Archive for July, 2010

Apple of My Eye: An iPhone 4 Video

By no means am I one of those Apple fanatic (You know who you are).   I mean, the only Apple product I own is a second generation iPod Nano…which was given to me by my brother.  It was broken at the time, and I got it fixed.  I’m content right now with my Windows Quad-core, Netbook,  and Phone.  That said, I do think pretty highly of Apple products.  They’re well-made…just expensive.

This past week though, I came across an impressive video featuring the new iPhone 4. And, while I am not an Apple user, I am someone who puts together a lot of videos, and I can applaud quality stuff when I see it.  That said, check out this video which was shot and edited entirely  on the iPhone 4. Impressive!

Google Voice…You Need It…Trust Me.

Google Voice Logo

For about a year now, I’ve been using Google Voice, a phone service from our friends at Google.  Last summer, I got in on the ground floor with a special invite (remember when Gmail was invite-only?).  But now, Google has just announced that Google Voice is available to anyone!  My take: you need it…go get it.

Let me give you my top 5 reasons you should use Google Voice:

1. Pick Your Number
With Google Voice, you get to pick your own number.  You can even search for number combinations that you like.  That’s pretty slick.  Plus, you can pick any area code you want.  So, if you’re like me and got a cell phone number while in college that you’re kind of attached to, you can pick a new number that’s local to where you live now so that landline users don’t have to dial long distance to reach you.  This is the biggest benefit to me.

2. Transcribed Voicemails
Although the transcription isn’t perfect (yet), it’s very convenient to have a copy of your voicemails emailed or even texted to you.  That way, you can read them, even when you can’t call up your voicemail.  Also, Google Voice can handle the voicemail that comes in through your standard cell number.

3. Forward Calls
When a call comes in on the Google Voice number, you can have it ring any phone you want.  You can even have certain callers ring to certain phones.  At my church, this is helpful for special events.  I can give out one number as an event hotline, and then it will ring to specific team leaders so that the call isn’t missed.  This also protects the “real” numbers of our team leaders.

4. Screen or Block Calls
There’s no nice way to say it, but let’s face it, we all have certain people that we’d rather not receive calls from.  With Google Voice, just send ’em straight to voicemail or block them altogether.  You can also screen calls that are from private or unknown numbers.  This make them announce who’s calling.

5. Do Not Disturb
Going on vacation? Well, you gotta take your phone, but you probably don’t want just everyone and their brother calling you.  With Google Voice, you can send your calls directly to voicemail while you enjoy your vacation. 🙂

Bonus: It’s Free!
Free is good.  It makes this very appealing. You have nothing to loose.  Try it.  If you don’t like it, you’ve lost nothing, right?

So, that’s my top 5ish reasons to use Google Voice.  And, I didn’t even mention the other features like: conference calls, low international rates (as low as 2 cents per minute), web widgets, call recording, special voicemail greetings for special callers, ring certain calls to certain phones, and more.  Click here for Google’s feature page.  Click here and here for reviews from other bloggers.

For those who are inherently suspicious of new techie things, here are the supposed cautions to Google Voice.

So, are you persuaded yet?  Or maybe, you’ve been using it for a while.  Let me know in the comments.  In the meantime, watch this clip from Google to learn more.

Friday Favorites #6 – Blogs

If you have begun to read my blog regularly, I hope that you are beginning to see the value of blogs all over the web.  There are blogs that cover practically every topic you can think of.  Want to read a blog about sports?  Here’s one.  Want to read a blog about the iPhone? Here’s one.  There are even blogs about blogs…like this one.  Crazy, huh?  Some blogs write long posts.  Some write short ones.  And, they’re all pretty valuable in their own way.  So anyway, here’s a short list of my favorite blogs (for right now anyway):

  1. Seth Godin – The guru of marketing.  His blogs are short, and they challenge you to think outside the box.
  2. Tony Morgan – This guy is a church strategists.  Some of you might not understand what that is, but his blog is full of church-related insights.
  3. Ed Stetzer – This guy leads the research department at LifeWay. His blog is church-related with a research and missional emphasis.
  4. Church Crunch – This is a techie blog for churches.  Very helpful for a guy like me.
  5. Michael Hyatt – This guy is the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. His blog has a wide range of emphasis, but it’s pretty insightful stuff.

So, how about you?  What are your favorite blogs?

We Love Blogs

Do find yourself visiting two or three social media sites over and over again every day?  Do you end up with three windows (tabs if you’ve moved into 2010) open at the same time so that you can stay on top of your social networking?  I have a solution that will make your life much easier.  Hootsuite!  It’s a true time-saver.

Hootsuite allows you to see all of your favorite social networking sites in one place – on one page!  You can update and be updated all from one site instead of visiting and logging into several different ones.  Now for those of you who are techies, I know that you already know that Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Seesmic exist, and you probably already have a favorite.  But, for everyone else, let me tell you why I like Hootsuite, and encourage you to use it.

  1. Hootsuite brings all of the major social networking sites into one place.
  2. Hootsuite allows me to manage multiple profiles and pages.
  3. Hootsuite allows me to customize the look and placement of my feeds from social networking sites.
  4. Hootsuite allows me to shrink URLs easily.
  5. Hootsuite runs remotely (no software to install), which means I can access the same info from any computer.
  6. Hootsuite allows me to schedule tweets and status updates to be sent later.
  7. Hootsuite allows me to share control of certain social media profile with other users.

Well, that pretty much sums it up.  If you want to see a comparison between Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, visit here.

Now, don’t wait any longer.  Go make your life easier (

So, what are your thoughts?  Do you use one of these services?  Will you?  Let me know.