Voice Is Not Dead, Dumb Voice Should Be

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TechCrunch: The Phone Call Is Dead: Text is just easier.
I have a few different phone numbers. I think I have three. Does that mean I am a huge fan of the telephone? Hardly. The opposite is true.

I tried to cancel my Yahoo Messenger number. I think I did. And they billed me anyway. My bank filed a complaint on my behalf. They gave me a new debit card. But that transaction went through. Felt like Carol Bartz was balancing the Yahoo budget on my back.

I got my Google Voice number when Google Voice was launched. But I had not had much use for it until Gmail allowed for you to make free phone calls from Gmail. So when you call me, nothing rings. I get an email saying I missed a call from such and such number. Same with voice mail. Your voice mail is like an email to me. Since people who call me speak some very non English languages, the accompanying transcripts routinely give Da Whad moments.

I have a prepaid phone. This is for when someone needs to get hold of me right at that very moment. Which does not mean they do. I got caller ID. I go with my hunch. If it feels like I should pick up the phone - rarely happens - I do, and you get some real time voice communication. This is more true when I am out to meet someone. I am here, you here? Where?

Voice is a higher level of communication. But only if it is given the special treatment. The idea of a phone number is weird. You mean anyone who has your number can call you any time they want? That does not jive. But two or more people who want to talk at a time of convenience should be able to.

TV deserves to die. But the video format is becoming more and more central to the web experience. The same is true of voice. It is not the voice format that is the problem. Audio rules. But dumb voice can feel like noise, it can feel like a snag.

Meeting in person is a great, great thing. But that does not mean meeting anyone any time anywhere. You want to have much say in who and where and when. The web is supposed to add intelligence to the entire process.
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