Google Sites follows the release of GrandCentral

Finally the old JotSpot has been released by Google. Google Sites made a big splash yesterday, and by the end of the day most bloggers were complaining about how much JotSpot had been stripped down from the original application. I’ve had a JotSpot account since the early beta days, so when I finally got around last night to accessing Sites, I was also a bit disappointed. Thinking about it again this morning, I realized that – like most everything else Google releases – Sites may be a simplified version of JotSpot, but it still is quite powerful. I know of a few small organizations that I help out that will absolutely love this Google wiki product.

My old JotSpot account still looks and operates the same, and I believe there is a plan to offer optional migration of old JotSpot accounts over to the new Sites. Once I’ve taken a full spin, I’ll post a thorough review of Sites. I’m already getting the feeling that, once I spend some time working with Sites, I’ll like it a lot.

It looks like Google is starting to open GrandCentral for business

I’ve written in the past about GrandCentral, a web based service that aims to centralize your phone number management.  Google acquired GrandCentral last summer, and had shut off new user sign up.  Well, if you were waiting for an invitation, Google is now ready to give you access (from the Google Operating System blog):

If you’re in the US, you can now get a free invite to GrandCentral, the Google service that centralizes all you phone numbers and adds new features on top of them (the service is free, at least for now). “GrandCentral provides an innovative web-based voice communications platform that helps you manage all your phones and phone numbers through one simple interface. You get a single phone number that forwards to all of your phones, giving you one number for life.”

Read more here: Get GrandCentral Invites

Blog update: Comments may be broken

I’ve been so busy of late, that I haven’t upgraded WordPress…it looks like commenting is broken on the blog. Sorry for those who were trying comment. If are looking to get an invite to Grand Central, please email me directly.

I’ll upgrade the site this week, and make sure comments get back on track.

Update: I’m out of Grand Central invites.

Grand Central invitations available

Although Google has acquired Grand Central, it looks like they are still allowing existing users to invite a few people into the beta site. So, if you are interested, please leave a comment, and I’ll send out an invitation. I’m not sure how many I have, so I’ll update this post when I run out.

Update: Comments seem to have broken on the blog. Please email me directly if you would like an invite.

Update2: I’m out of Grand Central invites now, thanks for stopping by.

GrandCentral now a Google company

image GrandCentral is one of those services that needed a big partner organization to take off. Well, they are now a part of Google; hopefully they don’t fall into the same void that JotSpot has disappeared into.

GrandCentral is a voice routing application that many have been trying to perfect for a long time. The idea is that you, the user, are issued a single phone number for life, and all of your calls are routed through this ‘GrandCentral’ line. GrandCentral then sifts through those inbound calls, and routes them to the appropriate location, be it your cell phone, a customized voicemail area, or simply blocks out unwanted calls. The service does a bunch more things, and could possibly serve as a base of a PBX style system for small businesses. I received a beta account access when the service first appeared, but didn’t get around to playing with it that much. I found Jott to be a more useful service for me, although I certainly could see the value in GrandCentral.

Like JotSpot, Google has closed off beta access to existing customers. It is generally believed that Google plans to integrate GrandCentral into GoogleTalk, the chat client that now resides in Gmail. If done properly, Google could come closer to the unified inbox holy grail than anyone else has. If course, Om Malik notes that this could be a troubling thing.