Glenn's Web Factory

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Skype Hype

So according to Mena Trott, the next step in web blogging is making the blogger all the more accessible by including their skype contact information on all their publications.
"This allows you to see a button on a blog and start talking to the person who publishes that blog," Mena Trott, co-founder and president of Six Apart, said in a phone interview. "That is the next step in blogging."
I'd have to say that with all due respect Mena, I disagree.

I think this is a classic mistake that has been made repeatedly in the communications space: that making increasingly interactive (and interruptive) modes of communication is always the path of progress.

I always disliked having a phone at my desk that I was required to answer. Inevitably it would ring just as I was mentally walking through some code path and was holding a bunch of stuff in my head. Answering the phone meant loosing all that data and the 15 to 20 minutes that corresponded to getting into that "zone".

Email is much more conducive to the kind of work I have generally done. When an email arrives, I get a small notification and I can get to it at my leisure. To me, it reaches the perfect balance between immediacy and non-invasiveness.

I use Skype, and I use it often. But even with Skype, my contacts generally IM me first to see if the timing is right for a conversation. Often I ask for 10 or 15 minutes to finish a current task. This works well - particularly since I have only about a dozen contacts.

Blog commenting is an essential part of the 2-way experience that makes blogging a more interesting form of journalism. As this blog becomes more read (I hope this happens!), I look forward to reading lots of comments and feeding off others' ideas. But I look forward to doing this on my schedule. In fact, if a reader were to skype me and discuss my entry directly with me, it would cease to benefit other readers, which is largely the point.

I personally think the future of blogging lies more in making the medium more accessible and easier to use for the billions of people not yet involved. It also lies with helping to connect bloggers and their potential audiences. It lies with making it quicker and easier to find a blog or blog entry that will be interesting to a reader. It lies with making it easier, faster, more ubiquitous and more fun to "keep up" with your favorite bloggers. It lies with enabling effective search services across past blog entries for research purposes.

For those wanting to be interrupted with skype conversations can already display their skype name on their blog. They can put their home address and phone number too. They can even pull a Scoble and frequently detail their dinner plans and eat with their readers.

I really value input from readers... But don't expect to see the Skype Me button on my blog.


Post a Comment

<< Home