Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Why aren't you all Skyping?

I have regular meetings with my agent. We chat, we can see each other... yet we're 80 miles apart, and even better it doesn't cost anything.

We use Skype the internet phone/video thingy and it's absolutely brilliant.

Now, what I don't understand is why so few people use it. Oh, I know Skype has millions of customers. But my agent is about the only person I know I use it regularly with. We have several friends who have it - but they don't keep it on, which misses the whole point. Skype is like phoning, but it's better and it's free. And we have lots more friends who have broadband, but don't use Skype at all.

I know it's a bit more of a faff than picking up a phone, because you have to be in the room your computer's in (unless you have one of the dinky Skype phones that work when the computer's switched off), but it's so much better than an ordinary phone call if you have video - particularly if you go for the HD video, which is stunning quality.

This is beginning to sound like an ad for Skype - it's not (they're not paying me anything, the swines), but I'm genuinely amazed that more people don't make use of it. Get Skyping people.

16 comments:

  1. I used to have skype on my main computer, but it was somewhat flaky and kept prompting me for updates which never seemed to work properly and kept sending me prompts even after I'd installed them. When we moved to Cromer I didn't bother to re-register. However, it is featured on my Asus Eee but I couldn't get it to work there either. After that I didn't seem to be able to spare time to go through all that faff all over again. Nice idea - crap implementation.

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  2. That's strange - I've never had a problem with it and use it a lot, plus use its link to the normal phone system for outgoing calls...

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  3. Maybe it's just me, and/or I was using a beta version. I believe Mrs Cromercrox uses it with some success.

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  4. By a strange coincidence (?) I read in my (hard copy) newspaper on the train this morning that Skye is set to achieve the take-off velocity which you write is lacking (and which I have read elsewhere is indeed the case) because it is about to be a free app on the iPhone. If Prof CromerCrox revisits, he might well revive his interest in the light of this info.

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  5. Yep, Maxine's right, oh mighty Cromeroid, it is now available free on the iPhone and (frinstance) anywhere you've got wifi you can then Skype wonderful people like me FOC.

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  6. But seriously, I lurve it. You can just do the free calls (with optional video) which is what I was on about in the main post, but for about £20 a year you can have an incoming proper telephone number, plus can make free outgoing calls to normal landline phones...

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  7. I, too, lurve Skype. I'd never heard of it until I had to use it for the Litopia podcasts. I've never had any trouble with it, and I can talk to buds in the UK. What power that is! I've used it for editing meetings with my authors, which is a godsend considering we can be online for a couple hours.

    I say you and I hold Skype up for money, Brian. We're the perfect spokes-holes.

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  8. Thanks for the tips, Maxine and Brian. No sooner had I received them than I hied straightway to my iPhone and within about 5mins it was all set up. My skyope name is 'henrygee'. 'cromercrox' was already taken. How strange. I immediately dcalled Brian .... but he was out...

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  9. In bed, actually, Henry. Us country folk aren't late night stopouts.

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  10. And there was I thinking that rural Wilts was Le Grand Metrop compared with Norfolk. Another illusion shattered.

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  11. I learn Bulgarian via Skype - my teacher, Boris, is 2000 miles away in Plovdiv and we wave at one another via webcam. You're right, though, Brian - I don't leave it on and I should. It's just that it might become one more distraction to keep me from writing and what would my Skype-loving agent have to say about that?!

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  12. Henry - there's country, and there's rural backwoods: quite different. We know here that only city slickers are up after 11pm.

    Amanda - I don't find it any more a distraction than having a phone. If you treat it like that (rather than like my kids treat MSN) it's fine!

    P.S. I think Henry is now a convert after some success on his iPhone...

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  13. I live in Shepherd's Bush and by 11pm I am begging for bed...we city slickers are not as hardy as some people make out!

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  14. Skype is great for trans-Atlantic relationships too, although we mainly use texting (don't want to wake The Beast up). I even used it to keep the other half company whilst she was waiting in hospital to have her arm prodded around.

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  15. Good point, Bob. I don't happen to have friends-and-relations abroad, but many do and it's great for that...

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  16. Having now become a convert (and there are none so zealous as the converted) I come back to Brian's original question ... why isn't everyone on Skype? I put out an advert for Skypers on my Facebook profile and only two of my 'friends' responded (I have more than 300 Facebook friends ... hey, I'll just turn my charisma down a noth and they'll just drift away).

    Mrs Gee, tho' she has used Skype, has trouble with it, but I was able to impress her with my iPhone by getting a voice call through to one of her best friends who currently lives in Egypt, and they were able to chat away for as long as they wanted for free.

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