‘Quick Profile’ Articles:

Skype v2.0 Beta

December 5th, 2005 by jeremychone | Comments Off

Skype v2.0 Beta Skype has recently launched its Skype v2.0 beta with an interesting mix of enterprise and consumer features.

Skype v2.0 has the following new features:

  • Video: Skype 2.0 Video seems to work well. It did recognized my old Logitech web cam, and I did manage to video-conference easily with my family. I remember that I had more troubles when I tried to video-conference with MSN and Yahoo.
  • Personalization, self-expression, contact organization: Users can now set avatars, ring tones, and mood. Nothing really new in this area, just some cute icons and sounds.
  • Outlook toolbar: This toolbar allows calling contacts from the Outlook address book, and it does help you to match your contacts with their respective SkypeID. However, I could not get it to show the presence or the call function from an email (on right click, it actually shows the default Outlook call menu). Also, it does not seem to add any "smart tag," which would have been useful.
  • Blog and Web site integration: Skype formalized its Web integration with commercial blog service Six Apart. And it still has its Skype Buttons HTML code generator, which allows any Web site (static or dynamic) to integrate with Skype client.

This is definitely good news for consumers. However, as Om Malik mentioned in his post, this is no breakthrough. Here are couple of ideas that would have been interesting.

  • Desktop sharing: For business use, I would agree with Michael Arrington that desktop sharing would have been a great thing to have.
  • Co-browsing: Skype would benefit from deeper and less intrusive means of integration with Browsers. Some users might want to Skype-enabled their browser without adding yet another Web toolbar. Also, co-browsing would have been a great feature to include and a short-term solution to the problem of desktop sharing.
  • Standard compliance: Skype should support the XMPP protocol. This might sounds unreasonable from a business strategy point of view. However, if text chat is not Skype’s core business, then Skype could integrate XMPP distributed network into its voice and video service. It could also create a great viral marketing opportunity: when Skype users and XMPP users (e.g., Google Talk) decide during a chat to initiate a voice or video call, Skype could generate a text message suggesting that the non-Skype user install Skype.

As I mentioned in my previous post (“Web 2.0 Simplified“) , standardizing presence and text chat would create a multitude of new opportunities. Google, not surprisingly, has been adopting this strategy by supporting XMPP. It will be interesting to see what strategy will prove to be better.

I also think there is great room for innovation around P2P for Web 2.0, but it has to be open and creative- and if it is, it will probably be disruptive.

Some good discussions about Skype v2.0 appear on Michael Parekh’s blog. A good overview of Skype v2.0 Beta can be found on Daily Wireless.

Blog Editor: w.Bloggar

October 26th, 2005 by jeremychone | Comments Off

I am in a quest for a good blog editor. I have some requirements, but I am faily flexible at this point. So, my first attempt will be with w.Bloggar. Actually, I am using it to write this post.

Overall opinion: Not too bad for no WYSIWYG editing. I need to play a little bit more with it. However, for a more involved post, I might be using Dreamweaver. BTW, it would be nice if Dreamweaver can add some of these blog posting capabilities … just a thought.

Here are my quick pros/cons:

  • Pros:
    • Easy configuration: Not too hard to configure your blog settings (connects well with WordPress). Easy to start blogging.
    • Useful preferences: Can be on system tray, can start with last open post, can configure proxy (per blog!!), and can export/import preferences
    • Good HTML tag support: For people who like to edit HTML code, it does provide a simple yet useful HTML code editor with a “helper” toolbar like WordPress’s “quick tag toolbar.”
    • HTML preview: Good HTML preview tab.
    • Spell check: Good spell check capabilities.
    • Offline support: Simple but good enough offline support.
    • Support categories: It does download your categories from WordPress.
    • Good post synchronization: This is pretty cool – you can go back to previous post from Tools>Post>Last 5 Posts. It will then download it back, and you can make your changes and republish it. Unfortunately, it does not sync with our local one (.post) that you created previously.
  • Cons
    • No WYSIWYG editing: It does not seem to be that important in blogger’s world, However, I would really like that. Not saying that I do not want to still be able to look at the code. A program like Dreamweaver would be a good compromise. There are some blog editors that does offer this functionality, though I will try to profile them.
    • No source formating: This does not allow you to “XML format” your html code. Since it generates mostly XHTML, it should not be too hard, and will help readability for a complex HTML document. However, I guess that hard core HTML coders prefer having full control over their HTML code.
    • No tag autocomplete: Again, this is not a must but should be easy to do for a native application. The simplest one is to autocomplete the closing tags.