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Paul Nicholson
Nashvegas TN
Digital Marketing Manager at HealthTrust. Social media junkie, strategist, and app idea guy. Hockey fan, photographer, and father to 2 awesome boys.

(Opinions expressed here are not those of my employer. Heck, they might not even be mine.)
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

GrandCentral

I just signed up for the latest cool tech to come into an open "Beta" from Google: GrandCentral. Really cool concept, pretty solid execution. Can't wait to see what it turns into eventually (or how they monetize it in the future).

The basic concept is this: Signup. Get a new phone number. Setup all your real phone numbers to tie to your account. Now, when someone calls your GrandCentral number, it actually rings any of your numbers.

For instance... if you were to call 615-823-1734, it would ring my work number, cell number, and home number simultaneously. I would then have the choice of answering, forcing the call to voicemail, or screening it...you'd start leaving a voicemail and i could "pick up" if i wanted to. I would be able to access your voicemails from any phone, or from the web. I can also set rules to direct different callers to different numbers at different times of day, and even have custom voicemail greetings and rings for different people.

The fabulous thing about this, is the people calling my number will never see my real phone number. I can even call into my GrandCentral number and then dial out to someone - the GrandCentral number would show up on caller ID, not my real number.

And it's all free...for now anyway. I could easily see a time when in between my witty custom ring sounds callers would have to hear ads, or something similar.

But for now, this is pretty sweet.
It is a semi-open beta, and i have 7 more invites i can send to people (leave a comment if you want one), or you can just hit their site and try to sign-up yourself.

And gimme a ring if you want: 615-823-1734 :-)

6 comments:

The Musician said...

for those of us who have A phone number and wouldn't want people to call my work number anyway, this doesn't seem that great. Although, I can see if you were a business professional with an office and stuff, it could be great. Plus, Privacy!

Paul Nicholson said...

I think that's part of what makes this so cool. For privacy nuts it is perfect. You can give someone a totally legit phone number, but it isn't your cell number. You can set it so that it will always dump to voicemail, or so that numbers other than those in your address book (friends presumably) go to your voicemail. The perfect call screener.

PhragMunkee said...

I played with GrandCentral several months ago. It's a nice interface and mash-up of all the things you can do with VOIP. I've played with VOIP (Asterisk/OpenSER) quite a bit at my job and can do all sorts of neat stuff. Another thing I never thought about doing until now is setting it up so that Verizon callers go to my work cell phone (on Verizon) and everyone else goes to my iPhone (AT&T) to save myself and everyone else money.

Paul Nicholson said...

I don't think it would save you or them money. As far as ATT and Verizon are concerned, the call is coming from and going to a land-line that Google owns. Not sure...i'll be curious to check on my next cell bill.

a said...

Do you have any more invites for Grand Central. If you do please email me at cardinals8@gmail.com
Thanks

Paul Nicholson said...

Sorry - it looks like my invitations either expired or they are no longer taking new testers.