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Summary:

While everyone is talking about Skype’s new pricing plan this week, we got a note this morning from a company called Bertorello announcing a product called SkySpace, which the company says is “the first social network for Skype.” SkySpace is actually a renamed, retooled version of […]

While everyone is talking about Skype’s new pricing plan this week, we got a note this morning from a company called Bertorello announcing a product called SkySpace, which the company says is “the first social network for Skype.”

SkySpace is actually a renamed, retooled version of Skype work collaboration tool called Verosee, which Argentina-born CEO Pablo Bertorello (yes, last name is the company name) developed. Verosee is a pretty unmarketable name — not like the buzzy moniker you get when you mash-up hot property names Skype and MySpace, ie SkySpace.


We downloaded it onto a PC (no Mac) and basically its an easier way to do file-sharing for Skype users (Skype users can already transfer files). The application enables users to share files like photos and videos, both privately to another user or publicly to the broader community. Users can also personalize their SkySpace homepage, which the company says will jump-start social connections. The application appears to be Skype-certified, and is available in the Skype’s extra’s page.

The company says it took them four years to build SkySpace. Bill Campbell, Technical
Editor of the Skype Journal, is a consultant to the company, so naturally his quote in the press release is “this is a brilliant play by Skype.” We don’t know much about the company, but they say they are self-funded.

The application is worth checking out, and creates more of a traditional social network-style community feel for Skype users. But many of its benefits Skype users can already do within the Skype basic community. Skype in itself is already a social network. Since the company’s application is free I’m not sure how the company will make money and they didn’t get back to me on that question. But if you want to check it out, send us your thoughts.

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  1. I got interested when I saw that title, but unfortunately the implementation is awful. There was an official Skype social network that was 100 times better, but I’ve temporarily forgotten the name.

  2. http://www.BitWine.com

    BITWINE PARTNERS WITH SKYPE

    Launch of Skype 3.0 to Include the “Trusted Advice from Real People” Service

    TENAFLY, NEW JERSEY AND LONDON – December 14, 2006 – BitWine Inc., the online provider of ‘Trusted Advice from Real People,” announced that it has been selected by Skype, the Internet communication company, to be included in the new Skype 3.0, to be released today. With the new BitWine Extra, Skype users not only have enhanced audio and video capabilities, but also the ability to personally charge or pay for their time while using rich media calls.

    The “BitWine Taskbar Skype Edition” is fully integrated into Skype 3.0, which allows users to provide paid advice or instantly purchase the advice or knowledge urgently needed using Skype and PayPal.

    “We followed bloggers and answer leaders on different forums, and a recurring theme was the desire of skilled, knowledgeable individuals to be able to charge for the advice that they had been dispensing for free,” stated Alon Cohen, BitWine’s cofounder. “By combining the power of Skype’s rich media audio and video communications, we can now open our service beyond dispensing advice to a whole set of diverse rich media services ranging from music lessons to language tutoring to securing a second opinion on legal and medical issues.”

    BitWine’s features are designed to promote instant trust between the service purchaser and supplier. The buyer does not have to prepay for service. Both parties can hear and see each other, and the buyer only pays if he feels comfortable with the interaction. Using the patent-pending payment system on the BitWine Taskbar, Skype users will now be able to securely pay and receive instant checks. In addition BitWine offers an interface for bloggers to invite readers to call them for personal discussions that can be converted to revenue in real time. BitWine’s service also provides scheduling for optimal time management and a highly developed feedback and ranking system.

    “The launch of Skype 3.0 provides an exciting portfolio of selected applications” said Paul Amery, Skype Director of Developer Programs. “We have been working to enable Skype as a distribution platform for third party add-ons. Applications such as BitWine Extra that use both Skype and PayPalTM are important in enabling end users to generate revenue while further integrating Skype into their day-to-day work or life. “This is an outstanding opportunity to present our service to an audience that is already sophisticated enough to appreciate Skype’s many advantages,” concludes Cohen. “We are very pleased that Skype shares our vision of bringing people together for their mutual benefit in this way.”

    About BitWine
    BitWine connects skilled individuals from a wide range of fields with the people seeking to learn from them. Operated by a team of professionals who are committed to the philosophy that each one of us possesses talents that can be shared in a mutually beneficial way, BitWine facilitates the mutual enrichment of both partners in the helping relationship. BitWine is a privately held company with headquarters in Tenafly, New Jersey.

    “Skype and PayPal are eBay companies (NASDAQ: EBAY).”

    BitWine Taskbar, BitWine and the BitWine logo are trademarks of BitWine Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective holders.

    For more information, please visit http://www.BitWine.com or contact us at info@bitwine.com .

