FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, May 05, 2006

Town Hall Meetings via Skypecasts

Skype, the free, Internet-based voice service, is lending its expertise to the social networking movement in the form of real-time "town hall" meetings, where up to 100 participants can join in a single session.

The TypePad blogging service is integrating Skypecasts into its members' blogs. "Blogging is a very asynchronous activity,'' said Michael Sippey, general manager for TypePad. "I post, and people read it, eventually. One of the things bloggers want to do is create a community around their blog, and with the Skypecasts . . . it's a great way to take blogging from a purely publishing medium to a true communication medium.''

Skypecasting works much like conference calling, with moderators able to mute, expel and give the floor to participants.  Anyone who's participated in a large conference call or online chat knows that careful moderation is a must.

For now, Skypecasting's largest draw is that it's free, and that it's being marketed to a segment that might not have leveraged conference calling before, particularly teens.  It will be interesting to see how these users put Skypecasting to work, and what innovations they bring to the table.

Source:  San Jose Mercury News

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