Disclaimer: I’m a big fan of Skype – it’s my IM client of choice.
Update to the story.
Aug. 19, 2007 – Skype suffered a colossal outage last week, and the network is just now coming back. They have promised to tell everyone on August 20, 2007, what happened in the previous week.
Two disasters hit Skype last week:
- The network outage, whatever it was about.
- The complete absence of Skype and eBay executives throughout the crisis.
While the first disaster might not have been preventable, the second disaster was a direct result of decisions made by Skype and eBay executives who apparently chose to hide. They appear to have left the Skype technical recovery team out to flap in the wind, alone, with no visible public support. This led to rumors and speculation about what really happened, and whether Skype and eBay executives care about the community of users. Those executives committed the cardinal sin of disaster management: communicating from a high level about what’s happened and what is being done about it. Instead of being told, we were left to wonder if they even noticed. Maybe they were too busy and could not be bothered about a world-wide outage. Their silence is deafening – we hear it loud and clear.
In a different part of the world, the Utah mine accident is playing out. Those executives got it right: they are right there, working and concerned, and are making frequent statements to the press. They are telling everyone what they know, what they don’t know, and what they’re doing.
Murray Energy Executives get two thumbs up for being there. Skype and eBay get two thumbs down for being silent and absent.
While Skype users may breathe a collective sigh of relief that the network is running again, I wonder if Skype and eBay have even noticed that the second disaster has taken place and has yet to be addressed.
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