Monday, February 4, 2008

Filling Out your Skype Profile (Part 3)

  • About Me: This is your chance to tell your story in 200 characters or fewer (note that it’s 200 characters, not words). Plenty can be said in a few words. You can
    • Describe your business.
    • Put in a short bio.
    • List your hobbies, collections, or favorite activities.
  • Adding a photo or artwork: You can add a 96-x-96–pixel graphic to your profile. The format for your graphic must be JPEG or BMP. You can add a picture in two ways:
    • Click the picture box in the lower-left corner of your profile window. A My Picture screen opens. Click Browse to search for a picture you have prepared in your computer.
    • Click the Change button to the right of the picture box. Doing so also brings you to the My Picture screen. Click Browse and search for a picture. Your picture is visible only to your Skype contacts, that is, only people you have in your approved contact list. People who find your Skype profile in a search will not be able to see your picture until you give them permission. You may have hundreds of approved contacts, but you may post only one picture. Pictures make your Skype profile more personal. They can identify you with a business, club, or charity. They can add humor. Some pictures on profile pages include:
      • A business logo
      • A recreation picture, such as skiing, surfing, or golfing
      • A head shot
      • A cartoon
      • A favorite landscape
  • Show My Time: Skype is available 24 hours a day in all time zones. Letting your contacts know your local time or time zone (only your contacts will see your time zone) is important. Your profile page enables you to do indicate your time zone in two ways:
    • Click in the Show My Time box. This action displays the actual time of day as shown on your watch or wall clock.
    • Select a GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) zone from the drop-down list
  • Show How Many Contacts I Have: Unless you tell it to do otherwise, Skype automatically displays how many Skype contacts you have. Although it is nice to share how many contacts you have, you may not want to convey this information. Simply deselect the Show How Many Contacts I Have check box.
  • Email: You can provide up to three email addresses. These are completely private; no one, not even your contacts, can see these on your profile. Even if no one can see them, there are two reasons to include email addresses, as follows:
    • If you forget your Skype password, you will need your email address to retrieve it.
    • People who have your email address can use it to search for your Skype Name, even if the email address does not appear in any Skype directory.
One great activity is to look up your own last name in the Skype search window and see whether you find distant family members in other countries. Some delightful surprises come out of this activity. In fact, we (Loren and Susan) recently found a cousin from England we’d never met and we spoke for the first time over Skype.

You have a number of available options for setting the time that will be displayed. Generally, it is easiest and best to set the time to match your local computer. If you are traveling for the week and will be in an entirely different time zone, you can manually set the displayed time to match a specified time zone. For example, if you reside on the east coast of the United States, the local time zone is –5:00 GMT. If you are traveling to San Francisco, which is on the west coast of the United States, you can set your time zone to –8:00 GMT, because it is three hours earlier in San Francisco. When people view your name on the Skype Contacts list, they see the time associated with where you are traveling.

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