Monday, March 16, 2009

Google Voice coming soon

Just read the New York Times write up on GrandCentral ("One Number to Ring them All", and meandered over to the site to see just how cool it is.

Impact for libraries?

Upside: You'll have a better chance of actually reaching people, to prompt returns, ILL requests available, things like this. Free conference calls mean you may be able to save some telecom expenses, possibly.

Downside: Local users may not have local phone numbers.

Other thoughts?

The big picture, as I see it: Innovation, helped along by Google, is not limited strictly to libraries. Now the phone company (along with the media, news and advertising industries) is getting in on the action. Hey, suddenly being in the library field makes us look as cutting-edge as we feel somedays. We've already experienced the Googlization learning curve and are on the optimistic upswing from it.

1 comment:

Andy Havens said...

Another possible point of interest for libraries may be the easy creation of an entirely new set of content... automatic transcriptions of conference calls. Although the NYT article doesn't say so explicitly, my bet is that Google Voice will allow you to record, save and transcribe conference calls [It does say you'll be able to do so for voice mails, and to use your number for conference calls... so I'm extrapolating a bit].

Even if the transcription is only OK... that's a huge deal, being able to automatically have a text-searchable database of all the conference calls you make.

I wonder if there will be a length/size limit... hmm.... go to a conference, call yourself, leave the speakerphone on, and come home to a transcript of all the sessions you attended.

Another in a line of products from Google (like Street View) that I think of as Creepy/Cool.