TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Making Voice Mail More Like Email

Making Voice Mail More Like Email

Monty Solomon (
Fri, 12 Jan 2007 03:15:35 -0500


Despite spam and other problems, email is highly useful and
effective. You can quickly send and receive messages, delete or
forward them, and save them for reading at a later time. A glance at
your inbox can tell you a lot about each message, including its
subject, sender and the time it was received.

But voice mail lags behind in key ways. A voice mail still doesn't
tell you the caller's name or reason for calling unless you listen to
at least part of it. You usually can't reply to a voice mail with a
message of your own, as with email; instead, you must call the person
back. And you can't easily jump from the most recent voice mail to the
10th without listening to every message in between.

Still, voice mail has its place. A phone call is much more personal
than an email, and lets you use vocal inflection to express your
point, whereas email expressions can sometimes be misinterpreted. And
it's often easier and faster to speak your message than to type it

This week, I tested Pinger, a free messaging service that tries to
make voice mail more usable by emphasizing its strengths and making it
a little more like email, or like a cellphone text message. This new
service comes from Pinger Inc, a Silicon Valley-based company started
by former Palm Inc. employees.

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