Archive for July 8th, 2009

Well, to be honest, it was an attempted Skype-ing. That’s what the fellow on the other end said: “I was going to Skype you, but I got too busy.” I thought to myself: I guess that’s how you know sh*t’s for real…when they make a verb out of it. I mean, they invented the proper noun, what, ten minutes ago?

For the uninitiated, Skype is an application that lets you make voice calls over the Internet–often for free. Lately, it has gained more popularity with webcam users like business teleconferencers, or your grandmother.

If you know your communication history, or if you’re just old, you know that they have been promising video phone technology almost since they invented the telephone itself. I remember seeing an Western Electric product brochure from 1965 in an antique store. Way down at the bottom it said, “and coming in late 1969…picture phones!”

no WAY did I find the exact piture I was referring to!

no WAY did I find the exact picture I was referring to!

So, what’s the damn holdup? Are we waiting for 1969 to roll around again? At this rate, I will be bringing home my LG picture phone from Best Buy in my Jetsons flying car.

Actually, it’s no mystery at all. Obviously, if you can watch 30 Rock on your iPhone, then the technology exists. I think the holdup is simply this: we would love to see the person on the other end…but we don’t want them to see us. And I experienced this first hand today.

As my associate and I made plans to Skype, he told me to leave everything on and he would try to dial me up. (Yes, I said “dial.”) Anyway, I began to panic. I am supposed to keep Skype—and my webcam–on all day waiting for him to dial me up? Would I have to “look presentable” or even “put clothes on?” Honestly, it bordered on an existential freakout.

I actually went so far as to compose a little tableau to shoot with my webcam…instead of me.  See pathetic quaint illustration.

Picture 6So, when it comes to the widespread acceptance of videoconferencing technology, I suppose I am part of the problem.

I guess I bring this up (and you had to be hoping there was a point to all of this) to ask, who among my legion of fan is using Skype? And…can I watch?

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