Today Google announced the rebranding of GrandCentral (a company it acquired in 2007) as Google Voice. The NY Times has a thorough (and effusive, I might add) write-up of the platform and features.
In a nutshell, Google Voice consolidates all your phone numbers into one master line and allows you to do things like control which phone rings when certain people call, which outgoing voicemail message is played for certain people, transfer calls from one line to another, etc... all for free!
The feature that caught my eye as a recovering search marketer is this one (as reported by the NYT)...
"FREE VOICE MAIL TRANSCRIPTIONS. From now on, you don’t have to listen to your messages in order; you don’t have to listen to them at all. In seconds, these recordings are converted into typed text. They show up as e-mail messages or text messages on your cellphone. This is huge. It means that you can search, sort, save, forward, copy and paste voice mail messages."
They day has come... Google has now made your phone searchable. I suppose it was only a matter of time. At Resolution Media, we'd been predicting that for years -- witness the graphic above that's been part of our general presentation quite some time.
Of course 3 of the other tabs on this mock-up have already come to (and, in some cases, gone from) fruition -- TV, Radio, and Print.
I like to think that it's inevitable that Google will one day be able to make your house searchable and even your (and other people's) mind searchable. I got at this a bit in my 2006 Search Insider column -- Why Can't Everything Be Searchable?
Another interesting thread around Google Voice is that of the Voice Search Optimization practice that it's bound to spawn. If voice mails and text messages are now stored in the cloud and accessible on demand via query, you can bet that marketers will figure out ways to make sure their messages pop up atop an individual's phone index.
"Hello, Aaron. This is Shelly from the March for Dimes. Would you consider making a $20 donation today? Your mom would be proud of you."
So when I search my phone messages for "Aaron," "Shelley," or "Mom," the March of Dimes voicemail transcript would come up.
Here's the quick and dirty: I've been in the digital marketing and media space for over ten years, which is like sixty dog years in traditional media. I've served time on the agency, media, and technology side of the table, working with marketers ranging from global Fortune 500 brands to local start-ups.
Over the years I've run the gamut of digital marketing -- display, search, video, email, co-reg, affiliate, sponsorships, etc. Through it all, the one thing I've learned is that the only constant in this space is change. And the key to winning is not only knowing which way the wind is blowing but when the tide has reached its peak.
About This Blog
Welcome to the official Aaron Goldman blog -- sorry, gotta talk about myself in 3rd person for SEO purposes.
Somehow having 15 blogs and contributing to 3 others wasn't enough. Maybe it's the Type-F in me. So I decided to create one more.
Why? Well, despite having plenty of online real-estate to share my POV, I found myself without a forum to comment on general trends in digital marketing and media. All of the other blogs I post on are specific to a niche in the marketplace -- search, URLs, etc.
On this blog, I'll opine on the sea change being brought about by the shift in media from analog to digital, push to pull, broadcast to narrowcast, one-way to two-way, etc. And I'll touch on all the various marketing opportunities that are coming to bear in pursuit of the blue oceans ahead.
Note: I've recently begun using images to poignantly punctuate my posts. Wherever possible, I provide attribution for images that are not my own. If I've used one of your images and you feel that I'm infringing on your copyright, please contact me and I'll remove it promptly.
Update: effective September 3, 2010, this blog is no longer active. Please see this post for more information and join the conversation at the Googley Lessons blog.