While skype will not necessarily help to build your network it certainly helps to maintain it! You can use skype for text chatting and video calling. You can easily send files while you are chatting and it costs nothing to call anywhere in the world (just bandwidth!). I keep in touch with my teacher friends in Australia and New Zealand via skype. I have also used it with my class (in Christchurch) to call a class in Hamilton!

Joining is easy - just download the programme and choose a username and password.