While watching Oprah (accidentally BTW) I was surprised to see that she was interviewing someone from Japan via SKYPE video. With all of the technology available to her she was using simple ol’ SKYPE. Kind of like the rest of us. What is SKYPE?
SKYPE is a Voice Over Internet Protocol or VOIP application. With VOIP you get to use your computer like a telephone. SKYPE to SKYPE calls are free from anywhere in the world to anywhere else in the world. What makes it more than regular old chat, say like MSNlive for instance is that you can also call long distance phone numbers via SKYPE (called SKYPE out) for only fractions of a penny compared to regular phone lines. As we saw on Oprah, SKYPE also supports video. With laptop computers coming with web cams and microphones as standard features these days it’s not surprising that more and more people are discovering SKYPE for personal and business use. There’s a lot more to SKYPE than just voice phone calls and you can check it out at http://www.skype.com/. It’s a good alternative to traditional telephone services but I’m not sure if it’s a total replacement – yet!
BTW: Oprah isn’t the first TV show to make use of SKYPE to connect to guests or the audience. Tom Green’s House Tonight (yes he actually broadcasts from his house) was on cable awhile back and he used it to chat with viewers all the time. CNN uses it occasionally as well. We listen to a few podcasts (NSFW – language warning) which are conference call SKYPE based. Another example of web 2.0 (or new web or social media or . . .) technologies merging with and becoming part of mainstream broadcasting. A transition time for sure!
skype me: dean.k.owen