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Switching from Skype to Zoom for podcasting tools

by Tom Johnson on Mar 23, 2021 •
categories: technical-writing podcasting

I'm switching from Skype to Zoom for podcasting tools. Skype seems to be part of another era. The switch to Zoom opens up opportunities for another type of content -- one where participants share their screen more.

Although I haven’t been publishing that many podcasts for the past couple of years on my site, I used to do a lot more podcasting. (For example, my podcast archive has 300+ podcasts.) My recent podcasts have been more with the Write the Docs podcast, which seems to have slowed down recently. For podcasting setups, I previously used Skype. But now, after watching this parody of the “Skype CEO,” desperately searching for answers about a flailing business during the pandemic, I couldn’t bring myself to use Skype anymore for podcasts:

Skype should have been positioned to catapult in popularity during the pandemic, but it didn’t. Now I feel like sharing my Skype ID is similar to having a hotmail email address.

So for the last podcast I recorded, Videocast: Micro content and Flare – Conversation with Kate Schneider, I used Zoom instead. During the videocast, something cool happened — Kate shared actual examples and talked through them. This is something no one ever did during an audio recording. She immediately knew how to use Zoom, as most people do now. (I realize Skype also lets you share screens, but it’s not as common a tool now.)

This got me thinking — what if I were to start doing videocasts where the guests would share something from their screens? One reason I’ve never done this is because I assumed most people listen to podcasts while exercising, commuting, or otherwise working and hence can’t look at a screen. But in previous surveys I’ve done, most people actually listen to podcasts right from their computer. (I’m not sure if this is still the case.)

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If I start using Zoom for podcasts, I could follow a theme where guests share something from their screen. This would make the podcast much more practical, like an actual tip or technique. It could be the start of a new approach that breathes more life into my podcasting efforts. I might experiment with this approach more in coming weeks.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.