  3. Nice idea but not implemented that well. Lets give it some time though and see how well it’s supported (or not!).

  4. Another great Skype 3 extra is Gizmoz Talking Headz, what about checking it out? you can find it under extras–>Personalize.

    Thanks

  5. The social networking site Bebo has had integration with Skype for almost a year now.

  6. Now make this thing platform independent and the combination Skype+SkySpace will be the k!ller :)

  7. Dear Katie

    I saw your article about Skype, reading many of your past articles I always enjoy your fresh writing style.

    OM Malik wrote about me in the article “The Voice over IP Insurrection”, where he named me “entrepreneurs barely out of their teens…, founded VocalTec Communications”.

    I am no longer that young, and still trying to push the envelope of technology and Internet based applications. This time around, at BitWine.

    Some Blogs wrote about BitWine lately but so far did not discuss the market opportunity aspects of the Knowledge Space (yet to be named) as you guys often do in your articles.

    I believe that the Skype 3.0 and the Inclusion of our BitWine Extra within will trigger an interesting market motion.

    At the http://www.bitwine.com people can List their knowledge space and set a price for their expertise.

    If you look around, you can see that Information is essentially free, yet Knowledge is not, specifically when a people do not have the time or the tools to derive the knowledge they must have from the free available information out there.

    Google Answers hired expert-searchers (some were real experts in specific domains) to try and quickly convert the free Information to Knowledge using, what else, Google. The process was too slow. Post a question wait, get a clarification question back, did you mean this or that, you post again, waits, wait, wait. The rest is history.

    Yahoo is faster, it is like a game of points and game levels, and free, a usually good thing, but not for driving the answers quality up. In addition, whenever there is a public asking sites you always have to think first “how public do I want my problem to be?” This question really positions yahoo at a very specific domain of simple friendly fun text questions.

    Knowledge is something people acquire over the span of a lifetime, in most cases not in seconds over a Google search. Finding the person with the sufficient knowledge that can customize its existing know-how to a specific problem at hand, for an individual that needs a fast solution, was really the challenge we came to solve with BitWine.

    Some companies have tools to mine information with very expensive state of the art linguistic systems that merely summarize and try to distill or organize information to form some sort of knowledge from the vast amounts of information; a valuable thing by itself, but unfortunately available only for rich people and governments.

    There are some interesting successful companies like Nitron (www.NitronAdvisors.com) operating in the Search for Knowledgeable-Expert at the B2B domain. They provide search services for investors and lawyers that look for experts that are in possession of specific knowledge at a given moment.

    BitWine has taken the Knowledge Space and shifted its focus to the consumer domain, from Asynchronous mode to Synchronous, from text chat to color video and from searching of static information to searching in peoples’ minds.

    Bitwine essentially provide people with a place to list their Knowledge, and a tool for anyone to search the space and the ability to find live Advisors.

    We gave the Advisors a tool to Bill in real time while providing the advice, live, over Audio and Video link created by Skype.

    On top of everything, we have added a ranking system to make sure the good floats up and the rest sinks. Moreover, we made it so simple and clean that Skype decided to include us in their 3.0 release.

    I find this domain simply fascinating and it is about to explode.

    Here are some market data points to support this assumption:

    • Over $165B of US E-commerce (dominated by the sales of physical goods) [2005, Forrester]

    • Over $260B of International E-commerce [2005, IDC]

    • Over 105M Paypal accounts in 55 global markets [Q1 2006]

    • Over 50M Webcams installed, over 21M Webcams in use

    • Over 136M Skype downloads, over 7 Million concurrent [Q32006]

    • Over 205 million Broadband connections worldwide

    As you know the world is not becoming simpler, just faster, and problems, as we all know, show up every second.

    BitWine believes that the fast growing number of community and content centered groups will shortly extend to commerce-based services as people naturally purchase services from trusted peer members.

    Consistent with the global GNP shift from product to services, many of these transactions will be based on services provided, as opposed to goods purchased. It is BitWine’s objective to become the standard platform to enable such services based commerce.

    There is obviously more to it to uncover, but as we all know, the users eventually decide.

    Thanks
    Alon Cohen
    Co-Founder of BitWine

  8. http://www.heylos.com — a chatroom on every website on the Internet.

    I have been working on Heylos for the past few months. You might want to try it out. If you don’t get the hang of it, send an add request to “karanmg”.

  9. I think verbdate might have been the first social space to embed skypeweb? I think we first showed it to Scott Davison at Skype in March? But I have been wrong before and I’ll eat a bug if I’m wrong on this one! <- Famous SCTV quote Joe Flaherty :)
    Anyhoo its all good! hey we added youtube to verbdate to so I beat them on that for sure!

    Stay cool Om!

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