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Skype Emoticons and Music

Skyper wants their own Skype emoticons. I don't design emoticons. I have to have a few strategy suggestons that go beyond the brief below which suggests text based emoticons for the text based message portion of Skype.

* add a new social dimension to the exchange
* emoticons must leverage Skype's voice-centric advantage
* create new functionality for responding to the "ringer"
* encourage behaviors that encourage longer connections
* appeal to all age groups

Possiblilities? Simply enable the emoticon core set to be colored. I'm generally blue today, or I'm orange. Skype could stick to standard yellow or make life more interesting. Yeah, I went orange smile, yellow laugh. blue shades and purple wink.... There's plenty of color tests on the web. Skype would open up a whole new genre of web based psychology just by taking the step and then allowing users to create a program based on Luscher's Color Test.

While on emoticons a sample of my Trillian master list suggests some emoticons are missing. eg a quick "on the phone", "caller detective"(for more information or profile), "conferencing". "I'm mobile" - as Skype goes portable.... Rather than answering the call it would be nice to have a quick emoticon text reply along with a possible redirect feature.

Still I can't get too excited when what I really want is to play the music I'm listening to at a lower level to the person on the other end of the line when I answer. Or whenever one party or the other wants to pipe it into the conversation. Like talking in a room with music in the background. Seeing as I can already do this for myself (playing WinAmpat a low volume level and talking) it would be nice to tune in the other person. Playing music for each other then takes on a whole new perspective. It might stimulate some further new emoticons! Conections and potential conference calls will go up exponentially. Shame that is so hard for a phone company to do! Just another reason the phone system is old and tired.

Are you a budding designer with a burning desire to get world-wide recognition for your work? Skype is offering you that chance with a challenge to create new emoticons (graphical expressions) for the Text Messaging portion of the world's fastest growing Internet telephony program. Skype is looking for submissions for 10 emoticons which will be used by millions of Skype consumers all around the world. We will chose among all entries received before January 15, 2004 (23:59.59 Central European Time) and the winner will be named on the Skype homepage and receive a Skype T-Shirt.

To see a list of Skyper desires for new features see the list at Public Mind. The obvious ones are all there. Not listed are SkypePages, and Caller Id solutions etc. Looking in the forums today I did see a note that the Skype Business Development team apart from being swamped is beginning to release some API details.

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