Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Extreme Skypeing

The title of my last post reminded me of the time Grise Fiord was on Oprah via Skype.  I didn't have a blog back then so I hope you'll indulge a blast from the fairly recent past.

Oprah discovered Skype in spring of 2009.  For one of her Skype shows, the theme was extreme skypeing.  To prove that you could skype "anywhere", she skype-visited the high arctic, the antarctic, an airplane in flight and a submarine at sea, along with a few less extreme places like Harrod's in England to fill up the show.

Here's the video, and if this doesn't work, it's also on Youtube.  I'm the one in the red coat in the middle as they scan the non-studio audience:

Yes Oprah, it was cold out there (-18 C), but with the sun that was mostly only because we stood around so long during the show.  I was surprised at how few people turned out for the taping.  There was too much glare for us to see anything as it was being taped, but we could hear, and listened to the whole thing as it was being done.

The funny thing was, the theme of the show was that you could skype anywhere, but in actual fact, you couldn't skype under normal conditions to any of the four chosen areas.  Grise Fiord was probably the most skypeable, but they spent days before the Oprah visit setting up a special connection that would work, and even then the connection was lost many times during the taping.  Video skypeing from Grise just didn't work that well in April of 2009.  Some people there were using it in real life, but usually with the video turned off to make it work.

The other three destinations had probably never been skypeable.  When Oprah asked each destination in turn "do you use Skype", each replied that they don't due to technical limitations, and had set up a special connection just for the show.

So much for proving the hypothesis that you can go anywhere in the world via Skype, but it was still a lot of fun.  I found Oprah a bit snide though when Janice was showing her around the town.  Hmm.  I'd rather be in beautiful downtown Grise Fiord than a Chicago studio any day.

1 comment:

  1. Don't mind Oprah. She makes weird remarks all the time. I swear she is 'envious' of the anorexic ppl she pay no attention to her!

    Btw, I happened to see this vid on youtube a few days ago and I thought it was REALLY cool. I did notice (Janice?) saying that it was actually hard to use the video part of skype due to broadband issues. Having lived in a pretty remote island myself for 3 months (soooo short sadly), I understand her issue.

    Anyways, just came here b/c of the Nunnies voting. I shall be voting this the best post! :)