Google to add PowerPoint/presentation capability... but will it work when you are presenting offline?
Microsoft rolls out "Silverlight" to compete with Adobe Flash... can it succeed with Flash's huge installed base?

ecademy - joining yet another business-focused social networking site (and doing so because of a Skype public chat)

Today my friend and fellow blogger Alec Saunders invited me to join ecademy.  I hesitated and almost just deleted it.  I've been a LinkedIn user for something like 3 years.  I've had a Xing (OpenBC) account for about that long as well, although I don't use it as much.  I've recently joined Facebook and I still have an Orkut account floating around from when it first launched in 2004.  There's probably a few others out there that I joined at some point and have now forgotten about.

Why do I need yet another membership in yet another social networking site?

If anything, I need fewer and to just focus my networking there. So my inclination was to simply decline the invitation (well, just delete the email). 

So what stopped me?  Why did I actually click the link and join ecademy?

Basically, because of a Skype public chat.  Well, two Skype public chats really.   Ever since Skype rolled out the beta for Skype 3.0 back in November or so, there have been a number of us who have remained logged in as participants in a public group chat that Jaanus Kase started up from the Share Skype blog and then a second public chat started up by Phil Wolff over at Skype Journal. These chats are "persistent" in the sense that you basically never leave them unless you click the "Leave" button or are ejected by the host. (Jaanus occasionally "cleans up" his chatroom by ejecting people who haven't been participating, primarily because there's a limit of 100 participants and its usually at the max with others looking to come in.)  Discussion goes in spurts, sometimes without any discussion for days... and then a whole flare up.  I read it every now and then and contribute from time to time... it's just a background thing that actually winds up providing some great info for my main line of work (VoIP).

So what was that got to do with ecademy?  Well, one of the other participants in both chats since those early days is a gent named Julian Bond, who is... well... the CTO of ecademy!  (Gee, I've noticed a number of CTO-ish types in these public chats... might have a wee bit to do with being charged with evaluating emerging technology....)

So just as I was about to delete Alec's invite, my brain thought "Hmmmm.... isn't that the site that Julian Bond is involved with?  Maybe I should check it out.  Hmmmm."

In the end, it so often does come down to recommendations from "people you know".

Will I stay there?  Or will I check it out for a bit and then just go back to using the other sites?  I don't know... time will tell.

In the meantime, if you are an ecademy user (and I know you) feel free to add me as a connection.   I'd also love to hear why you use ecademy versus the various other ones out there.