Say it Isn't So, GOOGLE... and Thanks, Bing!

telephoneGoogle is known for all the amazing things they create, and rarely for services they shut down. But in just days - days! they will stop offering one of my favorite services for someone on the road as I am - the GOOG-411 service. This service has helped road warriors everywhere - in an efficient way.

Reported by Alex Sharp of Suite 101, Google posted in October that they would end this 411 phone service on November 11th. This is the service I got all of my small business owners attending my social media classes to get onto - some really WERE still using a phone book - and showing them how great (most of the time) the Google system worked. Oh, it had flaws. When I was on the road I'd try to find a phone number this way. Once you realize that it didn't understand what you were saying - well, I'd go to the tiny web browser on my iPhone and search for company information that way.

Did you know about this 3 year-old service of Google's? I had the phone number, 1-800GOOG411 saved in my smart phone. It was a free call to Google's supercomputer that took the place of the very expensive 411 calls I typically still made a couple years back. Through speech-recognition it would connect me to most often, the right information - but not always.

Sharp says in her post, "According to the Goog-411 team's blog post, the company is 'putting all of our resources into speech-enabling the next generation of Google products and services,' which suggests that the resources used by GOOG411 will be reallocated"

You can read more about this at the Suite 101 post or at Google directly.

I feel like I am going to be losing a road companion - something I could (nearly) always count on - so it is heartwarming to me to hear that Microsoft's Bing smartphone location-aware App does voice searches - which I did not even know about. I have the Bing App downloaded - just didn't use it. I tried it just now - there is a microphone to push and then you say what it is you are wanting to find. Bing pulled it up - both times. If this sounds basic and simplistic - know how many people out there do not know some of these tricks and tools.

Oh, and Google continues to offer text-based searches to help you track down information - another great option. I think i will be OK on the road now - as long as I have a few of my favorite tech tools to support me.

What technology tools do you like / appreciate / use? Post your ideas - they may help others be more effective and efficient.


Topics: Sales Ideas & Skills

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