Tech Tip: Voice Messaging Blasts

My friend Sanjay just turned me on to Shoutnow.com. If you go check it out you'll see that I copy/pasted the above scenario from their website. The idea is a lot like the TextMarks service which provides text messaging blasts to lists of subscribers. The system has a few implementation differences (like using a centrally managed list instead of ad hoc end-user subscriptions - pros and cons there), but the obvious difference is that you send a recorded call to a distribution list of phone numbers instead of a text message.

There are a lot of situations where a recorded call is MUCH better than a text message: dealing with "tech limited" people (my mom has never even read a text message), a long message, a subtle or sophisticated message, or when you want the receipient to recognize the sender's voice (getting a recorded call from John Madden is different than getting a text message from "someone who says he's John Madden").

On the downside, it doesn't appear there is any way to use the service for free. Even a short message to a handful of people will cost you $0.99. But under most circumstances the pricing seems very reasonable.

However--for the love of all that is good and decent in the world--don't use this service to tell people that the factory warranty on their vehicle may be expiring! (Editor's Note:  Those calls that are coming to your cell phone telling you that your factory warranty is expiring are thought to be an identity theft scam)