I emailed my brothers last week and heard nothing. Then on Saturday, they both emailed and told me I have to get Skype to talk to them.
I’m familiar with Skype, and I know two people who have it, but I hadn’t really looked into it much beyond my general concept of what it is and does.
So, I signed up (took about 60 seconds) and started using it with one of my brothers.
The entire experience was at once both revolutionary and embarrassing.
Revolutionary – Using Skype brought me back to being 4 years old and watching the Jetsons. The whole idea of pressing a button and having conversations with whomever you want… instantly. In the mid-1970s, the idea seemed impossible, but inevitable, at the same time. And so, here we are.
Sure, video conferencing has been around for awhile, but there was something that made it all real about how easily I signed up, interacted appropriately with the interface and how quickly I was having video conversations with my brother.
And the possibilities… the distance between my family/daughter and our in-laws in New Jersey and our cousins in Boston and San Francisco just got tremendously less.
Embarrassing – I can’t believe it took me this long to get an account and start using it. I’ve always tended to be on the early adopter side of the curve, but I’d never really seen the potential with this one. Yet, when I was trying to add contacts to my list, I was amazed at how many friends (nearly all of them, many of whom are hip deep in the SF tech culture) didn’t have an account. Am I early to Skype, or late?
Also, I’m still looking forward to my move to Mac, but I’m not there, yet. So last night, I had to buy a camera – Logitech STX – from Amazon so I can use the video portion of the video-conferencing. Then it won’t just be me seeing others, but they can see me, too.
I’m writing this not only because of my personal excitement about this, but because of the potential I think it has for customer service and general site interactions going forward.