Friday, February 22, 2008

Use Blogger?

If you use Blogger, you can now get a GrandCentral account.

What is GrandCentral? In a word, it's awesome.

See that "Call Me" button on the right side of my blog and on my Facebook account? If you click that button, it will ask you for your phone number. (Also great for putting on eBay pages and stuff.)

You enter it, and your phone starts ringing and my phones start ringing. (Yes, phones. You add all your phone numbers, create rules about which ones should ring -- based on time of day or who's calling. You can even set it so that some callers always get voicemail. Or get a "This number is out of service." recording when they call. Oh, and you can also set different answering machine recordings for different people or different groups.)

When my phone rings and I answer, I have several choices. I can take your call, I can send your call to voicemail. I can send your call to voicemail and listen in (like an old-timey answering machine). And I can take your call and record it.

It also has spam filtering. (If you get a call and it's phone spam, you tell Grand Central. Enough people tell Grand Central and that caller will always get someone's voicemail instead of ringing through.)

There are lots of other cool features as well. My favorite is call transfer. Say someone calls you and you pick up at home... but then you want to leave and they're still yakking. You press * and all of your other phones begin ringing. You answer your cell phone, hang up your home phone and walk out the door. And the person you're talking to doesn't know you even transferred phones.

And you can pick a number in your area, or some other area code. It comes with voicemail you can check online or by dialing your own GC number from one of the phones linked to your account.

A few things they haven't worked out yet... no way to have your Grand Central number appear on other people's caller ID. They'll still see your actual number.

But, it's a really cool service I've been using a for a year now. I highly recommend it and I'm glad that they've opened it up to so many people now.

The link is on your dashboard once you've signed in.

(If you think this is cool, I also recommend www.jott.com and www.rememberthemilk.com.)
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