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Skype 3.0 Beta – A Bloggers Paradise

Skype 3.0 (for Windows) has just been released in Beta and there is plenty for bloggers to be excited about in the new features being added.

Click to Call – The new release includes ‘Click to Call’ which allows website owners to put an icon on their blog or site which allows readers to simply click it to call the site owner via Skype (I can just see my productivity levels plummeting! This will be useful for many – although larger website owners could end up spending most of their day on skype.

One addition I’d love to see added would be to add a way to charge for skype calls for consulting work. To be able to have this ‘click to call’ functionality but to be able to charge per minute/hour etc and have the money earned go into a PayPal account would be an interesting feature to see added. Surely integration with PayPal is on the cards as both Skype and PayPal are owned by the eBay team.

Win3 Splash

Public Chats – Also in this release is ‘Public Chats’ which are text based chat rooms available to anyone with Skype to enter (think IRC chat rooms and you’ll be on the right track). There will be moderation and the ability to promote your Public Chats via a link from your site. There are obvious applications here for bloggers wanting to create community interaction among readers.

Skypecasts – This was already in beta testing but looks to be being made available to a wider group of Skype readers. Skypecasts are really conference calls of up to 100 participants – controlled by a central moderator. Once again these can be promoted on a website or blog and i see plenty of applications both on blogs but also as a blog network operator trying to pull together bloggers for training sessions. Again – adding a way to charge participants to join calls would be of interest to many bloggers who would use it to run e-courses.

Skype 3.0 has other improvements to user interface and has the ability to show your ‘favorite links’ in your mood message (something bloggers will again love). Of course those of us on Skype for Mac and Linux will be a while off seeing most of this. Us Mac users are only just past Skype 2.0 and have only just had a stable version with video so I’m suspecting some of the above could take a while to see on our desktops.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Rachel C says:

    That button’s been around for a long time — I had it on my site for a few days (!) last year but decided against it.

  2. Stuart says:

    I love the idea about earning for consulting work, would make it easier to justify spending so much time on the phone :p

    Stuart
    http://www.earnersblog.com

  3. brem says:

    Nice!

  4. Darren,

    The button thing has been around for ages, as Rachel mentions.

    There is another “click-to-call” idea where any phone number on a page is highlighted via a FF or IE plugin/extension. If you click on the number it fires up Skype and calls the number.

    I don’t know how to make that happen in Skype, but I prefer Jahjah anyway.

    http://www.jajah.com

    While I’m mentioning it, Jajah is now integrated into Plaxo, which is unreal. Means you can click on phone numbers in Outlook and Jahjah makes the call.

    If folks don’t know how Jahjah works, it basically calls you and then your “callee” and connects you both together. If you’re both with Jahjah the call is free, no matter where you are in the world (with some exceptions).

    Wish I had more o/s friends now!

    - Alister

  5. Bas Timmers says:

    The call-button has been there for a while, indeed. Another useful function is the forwarding function in Skype: when you are offline in Skype, calls are automatically diverted to your phone number of choice. You pay the SkypeOut-rate for that.

  6. Mike M says:

    If you want to earn money per minute you can forward your Ether number to your SkypeIn number and get the same result. For more info see my post at VerusNova:

    http://verusnova.com/blog/index.php/2006/03/28/earn-money-selling-your-knowledge-over-the-phone/

  7. Gdog says:

    Thanks for the post, my teaching English in Korea blog will appreciate this.

  8. Stuart says:

    Don’t feel bad Darren – I didn’t know about that button either.

    I guess some news travels slow down here in the antipodes – even on the Internet :)

  9. Tim Nash says:

    I just tried out the skypecast feature, but found the audio near impossible perhaps just a bad mic, but out of the 3 casts I listened in on the quality while varied remained low, not sure how useful that feature will be until they sort it.

  10. CyberWyre says:

    Hi Darren,

    Actually a service does exist like this that allows bloggers to charge by the minute, hour, per call, or whatever. Not only this but the call can be routed to any landline number. Check out Ether. I wrote a review of this service some time back here:

    http://www.cwire.org/2006/06/02/ether-sell-therapy-counseling-tax-advice-and-more/

  11. Sagem Phones says:

    Consultancy work sounds great and Skype is a joy to use.

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