Sunday, April 13, 2008

Free Conference Calling - The World Gets Smaller

Passover is coming up this weekend - organizing our family from three different locations is really challenging, and there are lots of decisions and logistics involved. My son Zach suggested a conference call, and it worked beautifully. It did take three tries for us to settle on a time, but the service itself is free. The calls to freeconference are not free, but if you have unlimited long distance there's no charge. Since our conference was on Sunday, there were no cell phone charges, either. First we used MeetingWizard to confirm people's availability for the call. (It's free, too). This simple system works really well for finding a mutually free time for your call, provided of course that people respond.
Then I set up a free account at FreeConference. They email each participant a call-in number and code, and voila! Each caller's arrival is greeted with a chime. So Washington, Philadelphia, and Middletown all got to chat for 20 minutes or so - going over shopping lists, to-do items, calendars, plans. Way more efficient than each person just knowing their piece of the whole story.
Yay for technology! Last week I got to see my new great-nephew and his very tired but delighted parents via skype.
When I was a kid we went to the Museum of Science and Industry. One of their signature exhibits was a Vision Phone. Pretty amazing that I've lived to see it.

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