G o_O gle

There’s been a whole lot of Google going on in my life lately.

I made a change to my cell phone so now all of my missed calls get funneled into using my Google Voice voice mail. It makes managing voice mail so much easier if it’s all in one place and it’s nice to use a voice mail system whose main purpose isn’t to burn your cell minutes by forcing you through long, slow, voice menus and introductions.

There’s also the added bonus of getting transcriptions of voice mails emailed to me and being able to access them over wireless. It means that even if I’m not getting any cell service at all in one of the schools, I’ll still get the message pretty much right away. Before, it was hit or miss if my cell would get enough service to even let me know that I had a message waiting, let alone allow me to actually hear it without having to call my own number from a land line.

Of course, Google Voice has just been the beginning of a long slide down the rabbit hole… I have little doubt that they are well aware that by providing GV they would manage to suck people so much deeper into their fold and that even if it operates at a loss on it’s own separate piece of paper, the report on the use of their overall portfolio would reflect a modest to decent gain.

On that note,  I’ve also switched our corp email hosting over to Google Apps. I got tired of issues with our old email host and since I had already been using GMail for a personal account and liked what I saw, I decided that we had a lot to gain by moving over. One thing I’m very happy about is that by using a combination of filters and tags along with Google Sync I’m able to push the email that I want to get on the road to my iPhone right away, but things like messages from mailing lists no longer interrupt me.

I have a few clients in line for a similar migration. I’m just waiting to pick the right spot to make the push for it.

I have a Google Wave account now too, but I’ve only had a little time to play with it. My initial excitement started to give way to the realization that a collaboration and communication platform that doesn’t have many people to collaborate and communicate with is not so useful regardless of how amazing the tech that drives it is. However, then I got added to a couple of waves and it seems like once you get your toe into the water of a few it really starts to build. The trick being finding the water in the first place.

Now, if only they tied it in to GMail somehow, where emails got treated as “dumb” waves that would be perfect. The trouble is, I’d hate to think that they’d mess with the GMail web interface. I pretty much hate all web-mail except GMail and although the Wave interface seems decent enough for its particular and fairly specialized function, it’s not nearly as intelligent as GMail’s.

The only trouble I’m having now is that I have so many tabs in my browser open on a regular basis. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if I were merely browsing pages, but I’m actually using it for applications and it avoids the usual task switching functions I use and find so handy. Tabs are not an especially useful, efficient or fun way to manage applications. Especially compared to the tricked out compositing based eye candy that I have blazing away on my machine.

[EDIT: While this post was wallowing away in draft form waiting for me to polish it up a bit, I met with another client who is looking to move off of their Microsoft Exchange Server which has been nothing but a burden for their overworked tech and so I made a pitch for Google Apps. I should be hearing back from them on Monday or Tuesday to find out when we will meet again so I can give a demonstration to all of the various stakeholders.

Also, later in the same day, I had a long discussion with someone from the county and it’s looking like there might be some room for my involvement in helping them to move everyone over. That would certainly make for a busy spring/summer!]

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~ by ghendar on November 22, 2009.