For those of us who pay attention to things related to Skype, one of the people we became most familiar with has moved on to different pastures. Back in May 2005 when Skype started up their first blogs, Jaanus Kase was the public "face" who helped those of us outside the company understand a bit more about this thing called "Skype" and all that was happening with it. A prolific writer/blogger, Jaanus told us about new features, industry trends, promotions and also told us about many things happening inside of Skype as the company itself evolved and changed. He interviewed people, he talked about how Skype was enabling people to communicate, he responded to criticism and generally helped "humanize" the entity that is Skype through his many, many postings. He did so with a conversational style that was sometimes serious, sometimes humerous... but generally always enjoyable to read. He also launched a "Skype Blog Public Chat" back in November 2006 that many of us early adopters joined and it provided a great forum for exchange of information about what was going on with Skype. That public chat still exists, although it doesn't quite have the same volume and interesting topics that it did in the early days... there are now several other public chats where more energy seems to be. Jaanus was also a techie underneath, and let us watch as he played with things like scripts that could get chat stats or do mass-ejection of idle chatroom members.
Jaanus was, of course, a member of Skype's Marketing group, so you understood he came at things with that bias - and he was certainly not Skype's only blogger... they have a whole crew of folks blogging for them. But over time Jaanus became the voice we listened to in order to understand (or try to) what Skype was doing. He encouraged a community of people interested in Skype and certainly did, I think, do a great amount in his own way to help Skype spread and grow.
All thing come to an end, though, and Jaanus let us know back in late May that he would be leaving Skype and returning to school. More precisely, he's heading to Carnegie Mellon University to pursue their Masters of Human Computer Interaction program. I wish him all the best... any of us can certainly attest to the fact that "human computer interaction" is certainly a key field and will only become more so as we continue to computerize everything we can.
Thank you, Jaanus, for all you did in your time at Skype. You'll be missed. Enjoy your summer off.. and best wishes with your new journey... we look forward to hearing about some new wacky UI some time in the future... :-)
As to Skype's blogs, a new face, "Villu", entered the picture. A self-professed "PR-flack", we'll see how he does! He's got some big shoes to fill...