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"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Thursday, September 8, 2005

photo of Dina Mehta in her home office in Mumbai wearing headphonesI've been taking turns manning the virtual call centre we have set up using Skype linked to KatrinaHelp, to help cover 24 hours of the day. I am beginning to understand what it feels like to be a call-centre operator :).

Skype KatrinaHelpWhat amazes me though, is that I can volunteer my time, sitting in my living room at home in Mumbai India, and be of use to help those seeking information about their loved ones who are missing on that other side of the world. This morning, I was on a shift for a couple of hours, and I received about 8 calls on our Skypein number, and made a few on SkypeOut. It was really rewarding to be able to point the callers to resources and hook them up with those offering help. And they were so grateful someone was listening to them, and that they did not have to figure out how to navigate pages on websites and wikis.

Imagine how it would be to have a virtual Skype phone bank. One that is not just virtual, but ad hoc. Just-in-time emergent support. Always on when we have a bank of volunteers from all over the world, and at all hours. Our way of reaching out and helping those in distress.

Also posted at SkypeJournal - see the comments there for further discussion.

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