Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Where is Skype's humanity?

PR 2.0 - Silicon Valley
gives a fantastic review of the brouhaha (or is that a kerfuffle) around Skype's response to its outage last week.

Outages will happen (although hopefully not so dramatic!) but it's in the crisis that we the customers know if that company gives a monkey's. The odds are stacked against any kind of company, because in the back of our minds - even if we run a business ourselves - there's that voice saying "All corporates are bastards."

Interestingly, even though I'm a Skype customer, I had no communication from Skype about the outage. I heard about it entirely through Twitter and other people's blogs.

Skype - and most other companies - need to learn how to write like a human. This is a mindset as much as a skill. My favourite quote from Skype (second hand, through someone else's blog) is

"We would like to point out that very few technologies or communications networks today are guaranteed to operate without interruptions."

Well thanks for reassuring us. We really, really needed to be reminded of that part of the service agreement.

But service agreement clauses are the domain of the coward. They're the letter of the law, but what about the language of the heart? It sounds soft and a little crazy, but that's the stuff that really has an impact on the bottom line.

And because Skype was down, the Skype team was reduced to using the most basic form of communication - words.

Do your words show you give a monkey's?

Looking forward to hearing what Shel and Neville have to say on this.

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