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Tag: skype

Connect Facebook Messenger to Skype

Back in the good old days, Facebook Messenger and Skype interoperated by tapping into each other’s networks with XMPP. Not anymore, for a number of reasons. We explored some of these in our posts announcing Sameroom integrations with Google Hangouts and Facebook Messenger.

Sameroom once again makes it possible to chat with Skype contacts from Messenger, and vice versa.

To try it out, follow these steps:

  1. Add your Skype and Facebook accounts to Sameroom on the Accounts Page;
  2. Connect side A on Skype with side B on Messenger by opening a Tube.

There are some limitations with both platforms—to learn more, visit the Limitations page and the FAQ.

Connecting Skype to Campfire

by @abs

The Sameroom Skype-Campfire integration requires that a special Campfire account be created. This account should join the Campfire room to be connected to a Skype group.

Once that's done, the integration is a two-step process:

  • Step 1: Add your Skype and special Campfire account to Sameroom
  • Step 2: On the Open-a-Tube page, select your Campfire room for Side A and Skype group for Side B *

* Tubes are commutative: A↔B is the same as B↔A

Once the Tube is live, all messages and files between the Campfire room and Skype group will be mirrored in real time.

To manage this Tube, use the Manage Dashboard. To fine-tune how your messages appear on either end of the Tube, or to make the Tube one-directional, configure posting options.

Connecting a Room in HipChat to a Conversation in Skype

By @abs

HipChat is great for bringing efficiency to communication within a company, but it’s not designed for chatting with groups or individuals on the outside, or across companies.

Because of this, those working in sales or partnerships tend to gravitate toward Skype (or email). This introduces substantial friction to situations when individuals from the two worlds—HipChat and Skype—need to collaborate on a problem.

Sameroom can be used to configure interoperability between HipChat and Skype to resolve this friction. For example, if the customer success team has a Skype group with a high-priority client who needs direct access to engineering or product, an appropriate HipChat room can be connected to the Skype group with a Sameroom Tube, for a bi-directional, real-time integration.

Setting this up is a two-step process:

Once connected, you can fine-tune the integration by adjusting posting options.

Both Skype and HipChat integration have some limitations when working through Sameroom. See HipChat Limitations and Skype Limitations for details.

If your company has teams on other platforms, such as Slack or Flowdock, that need to join in on the conversation, you can keep adding Tubes between the Skype group and chatrooms on other platforms—the resulting network will relay messages across all connected rooms.

The hush command can be used if a team wishes to keep certain messages local their own chatroom.

Connecting Skype to Gitter

By @abs

The acquisition of Skype by Microsoft triggered a messaging supernova of sorts.

Fleep, Wire, and Gitter have all been founded by ex-Skype employees.

Fleep focuses on workspace collaboration, Wire is a consumer product competing with the likes of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and Gitter primarily serves open source communities.

Despite Gitter's superiority over Skype in handling technical communication—it even comes with LaTeX math environment support!

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—Skype has managed to retain its position as the de facto real-time communication service for companies and projects around the world.

For many teams, the need to choose between Gitter and Skype is cause for friction and organizational unrest. Instead of focusing on work, people expend energy on convincing others to replace tool X with tool Y.

Instead, we propose a different solution: connect Skype to Gitter and let their adherents work in comfort and peace.

Instructions

Setting up a real-time connection between a conversation on Skype and a room on Gitter is fairly straightforward. First, make sure you've got a Skype group ready, as well as the Gitter room—create, if necessary. Then, follow these steps:

Once that's done, you can fine-tune the way your messages appear on either end of the Tube by configuring posting options.

Keep in mind that both platforms have certain limitations—see our Limitations page for details.

Connecting Skype to IRC

By @abs

A Skype-to-IRC connection may sound like a fish and milk snack, but hear me out.

Many technical and support teams choose Skype as their mission control center—because Skype is everywhere and everyone has an account. It's also very easy to use.

Many projects (open-source, that is) and companies use IRC as a drop-in destination for technical questions and discussions. Often, IRC is the only place to get help from actual experts. IRC is also notoriously not easy to use.

(As an aside, I realize that many IRC folks appreciate the barrier to entry as a way to weed out the unworthy. I would argue that, in the long run, such digital xenophobia works against progress in general and IRC in particular.)

Let's look at Stripe as an example. Stripe is a fairly complex product—it's an API with an infinite number of possible applications. If you're architecting a billing system on top of Stripe and have some high-level questions, getting help through support@stripe.com will be slow and ineffective. The reality is, the people best-equipped to guide you hang out on the #stripe Freenode channel, and many of them don't even work at Stripe. Matt Arkin is a great example.

Here's my view of #stripe from Skype:

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Aside from not having to use a second client, if you already live in Skype, there are other benefits to connecting IRC to Skype.

Get your team involved

If you work with a group of people on Skype and you want them to follow a discussion on IRC just to keep up to date with a particular technology, a Sameroom Tube provides a dead-simple way to get this done: all members of your Skype group will see all messages posted in the connected IRC channel.

If you don't want your Skype team to accidentally post messages to IRC, you can make your Tube one-way by adjusting Relay settings in posting options.

Skim discussion to learn new things

What you take for granted with Skype—ability to let your laptop go to sleep while you're at lunch, then come back and have Skype show you what happened while you were away, is not so easy with IRC.

To be able to go catch up on history in an IRC channel, you have, roughly, the following options:

  • Run a bouncer
  • Run IRC in tmux or screen on a remote server
  • Use IRCCloud
  • Never turn off your computer

Connecting IRC to Stripe offers a much more sensible option (from a mere mortal's perspective, that is): you can skim the historical chat record in a Skype group.

Search for answers

A useful side effect of accumulating IRC channel history in Skype is that you can search for answers.

Let's see if there's anything ACH-related:

ach

Skype search is far from amazing, but it's much, much better than nothing at all.

Ask questions!

You can, of course, ask questions, directly from Skype. It goes without saying that pains should be taken not to abuse the privilege.

Let's see if we can find out whether Stripe will let us add a customer's address and VAT number to Stripe receipts.

(Messages in red rectangles come from me. Response is in green rectangle.)

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Not the most beautiful solution, but it works.

By the way, I covered the receipt question in great details in a recent post about SaaS Receipt Management.

Limitations

You can see in the screenshot above that all messages in Skype appear as coming from me. Sameroom uses a [prefix] to denote actual authors. Especially if you plan on posting via Skype, Sameroom recommends creating the Tubes connecting Skype to IRC from a separate "bot" Skype account. (A good place to create one is https://web.skype.com.)

Another limitation is that if multiple unrelated teams connect to the same IRC channel, Sameroom will pick one account for posting.

Instructions

To try this yourself, make sure you've got a Skype group ready, a registered IRC nick on a supported network, and an IRC channel in mind. Then, follow these steps:

If your IRC channel has the +s (silent) flag enabled, you can explicitly type in the name of your channel here:

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If you'd like to fine-tune the Tube by making it one-way, for example, you can do this by configuring posting options.

Summary

Connecting Skype to IRC is awesome :)

By the way, you can use Slack instead of Skype, or Fleep (this is what I do).