[Update: The first 100 people to sign up here, will get into the beta]. A UK startup called Yabb launched today in closed private beta. It is a VOIP micro-blogging service that lets you publish voicemails on Skype. So instead of blogging you just speak your thoughts and your Skype contacts can subscribe. It is like Seesmic, without the video. TechCrunch UK has the details:
Users import their Skype contacts, then are asked to allow Yabb access to Skype. The idea is to find a conversation topic of interest to you on the Yabb site, pick someone with interesting thoughts who has joined that topic then send them a call request by asking them to Skype you. By integrating with Skype’s API, Yabb allows you to then call people over Skype. While you wait for a call, you can join other topics, add your thoughts and send more call requests. [Update: I hadn’t previously realised this, but Paul Sweeney points out that Yabb is less disruptive than one might think in that you can’t send voice messages to people who aren’t in your Skype contact list. This means nos ‘voice spam but also less ability for this to go viral maybe].
Founder Paul Birch told me Yabb is going to be about re-inventing the ‘art’ of conversation. He is hoping there will be more potential adoption of Yabb than video-blogging systems like Seesmic since most people are happy to talk, but not everyone wants to appear on video. (Yabb is built on Ruby on Rails and is hosted by EngineYard).
Note to self: voicemails are not a mass medium. Does anyone enjoy listening to voicemails? They are something to avoid or get through as quickly as possible, even the funny ones. I should do a VOIPcast on this topic.