Given that it’s Friday and given the big news of Skype’s acquisition by Microsoft this week, I decided to designate today as “Thank You Skype Day.” VSee really has to thank Skype for getting the word out about desktop videoconferencing. Without Skype people might still be all hung up about the expense, the complication, the poor quality of using videoconference in everyday work life. As it is, millions of people now use Skype’s videocalling for personal and business purposes and have realized that videoconference is a viable and important work tool. So, thank you Skype for getting the word out!
Of course, I have to put in my 2 cents for VSee because Skype’s screen and file-sharing abilities really is the pits, which leads me to this little story I want to share:
Recently I was at Chinese Language Teacher Association training (don’t ask what I was doing there) and got to hear Dr. Timothy Xie give an awesome talk about using technology to support Chinese language teaching and learning. Anyone who has ever seriously tried to learn Mandarin has probably come across his website, because it is one of the most extensive web portals of online Chinese language learning tools you’ll find. Anyways, at one point he’s talking about how Skype has really bad desktop sharing tools, so when he is teaching over videoconference, he usually opens Skype and another desktop sharing program called Mikogo. That means both he and his students have to download and sign into two separate accounts and use two different sets of tools. Why complicate your life like that? I nearly jumped up on my chair and shouted, “You should use VSee! It does both really well! Plus it’s secure and takes up way less bandwidth!” Of course I controlled myself, but it made me wonder how many other people out there are also using two separate programs when they could just be using VSee.
But to get back to the star of today’s post. Here goes my ode…
I thank you Skype! You’ve paved the way
For video chatting in today.
If not for you we’d never know
The joys of easy video.
With you I have the chance to meet
My grandpa from across the sea,
With you that client in Istanbul
Will really know my word is true,
And thank you Skype for all you’ve done
In keeping me and my boyfriend one.
O Skype, you mean the world to me
I dearly hope you’ll still be free
But even if that’s not to be
You’ve made video calling history!
Original balloon photo courtesy: D. Sharon Pruitt