skype-logo_newbrandSounds a little scary, but how can you not love that logo, with the friendly blue cloud?

If you don’t Skype, let me school you: Skype is a VOIP service (Voice Over Internet Protocol, for you fellow-geeks, but if you’re really “one of us,” you know that.)  You use it like a phone service.

Time to upgrade!?!

Time to upgrade!?!

I have found Skype to be quite a nice addition to my other phones and service providers including my bee-yoo-ti-ful MotoQ smart phone through Verizon, and “Old Faithful,” i.e., my landline through AT&T.

I thought I’d share this info about Skype with you as a tip on how to economize during these days of reduced pay, reduced work weeks, temporary furloughs, lay-offs, etc. (Sheesh: What a grim list!)

There’s always a way to feel like you’re gaining a degree of control, though, no matter what’s happening in the employment area, and one of the ways I’ve done lately is to add Skype to my communications arsenal. I have found that it preserves my precious MINUTES each month on my cell service, if I use Skype for my longer-winded conversations, for example, with my brother in Kansas City. My brother is mid-50s and making a huge career transition (voluntarily, but he has seen the bottom fall out of the economy as he’s stepping from 30 years as a respiratory therapist into the legal profession.)

He and I talk regularly to encourage each other, offer ideas and tell lawyer jokes (he’ll be officially a “shark,” once he passes the Bar!) We can get fairly long-winded during these calls, and although I do have free long-distance on Verizon, I definitely don’t want to use all my minutes in one call. If you know me, you know this is a distinct possibility.

Anyway, enter Skype!

Kate using Skype.*

Kate using Skype.*

If you have a computer with speakers and a built in microphone (and you almost certainly do, if you bought your equipment in the last 5 years), you can Skype. Also, you can add your headphones & mic, if you have them, and like that better than just talking to your computer.

Go to the Skype Web site and download the software at this > LINK < . Why not do it today? It’s FREE!!!!!!!

I did it, and I had absolutely no glitches, and the installation process walks you through testing your speakers and your mic. Added bonus: If you have a Web cam, you can throw that into the mix when you place your calls over Skype. Nice feature if you’re unable to visit personally, but want the face time (for work or personal life!)

Bruno has tech cred!

Bruno has tech cred!

Then, after you get your Skype service set up, add your contact info to your resume, e-mail signatures, etc. It not only gives you that added “tech cred” that is essential today in the workplace, but someone might even set up a Skype call with you to practice using it. Everybody’s doing it: zdnet has this photo of baby Bruno from YouTube talking on Skype!

Too cool.

Editor’s note: *Kate using Skype is from a blog that this student is doing on Michigan Tech’s Web page (

She describes the benefits of Skype very well as a student abroad, and captions her photo here with, Here I am talking on Skype in the computer lab at my school in Puntarenas.

If I may quote her further:  “On a lighter note, I wanted to give some advice to anyone planning on traveling abroad. In some places, it can be really expensive to call the United States, which is the case from Costa Rica. I have found this website called Skype. By using Skype, I am able to call any landline or cell phone anywhere in the United States from Costa Rica for only .02 cents per minute! Of course, the prices vary from region to region. Also, if the person you are calling also uses Skype, then it is completely free for both people! All you need is a computer with internet access and a headset with a microphone. I bought one that cost only $8. Skype is becoming really popular and a lot of the internet cafes here have Skype and headphones for people to use. Skype has been so wonderful for communicating with my family. I am so far away from my family and miss them a lot, so it is nice to be able to call and talk to them for as long as I want and not have to worry about a huge phone bill.”

‘Nuff said!