Monthly Archives: August 2008

SpinVox, Let Me List All the Ways I Love You…

1) No more voicemail.
2) SpinVox converts all my voicemail messages into text form or as an email.
3) Did I mention no more listening to voicemail?
I won’t continue to tell you how excited I am that I have not had to listen to voicemail the last month… But I am excited and going to tell you about it. SpinVox, I love you.
Anyone who knows me spent a few years in the mid-2000s remembers being very frustrated with me, as I had my voicemail turned off completely. Yes, I flummoxed some poor defenseless AT&T Wireless employee by calling to request that my voicemail be completely turned off. It took about 15 minutes for me to convince him I was serious and that I wanted it completely deactivated. Turned off.
I happily lived from 2003 to 2006 with no voicemail on my mobile phone. I did have an answering machine at home that I would listen to when I was ready, which was usually at the end of the night & I would return calls the next day. And folks could text me on my mobile or send an email which I check multiple times a day from my computer & mobile. I have had an email enabled mobile since 2003.
Why did I do this? I really love asynchronous technologies and methods of communication. By asynchronous, I mean that the technology or communication that does not require instant response but allows the person receiving to read, process, and to return the communication when ready. Many have written about the stresses of always being on and plugged in, my way of dealing with the expectation that some folks have that one will always be available NOW is to set boundaries as to when I am available.
No, I will not pick up a phone call after 10pm or before 10am, unless it was prearranged. No, I don’t pick up the phone when I am in a store or in a meeting or when having dinner. Etc.
Thus voicemails pile up. Some of them are important communiques that one needs the info fairly immediately, some are just “Hi! Was thinking about you!”, some are long funny ramblings, and some are random who the heck are you. By the time one has dialed up the voicemail, listened to the messages, wrote down the important bits, deleted the rest, and hung up, I am frustrated by the inefficiency of the whole process.
Thus the genius of SpinVox. Our new best friends at SpinVox have a nice set of computers that record the voicemail from the caller when you can’t answer your calls, the nice computers then use voice recognition software to translate the voicemail to a text and/or email, and within 1-4 minutes a nice text arrives at one’s phone and a nice email comes down the pike as well.
One never has to listen to one’s voicemail ever again. Thank the deities of voice recognition software!
Example a client called me the other day, when I was trying to talk to the Auto folks at the Toyota service area and I could not pick up. Before I finished my conversation with the Toyota service rep, I already had a set of texts waiting for me with my client’s message. So, efficient. So nice.
Receiving texts and/or emails with the voicemails transcribed is particularly when folks are giving details that you would otherwise need to write down, like directions or phone numbers, as they arrive already written down.
I have chosen to receive both text to my mobile and emails to my gmail, I have been saving every voicemail to email for later reference. Why? Well, some of them are darned funny as the voice recognition does not get every detail right and does its best to compensate, its translations can be darned funny.
SpinVox does save all the actual voicemails for you if you want to listen to them or if it did not get all the important bits. The parts that the software can’t recognize and transcribe is rendered as ________ and SpinVox gives you a reference number for that message. A reference number? Yep, so rather than listening to every danged voicemail to get to the one you want, when you call in the SpinVox system will ask which message you want to listen to. Fabulous!
SpinVox also allows you to verbally blog to your website, as well as send messages and other services, but I am still so excited about SpinVox converting voicemails into text form that I have yet to explore their other services.
My only complaint about SpinVox is that it took me months to get signed up as when one goes to their website it appears from the front page that the service is only for the UK and folks who have UK based mobile carriers. I was under this impression until May of this year when James Whatley, SpinVox’s evangelist, corrected my error and let me know it was also for the US and many other countries. It is not until one clicks on the “SpinVox for You” menu item that one sees that one can choose a country other than the UK. The country options should be on the front page so that SpinVox does not lose business.
SpinVox, thanks for the great product and user experience. Y’all rock.