"Friends of Skype" is back, and should never have been gone
Here’s a lesson about how to overlook something and thus create confusion and disappointment that should never have been there. A conversation I just had with [Andy](http://andyabramson.blogs.com/).
> [14:31:00] Andy Abramson says: one change on yiour blog many of us noticed
[14:31:13] Jaanus Kase says: yes?
[14:31:22] Andy Abramson says: you no longer list the respected bloggers site like you used to on the right side
[14:31:32] Andy Abramson says: instead you have your internal staff
[14:31:42] Jaanus Kase says: ahh.. thats coming back with a vengeance.. we wanted to get the switch done. I didnt expect this to draw so much attention
[14:31:53] Andy Abramson says: it sent a very bad message
[14:32:10] Jaanus Kase says:
[14:32:11] Andy Abramson says: skype went from being inside the community to wanting to be its own
[14:32:27] Andy Abramson says: almost saying “thanks for getting us here” now “get lost”
[14:32:59] Jaanus Kase says: ouch. both definitely deserve a place. I figured the staff ones would be interesting
[14:33:12] Andy Abramson says: When Saul sent me the link to the new site and asked me to blog about it, and i saw that i said…well, fancy that..
[14:33:36] Andy Abramson says: They dropped one of the things that was up there from the very beginning…
[14:34:15] Andy Abramson says: by adding the staff stuff it became a corporate blog instead not the community blog
]]>When migrating the blogs over to a new platform, “We read” / “Friends of Skype” was a section which we scheduled for migration at a later time. We wanted not only to switch over, but to update the list, as some addresses have changed and we added some names. Apparently, it was a bad call and sent the wrong message. This has now been fixed and the friends list is back. Sorry — it should have been there right from the beginning, when we made the switch a week ago.
We also changed the name from “We read” to “Friends of Skype”. This is because while we read a whole bunch of channels, listing them all would mess up the page layout even more than it already is. (I need to think of ways of making it better, such as having those lengthy sections only on the front page or something.) So the “Friends” section is about focusing on people who contribute most to the discussion. We call them “Friends” even though they’re not always giving Skype the easiest time. That’s what friends do — good friends don’t need to suck up to you; instead, they’re honest. Having people with experience in the industry who choose to spend their time (sometimes) blogging about Skype is a valuable asset to our business. Or, as we put it with Andy…
> [14:35:24] Andy Abramson says: remember, I’ve been a supporter from almost the beginning of my blogging
[14:35:53] Jaanus Kase says: I remember. I read yours as well as others. what you say is important to us regardless of whether its “good” or “bad”
[14:35:59] Andy Abramson says: so have manyof the other bloggers…
[14:36:14] Andy Abramson says: when anyone does good I point it out.
[14:36:21] Andy Abramson says: when they do bad i point it out…
[14:36:34] Andy Abramson says: the goal is to get more of the good news out there
[14:36:44] Jaanus Kase says: we appreciate that. honesty and integrity is what I like
[14:36:50] Andy Abramson says: me too.
Sure, it’s nice to have people come to you to tell what good you’ve done for them, as many customers tell us. They call Skype the best thing since… anything, really. But this doesn’t provide much food for thought or improvement. Blogs and bloggers are an important source of learning what we could do better.
One new thing is the “Skype people who blog”, or staff section. We don’t have an organized staff blogging platform at this time — instead, those who feel like blogging, just set up their own and write about anything they please, be it Skype or anything else. We do have a minimal policy which basically tells you how not to screw up when writing about Skype, with the key theme of “be smart”. The idea of showcasing the staff blogs is to bring you more of the culture and lifestyle of the people who work at Skype. We have staff blogging in several languages — in the English share blog you obviously see links to the English blogs, and you can see bloggers in other languages when you switch the site language. Both “external” contributors and “internal” staffers have their role in building Skype, and the two blog reference sections are a tribute to that.
So thanks again to all our friends who have been helping us to take Skype to where it is today. We’re looking forward to continue to work with you guys in 2006. This year was fun and the next one will definitely be even more so. Happy end of the year to everyone while it still lasts, survive through all of the festivities and come back alive in January.