There’s lots of buzz about Skype, the free service for making internet phone calls (voice-over-IP). Anne Davis participated in a NECC session about edu-blogging this morning over Skype – she sat at her desk in Atlanta, and I heard her during the session in Philadelphia. Great audio quality, no noticeable lag. [Read her post about the session for more on good edu-blogging.]
So, good, right?
Ask Doc Searls about it, though. He is an advocate for Linux, the open source operating system, and always looks for tools that are not proprietary or closed, or as he calls them, “silos.” He links to the Gizmo Project, which looks like an alternative to Skype and other closed systems.
Keep these things in mind, folks: open standards are best, most flexible, and most likely to be future-proof. More details on potential negatives regarding Skype, why Gizmo looks to be a valid alternative, and the ideas that drive its development here.
[Update: Browsing to Slate only moments after posting this, I came across their studiously non-rigorous comparison of several current VOIP systems. Gizmo was not among them, but Skype was. So, read. Know also I should have made clear that my only experience with any of these was helping Anne test her initial Skype installation before I left for the conference. Almost all I know of this is what I’ve read; my inclination is to hope for decent performance and cross-platform interop. YMMV, etc.]——-