Skype Journal Test

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ben Metcalfe: What Skype means to me

On the occasion of Skype's fifth birthday, Skype Journal will publish a series on "What Skype Means To Me". You are invited to email your essay or short thoughts to editor@SkypeJournal.com.  

Skype is the text book example of the mixed fortune that can come from using 'closed source' software. By building their own proprietary VoIP protocol, Skype have been able to create a product with practically zero configuration that almost always works, even within the toughest environments (strict firewalls, multi-NAT'd routers, etc). 

However development and innovation has been stifled by the fact that only Skype, and their parent company eBay, can move the product along - no one from the community is really able to bring new direction to the product. With eBay's lack of vision for the product, users have been left with a service that has barely changed in the last two years, and looks unlikely to receive a significant revamp whilst it remains under the auspices of the auction house.

Ben Metcalfe explores the intersections of social media, Web2.0 projects in the enterprise, grassroots media/blogging, online media, platforms & API's, and disruptive technologies. I know Ben from his activity at the Spring 2008 Data Sharing Summit and several DataPortability.org meetings. You may see him speak at SxSW 2009 on Taking Platforms to the Next Level or Puppets, Theatre and the Conflation of ’Successful’ with ‘Popular’.

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