Playing with Google Voice

166954-google-voice_thumb_originalI know many others have already written about Google Voice... But I haven't had a chance to play with it until now. I set up Google Voice for my cell phone and my home phone. I decided to call it using my husband's cell phone to see what the experience is like. When you call a Google Voice account, it asks you to leave your name and then Google Voice alerts the account owner. My phone rang saying my husband was calling. I answered and Google Voice asked if I wanted to answer the call, let it go to voice mail or listen in while the person leaves the voice mail. I opted to let it go to voice mail. I left a quick message after that.

The result: I quickly had an inbox message on Google Voice with the audio and a transcript of the voicemail. It wasn't a perfect transcript, but it was incredible how quickly it was completed. Along with the ability to call the phone back or send an SMS, I can even embed the voicemail:

Let's think about this in the sense of news collection. You could have a reporter call in, leave a voicemail report and quickly share the text with the news producers or editors while placing the audio recording onto your newsroom's website. The audio is also downloadable. What if a reporter used Google Voice to call in his or her voice track for a news package? Who knows. I hope to try these ideas out in my newsroom. Does anyone else have good ideas for the use of Google Voice?

UPDATE: I was too excited to play with Google Voice - I missed that it gives you an option to record your phone conversation. The next thing I hope to investigate is how long Google Voice will record your audio. Imagine the simplicity of collecting a phoner interview using Google Voice. A transcribed interview before you even sit down to write.