Skype Me? (Chapter 22)

Posted on July 15, 2011

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Between family chats on Skype and Adobe Connect classes through UNL, I have had some experience with the platforms for interpersonal communication online and in real-time.  As with most of the platforms/tools discussed by Safko, I was unaware that each of these programs had such great potential.  My experience with Adobe Connect has been limited to sharing files online.  There are so many possibilities with Adobe Connect if you know how to facilitate it.

From the business side of things, utilizing these programs to connect with long-distance co-workers and clients is extremely important.  For obvious financial reasons, doing business in cyber-space is much more cost efficient than sending people around the country.  The bottom line is that it will help your bottom line.  As a consumer, the ability to interact with a business may be a draw.  Joining Q&A sessions, participating in discussions and lectures–these may capture the interest of potential customers.

The social media world is at an interesting place when it comes to facilitating face-to-face interpersonal communication.  The launch of Google+ has everyone talking about the pros and cons of Google+ and Facebook.  According to Sarah Shearman of Marketing Magazine online, Google+ has a video-chat system that will allow users to chat face-to-face with 10 people at a time (http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/news/1079649/Google-vs-Facebook-video-calling).  Facebook also just announced a deal with Skype to provide video-chat for Facebook subscribers.

Shearman also interviewed marketing director, Kevin Peake, in her article.  Peake told her that he feels video chat will allow brands to directly connect with their customers.  “‘We are looking at using a lot more social-media videos to help customers,’ he says. ‘So, for example, we could use video chat to get engineers to help customers mend their boilers. It could also be used for older customers, who prefer speaking face-to-face, rather than emailing, as a support mechanism.'”

According to Shearman, video chat will eventually replace text chat.  If this is where we are headed, then now is the time to familiarize yourself with this new communications platform.  As with everything else in The Social Media Bible, Safko is quick to encourage readers to get out there and start using it.  There are so many new social media tools and platforms that it can be a bit overwhelming.  As with everything in life, you have to start somewhere.  With practice comes comfort and success.  The opportunities are endless, but you can’t take advantage of all social media has to offer if you are unwilling to try something new.

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