Group Chats

Ike [Skype Staff] and Tomi [Skype Beta Tester] pointed me to an interesting poll in the Skype forums (click here) about the usage of Group Chats.
In view of the number of votes, the graph is right now not statistically relevant. Moreover, the respondents are mainly very heavy Skype users (Staff, Super Users, Moderators), so it is quite biased. My guess is that most Skype users don’t use Group Chats at all!

But, Group Chats are useful, the same as conference calls, and perhaps even more. Just suppose you are working with some family members or colleagues on an event or a project …
  • You can ask a question or make a comment concerning your project even if some or offline;
  • Those who were offline can read the previous messages when they come back online, and add relevant information to the chat;
  • Chat history and messages are saved, so you can dig in the story and evolution of the project or event preparation (to find back why “this”, or when “that”);
  • Unlike a conference call, you don’t have to be all together available at the same moment.
The drawbacks are:
  • Not everyone uses Skype (not all of my family members for instance);
  • Quite a lot of the bigger companies block Skype, therefore it isn't used in a multi-company environment.
But, it is indeed a very useful feature!


Anonymous said...

Hello Jean,
as a Belgian skype-blogger with good contacts with the skype staff, any idea when the Belgian skype-in numbers are going to be introduced?

Jean Mercier said...

Hello anonymous (?),

I have not the faintest idea, and i do not ask this kind of questions to Skype Staff, i am not a journalist.

I have to admit that the growht of "SkypeIn countries" is very poor!

aaytch said...

One sub-category of group chat is "public chat". When combined with "Chat Publisher", public chat can even work well as a replacement for comment lines like this one, or for web-based product support. In other words, chat can be significantly energized by combining it with a web display. Shameless plug: http://glimfeather.com/borderless/chatpublisher.html

Jean Mercier said...

Hey, aaytch or Hudson Barton, you should put something in your blogger profile.

"Chat Publisher" is not a Skype feature. Shameless promotion of your tool indeed!

slowed down dad said...

Group chat is a useful feature. but once my daughter gets her friends on a group chat while she is 'hosting' our bandwidth gets more and more consumed as more large numbers connect.

should there be a way to restrict the bandwidth skype can 'steal' from a home network in Group chat.