Running a movie website is costly, especially when contacting movie PR firms and movie studios by phone. Lucky Google has just come out with a free service that helps the frugal movie website owner pinch a few more pennies and stretch that dollar a little further. It’s called Google Voice. You will need a Google Gmail account to use it or you can download the free service plugin – Google Talk – to your desktop to “make and receive calls via a soft phone on their computer” and video chat. Go through the setup process – it takes about two minutes – and you will have a Google phone number and be able to make free phone calls (w/VOIP) in the United States and Canada.
Just dial any phone number and you’ll be connected…Dialing a phone number works just like a normal phone. Just click “Call phone” at the top of your chat list and dial a number or enter a contact’s name…Inbound calls to this number are forwarded to other phone numbers of the subscriber. Outbound calls may be placed to domestic and international destinations by dialing the Google Voice number or from a web-based application.
Save your Minutes for Movie Tickets
By using Google Voice, you can save the minutes on your calling plan.
Inbound and outbound calls to US (including Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada are free of charge in 2010. International calls are billed according to a schedule posted on the Google Voice website
but are currently at a low rate. If you want to get onto certain PR/movie studio mailing list, you are going to have to call them directly, sometimes repeatedly. That uses your minutes. You can right off your phone bill as a cost of doing business on your taxes but why not save your minutes in conjunction with that? It’s a win-win. You can also try transferring the calls.
Assuming you’ve already added your Gmail Chat account as a number that can be reached through Google Voice (which also assumes you’ve signed up for Google Voice), you can transfer calls from your phone to your computer to save cellphone minutes. Here’s how it works:1) If you’re logged into your Google account, go to the Google Voice phone settings page. At the bottom, you should see a new option for Google Chat (like in the image). Make sure it’s checked.
2) Now, when you’re in the midst of a call on your cellphone—let’s say you were talking to someone in the car, and now you’re home—just hit the * (asterisk) on your phone’s number pad to send the call to another Google Voice phone. If your Gmail account is open, your inbox should start ringing. Pick up in Gmail and hangup your cellphone.
The opposite works, as well—i.e., transferring calls out from Gmail to your cellphone. Oh, and remember: If you’ve got a decent Bluetooth headset, you should also be able to stay relatively mobile, even if you’re talking from your computer.
Film Site Team Meetings
Are the writers for your film website in different locations? Don’t feel like using Skype or teleconferencing software? Have them all call your Google Phone Number and add them to ongoing call. It’s simple.
If you are at a film festival, press screening, etc. and your phone dies
If you have a laptop or an iPad, this will be no problem since Google Voice can redirect your phone calls from your cell phone to your Gmail account. Your laptop simply needs a microphone so that you can talk and the area where you are calling or being called must have Wifi if you are not directly connected to the net.
Other Features and Benefits to a Movie Website Owner
- A single Google forwarding number to all of the user’s phones
- Unlimited free calls and SMS in the US and Canada, up to three hours in individual length.
- Calling international phone numbers for as low as US$0.02 per minute
- Call screening. Announcement of callers based on their number or by an automated identification request for blocked numbers
- Listening in on someone’s recording of a voice message before taking a call (press 2 while answering, * to “pick up”)
- Blocking calls from specified numbers
- Send, receive, and store SMS online
- Answering incoming calls on any configured phone
- Call routing. Selection of phones that should ring based on calling number
- Voicemail transcripts. Reading of voicemail messages online
- Listening to voicemail online or from a phone
- Notification of voicemail messages via email or SMS
- Personalized greetings based on calling number
- Forward or downloading of voicemails
- Conference calling (press 5 when answering call)
- Call recording and online archiving (press 4 while on a call)
- Switching of phones during a call
- Viewing the web inbox from a mobile device/phone
- Customize preferences for contacts by group
- Ability to change your number for a fee
- Specifying an existing phone number instead of the Google Voice number on initial setup for use with limited functionality, such as some voicemail functions and using the voice mail system for the user’s phone number (mobile devices only).
Personal observation (outside the scope of this post)
The ball was dropped here, in a big. Google could have hamstrung every phone company in the world.
- Google could have released their own cellphone through their own phone company.
- They could have offered the same service on that phone that they are offering through Google Voice, free phone calls viz their infrastructure on the Internet.
- The phone would be internet based through Google. No more contracts. No more $30 data plans with SmartPhones. Goodbye AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and all the rest.
It would have been a revolution. Millions of people would have flocked to this new virtually free phone service on premium phones like the Droid. Too bad Google has a business relationship with Verizon.