Julian Bond says: Interesting to see the Last.FM Extra. It seems to be largely a Flash player embedded in a Skype window. Seems like this is a fast way to develop Extras. YouTube embedded in a Skype Extra, anyone?

Julian Bond says: related: We were talking about the Google Search API being closed down. I recently wrote some code to get the top 3 results from Google from a command inside Skype. This led to thinking about why you would want that. One I came up with was Skype being free on some paid hotspots. If the only internet access you can get is Skype, (on a wifi phone perhaps), then getting web pages inside Skype makes sense. But the rest of the time, why not just use a web browser? Which then means that Skype extras only look interesting if they add some value that is only possible from inside Skype. Just embedding something available elsewhere doesn't cut it. So a Last.FM player in a Skype Extra is an interesting demonstration of example code, but I can't see the point.

Bill Campbell | Skype Journal says: Don't you think just making the user's experience more Skype Centric is of value?

Julian Bond says: Actually no.

Bill Campbell | Skype Journal says: Well I think it adds value to Skype Ltd and some Skype Users like me.

Julian Bond says: But we already multitask between Skype, firefox, thunderbird, googlemail. Each of these things is optimised for it's task. We're all comfortable with context switching between them. Add in uTorrent, winamp, etc etc

Bill Campbell | Skype Journal says: I do not disagree. I certainly would not want to browse the web via Skype. I want IE or FF for that. However I do not mind getting RSS feeds via Skype.

Julian Bond says: I've used Anothr to get alerts generated from synthetic RSS feeds. Great for PR companies and market researchers. Do a search on Google news/blogsearch or technorati for your company name, feed the RSS to Anothr, get an alert on Anothr shortly after someone mentions you.

Julian Bond says: philosophy: I've been thinking about online communications as a 3*3*3 matrix X-axis=publisher, y-axis=reader, z-axis=time. One-Few-Many publishing to one-few-many, in time, immediate-delayed-offline/permanent

Julian Bond says: So Skype is
one->one : chat, voice
few->few : group chat
mostly immediate to delayed

Julian Bond says: Blogs are One->Many, permanent
blog comments are few->many
Clubs-Tribes are few->few

Julian Bond says: In time: Phone -> IM Chat -> Email -> Mailing list-> Blog Comment discussion -> Blog -> Broadcast news progressively longer timescales

Julian Bond says: The current online world is still not very good for few->few group discussions on a niche topic. We used to use mailing lists and usenet but both have been dropping off in effectiveness. People are just not very good at that style of discussion. It's really hard to keep IRC and Skype chats going. The norm is that they fade into disuse. Blogs and Blog comments are hopeless because the discussion gets spread all over the web and it's too much like hard work to check on responses to what you write. Discussion boards work kind of OK, but the UI is mostly pretty unpleasant.

Julian Bond says: The kids use TXT but us old people have a hard time with tiny keyboards and thumbs.

Julian Bond says: Don't get me wrong. I also think public chats are great and are taking what was in IRC to a new level. But it's hard to keep chats going.

Bill Campbell | Skype Journal says: And hard to keep them focused

Julian Bond says: Rule of thumb: you need 5 noisy people. 90% lurk so you typically need 50 people for self sustaining momentum.

Julian Bond says: And when you hit 150 people, the conversation will split and new groups will bud off.

Julian Bond says: So Skype need to up the chat size limit to >150.

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