Tool Page Template


Category: Voice Communication (VoIP)

What is it?: Skype is a program that allows you to make free telephone calls over the internet.

Cost: free to call computer-to-computer, small fee for calling landlines

Hardware Requirements:
  1. computer with internet connection
  2. headset with a microphone

Ease-of-use Rating: Easy

Posted by: Mary Joyce (
If you would like more information on using this tool for actism you MAY contact me.

How to Use It

  1. Go to Skype website
  2. Download the program. You will need to know what operating system (Linux, Window, Mac OS X) is on your computer. This information is usually displayed on a computer's screen at start-up.
  3. Once the program is downloaded, open the program. It will direct you to create an account and make a test call to Skype in order to confirm that your headset is working. Unlike some e-mail and chat services where people create a pseudonym, Skype users usually use their own name as their user name. So if your name is Jane Doe, your user name will be, well, JaneDoe.
  4. You can call a person on their computer by calling their Skype name. It's like an instant messenger program, only with voice (Skype also includes a chat capability). You can add a friend's Skype name to your account by clicking the "add contact" icon, in the upper left-hand corner of the Skype window.
  5. Once your contact is added you can call the person by highlighting their name on the "contacts" tab and then clicking the green telephone icon, which will ring them. You can only call someone if the Skype icon next to their name is a green check-mark. If the icon is a gray X, it means your contact is not logged onto Skype.

How to Use This Tool for Activism: User Experiences

When trying to organize this project I used Skype to make a conference call with collaborators in Thailand, Without Skype, I would never have been able to afford an international conference call.
-Mary Joyce (, Morocco)

I am helping to organize the Free Alaa campaign, which is aimed at freeing a jailed Egyptian blogger, Another human rights website in Egypt contacted me and me to asked to share my experience promoting the Free Alaa website. I suggested that we talk, so I could answer his questions directly. Without Skype, I would not have been able to afford to make this long-distance call.
-Mary Joyce (, Morocco)