This is part of a series of articles about information and communication technologies that could be used in Hedon as part of online initiatives.
Skype is free software that makes computer-to-computer phone calls possible. It is not the only VoIP system out there (Voice over Internet Protocol – for delivery of vocal communication), but it is the most well known and widely available.
You can use Skype as a chat facilitybut its real power is when it’s used for networking.
It can enable free calls between members of the same organisation (for example) in different locations and also allow for free communication between different organisations. With Skype, then an internet user in a rural place like Hedon can contact another Skype user anywhere in the world for free. In fact a common use for Skype is for relatives abroad to keep in touch.
It’s conference-call facility can enable ‘virtual networking’ to take place for those people that are prevented from meeting physically for whatever reason.
Skype can also cater for calls to landlines at a cost.
It’s not just calls either – Skype can enable speedy transfer of large files between Skype users in a manner that e-mail just can not achieve. It requires both sender and receiver to be online simultaneously.
A comment by an individual at the recent Hull Digital network meeting claimed Skype was a toy! If this is the case then I for one am keen to play and save money into the bargain!
Try Skype out. You won’t be canceling your landline services in the short-term, but you just might save some money and network in a way that has not been previously possible.