Guess how many Skype users have "Harry Potter," "Voldemort" names

Guess how many Skype users have "Harry Potter," "Voldemort" names

Summary: Because the new Harry Potter book went on sale Friday at Midnight, I made it a point not to go within about three parsecs of any bookstore all day Friday.The newest Harry Potter, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," sold 6.

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Because the new Harry Potter book went on sale Friday at Midnight, I made it a point not to go within about three parsecs of any bookstore all day Friday.

The newest Harry Potter, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," sold 6.9 million copies in the first 24 hours.

When I saw that figure, it got me to thinking about another mass culture phenomenon. Skype. 45 million users and counting.

With Skype and Harry's massive popularity, I perceived an overlap between Skype users and Harry Potter fans. So, I went to Skype's "Search for Skype Users" feature and entered "Harry Potter" in the "Look for" search box.

I found 31 Skype users claiming Harry Potter as either Skype Name or a Full Name.

Of course, I am aware that Harry Potter can be a legitimate name, but given that "Harry Potter" was listed as a Full Name by Skype users in Estonia, Morocco, Brazil, Italy, Malaysia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Indonesia, and lots of other places where such an actual name would be rare, the association with the character is unavoidable.

Oh, and there's 13 Skype-user "Voldemort"s, or variations on the name of the fearsome Lord Voldemort.

Topic: Browser

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  • Skype Mania

    Russel,

    While I appreciate that 45 million of anything is a big number, I think we should put this subscriber number into context.

    There are billions of POTS (Plain Old Telephony System) connections out there, and most Skype users still have parallel POTS and cell connections. For the POTS and cellular connections they use their real names (even if their number is not listed), and they use them to do real things.

    In addition Skype is proprietary technology with closed interface definitions. In ICT, and particularly in communications, open interface specifications *always* win out.

    To see an open alternative go here:
    www.gizmoproject.com/

    Yes, Gizmo is a little clunky right now - but nothing that can't be fixed in time. However, it is a more open model than Skype.

    If current Skype members are registering names from fiction then that says to me that 'Skyping' is a leisure activity akin to free e-mail, and early Bulletin Boards.

    When people start to register their real names to conduct real business over Skype connections, and when Skype's interfaces are open to any developer to write flexible application solutions, I'll be impressed by 45 million - and not before.

    Can you say 'Flash in the Pan'?
    Stephen Wheeler
    • Right on...

      I had posted the same thing some time ago and glad to see that facts are generally distinguishable from hype.....Although Skype is very good in features and quality, it is proprietary. As for the 45 million users, there are comparable numbers of users of Yahoo Messenger, IRC, MSN, and others. Once these products add Outbound PSTN dialing features, they are on equal footing to Skype.

      If Skype had an open signalling protocol, then for sure it would be a serious product for both business and home users. But it's NOT. You can't have your traditional phone connect to Skype without a PC in the middle (and that too running Windows). Whereas, with so many free SIP services, I just have to pick-up the phone and dial the number - no PC needed.
      low-life
  • Parsecs!

    I love unit-of-measure humor!
    evanwolf