By now, everyone who cares has heard about the Skype outage (see: Skype Outage Article). This is not another blog entry about reliability, peer-to-peer vs. centrally managed applications or about Skype's twisted use of other's PCs for their infrastructure. Instead this is a discussion about popularity.
Back after the launch of Skype, we all rushed to sign-up and get with the "in-set" that Skyped each other. I was one of the few that recognized that user names were a land-grab and made sure to secure my name right away (I'm "AlanPercy" on Skype). I initially (and still) found Skype a very useful tool for making calls from hotel rooms in remote places, conversing with long-lost college friends and side-chatter during conference calls. It seemed that a rush of my friends and colleagues were all becoming Skype users and it was easier than every to reach out to those that I cared about.
However that last few months, I've noticed a pattern of fading use. I've found that when I open Skype that fewer and fewer of my favorite friends are activating Skype or even using it to reach out. Looking at my own behavior, it seems that my mobile has become the preferred way people find me - as it's always on and always with me. I also find that I use text messaging on my mobile more frequently.
Has Skype crossed the "useful" boundary, has the outage caused a lasting affect, or is there something else the people are using to communicate?
Interesting food for thought....