November 13, 2008

Google solves the travel expense problem

Posted in Industry Standards, Social Media tagged at 9:04 am by R

Yesterday I was out of the office from 9:30-12:30 and again from 1:15-3:00.

I had plenty of meetings, but didn’t get a lot done. Oh, and I used plenty of gas zipping around the Valley of the Sun.

Then something magical happened. Gmail debuted video & voice chat — que the angels singing. This wonderful little add on is so user friendly and cool! But more importantly, it makes what still seems like space age technology highly accessible.

I got the chance to test out Gchat Video with a colleague, Len Gutman of Valley PR Blog.

(By the way, Len, great paint choice for your office.)

Here’s how I describe it…

Remember that scene in Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion when Michelle dreams about what happens at the reunion; Michelle is successful, she even invents a formula for glue, she and Romy win the “most improved” award, become arch enemies and eighty years later Michelle calls Romy who is on her death bed — via video phone — and Romy gives her the bird and croaks?

Well GChat video is like that…but it’s not a dream…and no one has flipped me off yet.

On a professional level I hope communicators utilize this remarkable tool. Now that video technology has become more common place, people can consider it a viable option for hosting meetings.

With gas prices still high and time as precious as ever, video meetings make perfect sense. It eliminates travel (time) and increases flexibility…and it saves paper, don’t print out agendas, just send ’em on over as an attachment. That being said there are certainly times when only a face-to-face meeting will do. But for a host of others, this option is superb.

I’m very excited to see this catch on and hopefully increase my productivity and decrease the gas I’m using to get to client meetings.

Big fan of that.