Posts Tagged «voice»

Today I discovered something pretty exciting, it’s a company that provides free conference calling. FreeConferenceCall.com runs with a prevalent business practice on the web, providing a free service that will hopefully persuade users to upgrade with additional for-pay features. Nonetheless their free conference calling is a great way to connect with a lot of people quickly and easily, without the investment.

FreeConferenceCall.com When testing the system, the only advertisement I noticed is an opening statement indicating that FreeConferenceCall.com is hosting the call. I was also surprised to learn that they support conference call recordings, and you can download the recording in .wav format.

It looks like some users were abusing the system because they require everyone to reregister every 120 days. If you’d rather have a 1-800 number they also support that for a fee.

If you’re looking a way to connect with a lot of business contacts or friends at once, this is it.

What they say: (excerpted from http://www.ventrilo.com)
Ventrilo 2.3.0 is the next evolutionary step of Voice over IP (VoIP) group communications software. Ventrilo is also the industry standard by which all others measure themselves as they attempt to imitate its features.

Phone Headset Button By offering surround sound positioning and special sound effects on a per user, per channel, per server or global configuration level the program provides each user the option to fully customize exactly how they wish to hear sounds from other users or events.

Ventrilo is best known for it’s superior sound quality and minimal use of CPU resources so as not to interfere with day to day operations of the computer or during online game competitions. It is also preferred for the simple user interface that any first time computer user can very quickly learn because the most commonly used features are immediately visible and can be activated with a single click of the mouse.

What the Viper Sez: my test of Ventrilo found it to be easy to install and use in its client mode. To set up your own server requires navigating through a clunky DOS based interface, but the instructions are pretty easy to follow. Best of all, this baby is FREE. Ventrilo sports higher ping rates, faster transmission, plus all the features you would expect from a typical VoIP solution. A binding a Push to Talk (PTT) key allows you to assign a spare mouse button, like your “back” button to keep noise down on your channel. But if you want the good old Darth Vader sound, use voice activation with your mic, that way you can taunt others with the rasp of each breath. Voice is near phone quality, and the fast transmission makes this software a premiere choice for first person shooter fans, who can’t afford lag in their communications.

Ventrilo’s claim of “minimal use of CPU resources” remains to be seen as some mid-level systems running high-level games may experience some performance issues. My system ran Ventrilo at the cost of 6,436k in vitrual memory. While this shouldn’t be an issue for most gaming rigs, remember to turn off virus scan during play.

Another fun feature in Ventrilo is its naming function. It allows you to phonetically type in the names of your channels and yourself. Your name is announced when you join the server for everyone already online to hear. The system also tells you what channel you’re in. The naming function is subject to abuse, the phonetics are limited only by your imagination.

The biggest part of what makes Google’s Adwords and Adsense platforms successful is their unobtrusiveness. They’ve managed to present advertising alongside relevant content in a way that isn’t distracting, and has the real possibility of adding value (link farms aside). And that’s a basic tenet, businesses must add value to ethically exist.

Speaker But along comes Mr. Sponsor who isn’t getting the kind of conversion rates he wants from text ads. Maybe he’s seeing lots of pageviews but no clicks, or maybe his cost per click is sky high for the keywords he’s interested in. Rather than innovating his online brand through adding quality content or virally marketing, he chooses to research alternative advertising. Still wanting to target the online surfing community he stumbles upon voice advertising.

“Look!” Mr. Sponsor says during usability testing “he stopped what he was doing to click on our talking person, it’s already working!” What Mr. Sponsor doesn’t realize though? The tester was trying to figure out how to mute the talking advertisement so he could concentrate on the body text he was reading, and his heart is beating fast because his speakers were turned up loud.

Voice advertising can certainly play a role in selling goods and services online, but my recommendation is for it to come alive later in the exploration process when the visitor is looking for more detailed information. It’s a big faux pas to blast a visitor with your any blatant sales pitch in the first 3 seconds. That said, with the right timing voice advertising on the web can be very effective in creating more conversions. Make sure it adds value.