My call for some skypers paid off this time, the phone has been ringing off the hook… Just as I was checking email this monrning, I got the notice of Will’s comment that he had just downloaded Skype, and just as I was adding him to my Skype contact list, he called! The audio quality was great, from Arizona to New Jersey, and it was looking like a good thing.
It looks like some browsers will support the URL link structure of
<a href="callto:skype_name">call me</a>
Sa,y hey call me…
There is even a slick little test account you can call to verify your SKype-ability- callto:echo123 a computer generated voice answers (you can test your audio out), then offers to record your voice, and plays in back so you can verify that your microphone is working. Even that little bit is a nifty trick.
I got two more invite notifications while talking to Will, and had good connections with Eric at one of the SUNY schools and someone I’d met at past NMC conferences.
Then I had a invite come in from Teemu, who offered to test the Skype service from here to Finland. It was not bad, a brief lag (no worse then my US cell phone) and some echo here and there, but very good. He complimented myself and Brian and D’Arcy on our June 2004 “Small Technologies Loosely Joined” session at the NMC conference, and went on to say it was an inspiration for a new system being developed in Finland called “dicole” “(Discover. Collaborate. Learn”), Right in skype he IM-ed the access and log in instructions.
Wow, this goes far beyond the tin cans and string system I set up last year for our Ocotillo project. One one level, it has the small pieces tools all loosely joined, group blogs, threaded forums, wikis, plus a document sharing feature… and all of it threaded together with RSS. I’ve just had a bit of time to poke around, but am eager to try this our next year for Ocotillo… the software will be released soon as open-source, but is part of a larger plan of a network of installations, where “meta-groups” would exist from multiple dicole locales, so while I may have a Learning Object group here at Maricopa, we could tap into resources and info with say a similar group running in Helsinki. It is a big vision. It is small pieces on a big scale.
While the system is being polished I did find some public viewable info at http://www.dicole.fi/en/about/overview/overview.
I did ask Teemu if I was pronouncing his name correctly, and he explained the several ways his name is pronounced. Then I said, don’t worry, you may be the next Linus. He laughed, but perhaps day dreamed a bit.
So thanks Teemu for making the call! I am skyped and psyched.