Today I discovered Group Skype (and other cool things Skype can do)

by Julie on June 3, 2009


For those of you who don’t know, Skype is a free service that allows you to:

  • IM (instant message) with any other Skype user
  • Have a live voice chat with any other Skype user
  • Engage in a live video chat with any other Skype user
  • Share live links and files during your conversation – instantly

When you’re IM’ing with Anne, you can click the add button (small blue circle with a plus sign in it) and bring Bob into the conversation. You can click it again and invite Charlie…add ’til you drop. You’ll all be typing over each other and it might get confusing by the time you get to Mary. But it’s a fantastic tool when you’re working on a collaborative project. It’s fast and everything is documented. You can view every conversations you’ve ever had with the click of a button at the top of each chat.

But today’s party went one step further. Skype also allows you to invite more than one user into a live voice chat. It’s a conference call  – and yes, there are other services that do this, but with Skype:

  • you stay on your computer
  • files are instantly shared
  • no one needs a dial-in number or a passcode


Here’s what you do:

  1. Skype call the first participant by clicking on their name in your contacts list and then clicking the green phone icon.
  2. Drag the next participant’s icon (from your contacts list) into your call box.
  3. Boom they’re in.
  4. It’s that easy.
  5. You can add as many people as you want – though it’ll get pretty noisy.

But noisy is what make this so fulfilling. Our Group Skype, er conference call, was just that because it was three of us brainstorming and creating – it was powerful and exciting. It was like a puppy pile of enthusiasm. It was totally virtual and instant. And I can’t wait to do it again.

Image courtesy of Danny McL and thanks to Geek Girls for showing me how it’s done!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maddie June 3, 2009 at 11:25 am

Fantastic idea – always wondered how to do it. What would be better is if we could do multiple people in the video chat – how Jetson’s would we be?

Also, I’m totally using your phrase “puppy pile of enthusiasm” for everything I do today. Great post.

2 Jennifer June 3, 2009 at 12:40 pm

We’ve been looking for an alternative to Intercall, Webex, etc. for monthly meetings that don’t require all that functionality. This may just be the ticket — thanks for the tip. (Gotta love the price, too.)

And, like Maddie, I fell in love with your evocative ‘puppy pile of enthusiasm’ coinage. Yummy!

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