Bernard Lund wrote a column (article?) for ReadWriteWeb recently that listed 10 reasons Skype is the biggest Web 2.0 winner. “Web 2.0” doesn’t even make sense anymore, but let’s set that aside. Lund’s article is interesting even without the “Web 2.0” buzzword. For instance, he points out that Skype is profitable. Profitable is surely something winners are, right? What he leaves out, though, is even more interesting.
Skype’s core business is about connecting people. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where connections have become almost a side effect of advertising and broadcasting our every thought, when we use Skype, we do so to make a real, timely, engaged connection with another person (or group). Maybe the lesson Skype has to teach us is not that telecom companies are bad but that Web 2.0 companies who don’t help us connect to each other, not just us to advertisers, aren’t where the money is. At least, I can hope that’s part of the lesson.