There are a small number of people that I Skype with, primarily moderators, radio interviewers, and writing colleagues.
But by and large I don’t use Skype for instant messaging. To do so requires me (1) to open another, somewhat-cumbersome software package and (2) to use a medium that doesn’t provide me with a ready, easily-printable archive of records.
Could I ask people please in general not to message me via Skype unless we have a history of Skyping?
Also, I’ve received a number of requests from people to allow them connect with me via Skype. Unless a person is already known to me, in future I won’t be accepting these requests. I’m sure you can appreciate that I get a fair number of communications from people who have questionable aims and less than benevolent intent. I’d rather not run the risk of giving Skype access to someone of that persuasion so I’d feel most comfortable granting Skype access only to someone I already know or who has a reason for needing it. No offense meant by that.
And perhaps, while we’re on the subject, I can mention an email circumstance. There are some correspondents who don’t include the email thread with their emails and then ask me if I remember a circumstance we were discussing. I answer perhaps 50-100 emails a day, every day of the week. Unless you attach the thread of our discussion, it’s highly unlikely I’ll remember it. And it obliges me to hunt through the archive to find what we may have been discussing, which is a time investment I’d rather avoid if I could.
Last point: some people write and say they feel badly about having said something last week or even two days ago. Let me assure you that, at the rate I answer email, I don’t recall what happened two days ago, never mind last week. I don’t carry in my head a record of what transpired a short while ago. It’s a feature of this job that doing so would not be possible or desirable. So there is no need to worry that I’m somehow carrying a situation forward.
Thanks for allowing me to say that and hearing it with understanding.