Was the Skype Outage Newsworthy?

by Marianne Richmond on August 18, 2007

Personally, the Skype outage yesterday was a bit disorienting. I use it mostly for chat and only occasionally for phone. But I use it everyday and the outage made me feel a bit out of touch.

Now, I have felt that out of touch/disoriented feeling frequently over the past several weeks as one thing after another that I take for granted disappeared or changed….my Sony Vaio laptop screen got broken and had to be replaced. I had to use my MACBook which was probably a good thing in some respects, but no Particls. Also, no files. Fortunately, I got the laptop back Tuesday.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I moved my blog to WordPress. Feedburner and Bloglines are still messed up. Eventually, I assume everything will be back where it is supposed to be. Oh, Qumana will not post pictures and Faces doesn’t seem to provide a url anymore. Or maybe it is just me.

But, despite my personal inconvenience with the Skype outage, there seems to be some questions being asked about whether or not the Skype outage was in fact newsworthy? As in important past the initial news. Was Skype’s reputation permanently damaged. Is this going to change future behavior?

TechCrunch noted that Ebay who owns Skype lost $1Billion dollars in market capitalization yesterday. I guess that would indicate he financial markets thought it was newsworthy. ZDNet’s Larry Dignan says that whatever the cause of the outage he would “think twice before relying on Skype. tgdaily called it “a permanent wake up call” for Voip vulerability.

Well, I was an early subscriber to Vonage. It constantly went down and customer support was non-existent. The price was right but the aggravation factor was too high. I switched to Charter when they added phone service to cable and internet. Hard to imagine, but although the price was still pretty good, the customer service was worse. I went back to AT&T. Long distance is ridiculously expensive so I use my mobile but at least the phone works and the bill is correct. So far.

All of the phone issues have been annoyances. Voip is buggy. The infrastructure is obviously buggy. But most of us have multiple forms of telephone services….landline out, use mobile and vice versa. However, the biggest inconnvenince to my life over the past few years, personal and business, has been the multiple outages at AmerenUE…..our power company. We have been without lights and air conditioning in the summer and without lights and heat in the winter. And for 2-5 days.

Old fashioned power outage. Now, who do we wake up with that call?

Skype’s outtage was all over Techmeme yesterday and today. It was a top story in tech news at Google news. It made the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. It was newsworthy. It just wasn’t fatal.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chandan August 18, 2007 at 2:19 am

I can suggest an alternative – DAMAKA. I work for Damaka (www.damaka.com).

Our application is P2P, SIP based, completely secure and most feature rich.

Some of the key features:

– Audio (Free P2P, DialIn, DialOut)
– Video (Free 1-to-1, VideoMail, VideoProfiles)
– 4-party Video COnferencing
– IM (with text to speech)
– Conferencing (Text, audio & video)
– IMConnectivity (Connect to MSN, Yahoo, AOL and GTalk from within damaka)
– Desktop, Application and File Sharing
– Whiteboarding
– Voicemail, SMS, Audio Streaming, IPTV and Internet Radio
– Mobile client

You can learn more about damaka by visiting:

Download the client from:

Feel free to contact me if you have any question.

damaka, inc
damaka id: chandan

mike mcgrath August 18, 2007 at 1:27 pm

Certainly it was newsworthy. Skype isn’t going to tell us what happened until Monday! That’s somewhat less than transparent. I’ll still use Skype, but I’m leery of relying on it now.


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