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Inside money, markets, and Big Tech

This article was published on November 15, 2009

Voice-twitter: the next killer app?

Voice-twitter: the next killer app?
Khaled AlSaleh
Story by

Khaled AlSaleh

Khaled’s passion for tech started at a young age. He believes it may have been somewhere around the age of four when he first tried to elect Khaled’s passion for tech started at a young age. He believes it may have been somewhere around the age of four when he first tried to electrocute himself while putting the laws of physics to test, and the age of 6 when he received his first computer, a ZX Spectrum 16K/48K. Since then, he has developed a passion for all things digital and has been known to spend hours fiddling with toasters that have some intelligence in them. He still can’t make a sandwich though! To learn more about Khaled visit his LinkedIn profile at http://ae.linkedin.com/in/alsaleh

It’s the weekend and I’ve had a couple of days to reflect on my week’s reading. I find myself thinking of an article published in last week’s issue of The Sunday Times about Lloyd Blankfein and Goldman Sachs. Something the author mentioned in the article just kept nagging at me and I know I’m on to something, though it’s so laughable I worry that if I don’t artiVoicemailculate it well enough I will forever be known as the Techie Village Idiot.

I’m a sucker for a challenge though, so I’ll just throw caution to the wind and risk being ostrasized by the blogging/ tweeting community.

If you’ve read the article your mind has already drifted to one particular claim that Mr. Blankfein made: he is just doing ‘God’s Work’. An absurd claim, to be sure, but it wasn’t this that got the nerdie hamster in my head running marathons on its wheel.

No, as an iphone carrying, app wielding geek it was the passing mention of “tech and collaboration” that got me excited. Burried somewhere was a statement by the author discussing a ‘distinctly creepy’ practice at Goldman Sachs, that of checking your voicemail at all times.

This got me thinking: could a vocal-twitter be the next killer app?

Now, before you split your sides in laughter I do realize that voicemail is an age old invention. In fact, I still have an answering machine connected to my home phone number (yes, I even have a landline), but no ever leaves a message!

You see, earlier in my career I was a fresh-faced, loyalty-card carrying, world-trotting consultant. Every morning I checked my Octel mailbox just to hear the voice of my fearless leader directing me to my next mission. As an ex-rugby player it hurts me to say this, but it was like Charlie directing his Angels. And I kind of miss that.

Since then, we’ve moved away from Octel and I now have to suffer through streams of “Corporate Newsletters” and soulless conference calls. Can’t someone invent a twitter like application that allows people to send out 30-second messages in a twitter-like fashion to a group of people!?

Sales teams can use it to send out Quick Market Intelligence updates (or sales leads in non-consultant speak). Marketing teams can send out the latest offers to customers. Managers can send brief instructions to their teams. It could be the ultimate showdown in the modern battle between brevity and verboseness.  I would happily admit that ever since I started tweeting my attention span is no longer than that of a three-year old on speed. So please my techie bretheren, I urge you to heed this call to arms and bring on the vwitter!

Note to wife: No this isn’t the same as sending voice notes on your BBM.