I suppose the best place to start here is to get one thing out into the open. I have been a loyal Skype user for quite a long time, starting at a time when it was very useful to me in getting through a time of personal tragedy. However, over the past year I have watched with dismay as, in my opinion, the quality and reliability of Skype went steadily down hill, from one release to the next.
I began helping other users in the Skype User Forums, primarily with Skype Video problems. Over the past six months or so, I have made more than 1,000 posts there, and helped many people get Skype Video working. My motivation was simple; I had used Skype in a time of need, and it had been a tremendous help. I wanted to give others the same chance to benefit from it. So when a lady in Spain who was anxious to video chat with her missionary husband in Africa, or a man in Korea wanted to see his wife and children in America, I was very happy to have been of assistance to them in achieving that.
But I have a penchant for pointing out problems, and apparently a lack of diplomacy, and I have now been banished from the Skype Forums. The point of this initial blog entry is to address that, as I want to make it clear that I am not here only because I "have an axe to grind" with Skype. The stated grounds for banishing me were "done numerous double/triple posting of the same thing under different forums and he has insulted other forum users".
In fact, I made exactly one multiple posting, and that was on the day the Skype 3.6 production release became available. When I found that they had removed the capability to use higher resolution video with any but the "chosen three" webcams, I posted that information to the three Skype forums where I thought the users would be interested in known it - Skype 3.6 beta, where we had been discussing this capability and the possibility that Skype would take it away, Skype Video, for obvious reasons, and Skype for Windows, because it is the most widely viewed of the forums. I believe that the fate of those three postings is illustrative of Skype true motives in banishing me. The beta forum posting was locked and moved to Archive (read as: "oblivion") within less than two hours. The Video posting was locked, with a note about multiple postings and keeping discussion to a single thread, also within two hours of posting. The Skype for Windows posting has disappeared without a trace, which is rather interesting as this is the highest activity forum, so they were apparently anxious not to have that posting seen, and it does bring up some interesting questions about where the "single thread" for comments and discussion is supposed to be, since all three threads are now either gone or locked.
As for "insulting other forum members", I would like to say that in over 1,000 postings, there was never a complaint from anyone whom I was helping with a problem. There were several complaints from other people attempting to post "solutions" when I pointed out that their information was incorrect, misleading or simply irrelevant. As I said previously, I seem to have a lack of diplomacy.
With all that being said, I would like to say one more time, my purpose with this blog is to write about my experiences with a variety of video chat and IM programs, both positive and negative, and not only Skype. I have been using such programs since the very early days of ICQ, I used icuii and eyeball chat in the early days of video chat programs, and I am currently using and invetigating Skype, ooVoo, SightSpeed and others. When there are good things to be said, I certainly will say them. When there are bad things to be said, or hard questions to be asked, I will do that as well.
I hope this blog turns out to be of interest to some people. But if it doesn't, and I am only here talking to myself, so be it - it won't be the first time I have done that, and certainly won't be the last.