Despite my previous post (or should that be rant) at Skype, the free service is a great communications tool – they should charge for it. It’s an odd situation that we’ve got ourselves into on the internet in the way we have business models that HAVE to give their core service away for free but then make their money by ‘stinging you’ for additional services (or bombarding you with advertising). I wonder how much more sensible Social Media would be if people had to pay to tweet – maybe people would think before they opened their mouths? :) These companies need to make money so why can’t they just charge a low fee for a good service? The reason is that micro-payments (the ability to take very small payments very easily online) weren’t ready in time before they started building the standard model for an internet business – shame; plus people are just flat plain greedy and want everything for free – greater shame.
One of the great parts of Skype is screen sharing. We use it a lot to show customers interesting web sites, discuss web design ideas, look at Search Engine Optimisation positioning, SEO tools etc. However, they made a recent change that makes it seem like you need Skype Premium to access it, which is a pity. However, it IS still there and it IS still accessible. Here’s how:
To enable screen sharing you need to connect with a video call. You don’t both need webcams – just the person making the call. Then hover over the Skype Window and you will see a popup toolbar appear. On there is a plus sign. Click that and a variety of options appear, including share your screen. Click that and it says you need Premium Skype (paid for). Oh dear.
However, on the popup toolbar if you click on the icon for a webcam (therefore cutting off your video feed – it puts a red cross through the camera), then when you click on the plus sign and Share your screen it appears there in all its glory. So, although it appears they have removed it, it is still there and legitimately accessible – you just can’t use it at the same time as a live video feed, which isn’t really a loss at all.
I encourage you all to explore this great tool – it’s not just about phoning distant relatives on the cheap. And if you do have to pay for a service (one that works) then don’t grumble – just think of the incredible service they are giving away for FREE!