "[Skype is] much, much better [than a regular phone]. Absolutely perfect," she says. "The reception is superb. Someone in Australia sounds like they're in the next room. And it's very, very easy, which is more than I can say about some things I've put on my computer."
Skype and eBay: Interestingly enough, Christine Hawe is also an avid eBay seller who's recognized how Skype can improve her e-commerce- she's added her Skype handle to her business cards. "If you're on eBay you're already on the computer," she explains, "so it's sensible!"
ROCKING THE PODCASTS AND BAND PRACTICE
Brooklyn, New York
Skype for Podcasting: CJ is a recent convert who's used Skype in a number of unique ways. He works for Opium, an online literary magazine for which he records podcasts of authors reading and interpreting their work. CJ's found that Skype is useful in coordinating and arranging this process, and he's also conducted author interviews over the service.
Skype Equals Savings: "I'm definitely thinking of adopting Skype as my primary method of getting in touch with people," he says. "I'm sick of getting bills from AT&T. [Skype is] really difficult for the phone company to beat, and the credit system works well. I'm looking forward to more of it, whatever comes of it."
Long Distance Jam Sessions: CJ's also discovered that Skype has musical applications, as well. "I just hooked up with some friends and was having a jam session," he explains. "To get together and rock out- it's a viable option." CJ plays the electric ukulele in a quartet whose members connect via Skype from Utica, Philadelphia, LA, and New York.
NON-PROFIT CONNECTS CHEAPLY WITH CO-WORKERS
New York, NY
Skype for Global Non-Profits: Mr. Sailer runs Population Council, a non-profit organization that focuses on field research regarding reproductive health in developing nations. Population Council has 18 offices around the world, in Mexico, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and elsewhere. He uses Skype primarily for business, which allows him to connect cheaply with international co-workers.
From New York to the Developing World: "I've even made a conference call with Pakistan, Nigeria, and somewhere on the Upper East Side," he explains. In his line of work, it's not uncommon to have to communicate with countries where the stability and reliability of traditional landlines is unpredictable. "There's lots of low band-width with these countries," he says. "Sometimes Skype is easier. And [the Population Council Director in Ghana] prefers to use Skype." After witnessing the benefits of the service at work, Mr. Sailer says he's recommended it to outsiders who aren't aware of what Skype can do. "A lot of people are not familiar, and they're amazed when we tell them. It's more of a secret than it ought to be."
TECHNO-PHOBES USE SKYPE
New York, New York
With Skype, Someone's Always There: Ms. Antsy works for an e-commerce company, clickandbuy.com. She uses Skype on a regular basis for both business and personal reasons, and she was very excited about the service's potential. "Skype will take over the world," she joked. Skype's primary benefit for business, Sharon says, is knowing when the party you want to call is available. "Professionally I find it very useful, because you can see who's there and you're not wasting time. I use the IM and say, 'can we talk'- and then you call! The ease of use here is unparalleled. I think most people, when you first meet them you're asking are you on Skype? I had to deal with someone in Paris, he was on Skype. Someone in India, he was on Skype."
Learning About Skype: She thinks that the only stumbling block for new users is learning how to correctly use the Skype headset on their computer, yet there seems to be a certain domino effect when Skype is used in an office setting. "Even the most technologically phobic people here [at the office], saw the rest of us use it and had to try it. The key was watching other people use it and hearing other people use it. Here, where the office is about 16, I would say at this point 80% of the office is using it. I'm using Skype at least 4 times a week, to Europeans and Californians, to anybody in a different time zone. It's far easier to use than dialing [with a traditional phone] and leaving messages."