Monday, May 19, 2008

Skype, Skyper, Skypest

March 17 or May 19, such a difference, 2 months in between! From Winter to Spring and from bleak to green.
Don’t think I disappeared from the net, no chance!! I am still around and have to admit I miss blogging tremendously.

Daily I receive my Skype related Google updates. I file the most important ones which I want to blog about but delete them again when they are 2 days old.
We do not want old news where dozens of other blogs talked about as well, do we?

Has my life been boring over the past two months? No, not at all!!! Together with my colleagues at Skype I have been working hard on a new Forum LayOut.
And as with every new layout, people love it or hate it. And we, who designed the new Forum (now called Community), which is now in harmony with Skype’s Website, learn from both sides.

One thing amazed me. The forum users in their 50’s have most difficulties with the new way it is designed (I know, I am also a 50+!!) and the saying “you can not learn an old dog new tricks” came to mind. But all these “old dogs” are wonderful people with a huge Forum experience and therefore very valuable in their feedback.
We listen, read, test and improve according the feedback where technically possible.
Of course it is not only a “design” thing produced by the mind of a few Forum enthusiasts.
An enormous amount of web design skills from Skype’s web team are needed to come to a result.
If you visit the new Community, you will see that we simplified the amount of sub forums.
One complain about the old Forum was the many, many sub forums which made it difficult for people to choose the right forum. This caused a lot of extra work to the (volunteer) Moderators who kept moving posts.

Strangely enough we received the very same complain where we now have far less sub forums: “Users do not know where to post, it is not clear anymore” But statistics show that we move only a fraction of what we did before.
We do see fewer posts then before, less new topics, but the amount of topic views increased tremendously, sometimes even doubled. We love to believe that people found their answer before posting.

Our next goal is to change the Forum into a real Community where users feel at home.Of course it will be a place for, with and about users if they have questions and problems but we would love to see less problems posted (after all the Forum/Community is not an official Support Channel, Skype has an excellent ticket system for this, this does not mean we will not help out when a ticket did not bring a solution!) and more posts with ideas, suggestions, discussions etc. A giant meeting place for Skype lovers: seniors and juniors, advanced users and beginners. We are looking forward to incredible Skype Stories to share. Users who met via Skype, marriages thanks to Skype, finding lost family members. Skype does connect people!! Talk and share!

Next week I am back in Tallinn for my monthly week at Skype. I love working at the office. Great colleagues, wonderful atmosphere, special job.
And I am not the only one from Holland who is visiting Skype. Our Queen Beatrix visited Skype last week and received a Skype telephone. Queen Beatrix who explained she does not use a computer and never sent an e-mail, said: “Maybe I need to skip e-mailing and learn how to Skype first”

Now the hectic time around the Community launch is over and dealing with the aftermath is coming into place, I work on all the work which was put aside and believe me, this is a lot! But hey, I do not complain, I love my job sooooooo much!!!

Talking about love…….

After being single for 9 years, I found the love of my life. Yes, your blogger is in love with a wonderful Dutchman and of course this is a two way love! No, I am not going to tell you more and I know you will allow me time to get used to the wonderful feeling of not being on my own anymore.

No, we did not meet via Skype, not even via the Internet and yes, he is using Skype (he doesn’t have a choice uh?).

Life is Wonderful and it is a miracle that there never seems so come and end to Wonderful, every time something else Wonderful is added to the existing Wonderful. Isn’t that Wonderful?Yes, yes, I know, too often “Wonderful” in these sentences….

To be continued!

2 comments:

Nafcom said...

Ike, I am disappointed by you:

" Skype has an excellent ticket system for this"

Even Skype people themselves admitted that the ticket system is shit. I have tried and proven it many times.

Ike Roelfsema said...

I am sorry tho hear that Joerg. Here are some general instructions for everyone.

"Submit a ticket to Customer Support to solve your problem.
Replies to Support Tickets can sometimes take a minimum of 2 working days.

For submitting Support Tickets you need to click the submit button twice. The second time is after you are directed to the page where you are advised to browse the FAQ first.

After submitting the second time you need to receive a confirmation.

Check your SPAM settings and the SPAM folder at the server to receive mails from Skype."

I learned from the Forum that wrong SPAM settings are often the cause of "not" receiving replies from Support.

Ike