Internet-based phone service Skype allows users to communicate virtually for free. This is not just fad. Skype use for international calling has been increasing steadily over the past few years, but domestic use is also increasing. With a web camera, users can also see one another. Nearly one-third of all Skype use is for video calls.
- The Working Today section of your text lists technology as one of the major forces shaping the way we interact into today’s global economy. Is Skype changing the way people interact? How is Skype creating opportunities for business? What type/size businesses do you believe are most affected? Flexibility was listed in the text as a benefit of technology. Does Skype create flexibility?
- Telecommuting once used to refer to working from home rather than the office. However, mobile technologies now allow business to be conducted just about anywhere. Discuss the implications of Skype for connecting businesses. Is it a viable option for meeting with clients/customers? What about meeting with the boss or coworkers?
- What type of service technology does Skype represent? Do you see Skype as productivity enhancing, productivity neutral, or a productivity detriment?
SOURCE: K. L. Gray, “Long Distance Viewing,” Columbus Dispatch (Retrievable online at http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/01/23/skype_talk.ART_ART_01-23-10_A1_UVGCS7V.html?sid=101)