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Here's My Mobile Number

Michael's Minute has been quiet for awhile because it took an enormous amount of work and focus to sell Gizmo5. I'm proud of the accomplishment of selling my VOIP company to Google. As I've got to know Google I've found it to be an astounding place loaded with brain power and ambition.

Today the Gizmo5 team is part of Google Voice. Google Voice offers a free service which provides a US number which can ring anywhere, send and receive SMS messages, sends voicemail as text, low cost international calling and much more. Google Voice is in invite-only mode, so you'll need to ask someone with the service for an invite or put your name on the waiting list here. It's currently only available for US users.

One of the many benefits of Google Voice is caller screening. On every call GV politely informs me of the caller's name so I have the option to answer the call or let it go to voicemail. Plus if I'm unsure of the caller or the topic I can clandestinely listen in on the voicemail and elect to pick-up the call anytime during the message.

I take security very seriously. If you touch enough people through success, opinion, or fame - odds are you will encounter some unstable people which can become overzealous fans which morph into haters or stalkers. I've had stalkers that required arrests by the FBI to halt so these aren't idle words.

Still you can't let fear drive your life and wall yourself off. (Someone please tell Homeland Security this.) We grow and learn by interacting with others and fortunately the freedoms in our country allow that. I want to make it easy for anyone to contact me and previously, I freely distributed my email address, but was more reserved with my mobile number because it's a bit more intrusive to have random strangers calling it.

Using the new screening features of Google Voice that's less of a concern since I can learn the callers identity and purpose before answering and interrupting my day. (There's even a feature to block numbers I don't wish to receive calls from in case of abuse.) With Google Voice I'm even more accessible because I can use technology to manage my voice connections.

Although Google Voice will work with any carrier and phone, I've had the privilege of using the Google phone and combined with the Google Voice service, it provides unprecedented control of your phone identity, calling and SMS. It's an incredible device with a rapidly expanding roster of applications. If you've got an Android phone I highly recommend the following programs: Goggles, Dolphin Browser, CardioTrainer, SIPdroid, and MP3tunes to listen to your personal music collection everywhere.


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