I’ve mentioned Colm Smyth here before. Last night, he called from Dublin (via Skype) and we talked for about 30 minutes.
It was the first Skype call he had placed to anyone, and he noted that it felt a bit like having a blind date. I had to chuckle at that idea. Though we had previously exchanged comments on each other’s blog (his is S’Mythology) and communicated through a few emails, I had to admit that it was a bit strange getting to talk with him for the first time.
This conversation came about because he had offered to assist me, by exchanging instant messages, in learning to program using Java. I had suggested that we could talk instead, if he had Skype installed. Though he didn’t already have that program at the time, he promised to get it installed and get the necessary hardware (a headset and microphone) after the first of the year. True to his word, he fulfilled his promise on January 1, a fact that impressed me with his follow-through. There is nothing particularly remarkable about having a Skype conversation with someone on the other side of the world, except of course that it is free and incredibly clear, but this particular conversation impressed on me, yet again, the wonder of the Internet and how it permits establishing friendships with people you’d never meet or get to know otherwise.
I’ve been using Skype to talk with my friend Paul Moor in Berlin on an almost daily basis for just over a year now, and I’ve also met and spoken with Sean Wong in Sydney, Australia, who found me because of my blog. I’ve spoken with Hans-Christian Steinhoff, Paul’s Berlin computer guru, and with Anthony Morris, a British friend of Paul’s who lives in Bavaria. I’ve used Skype to communicate with James Prudente in Seattle and with Tom Simpson, of Webfeed Central, who lives in Jamestown, ND. And I have had many coonversations with old friends like Phil Petty who lives in the Atlanta area. All of these contacts have come about through no special effort to expand my circle of friendships around the world but just through being online and actively adding content to my little corner of the Internet.
I find such things as “Dublin calling” make living in these times absolutely fascinating, and I look forward to future conversations with Colm, and others, throughout this and coming years. It’s an exciting time to be alive.