Asynchronous conversations

Ajit Jaokar posted about voicemail being the future.

He suggested that rather than leaving one you would send one.

The person that pointed me to this post Tomi Ahonen has written reams on why voice mail is dead in the water so why would this suddenly become the future?

It got me thinking too!

Most people feel awkward leaving voicemails as they are expecting to speak to a person and for conversation to flow naturally – leaving voicemails feels forced and pressured.

We accept asynchronous communication in email and SMS so why not send a voicemail. It’s less intrusive than ringing someone when they might be busy.

Sending a voice mail may give you the chance to compose your thoughts before speaking and allow you to convey more and quicker than texting or emailing.


A lot of people don’t listen to their voicemails EVER…

People want instant: in the old days I’d wait weeks for letters to come now I am impatient if an email doesn’t get responded too in minutes.

So I  think it may have a use but the users will be in the minority – this is niche market not the future of telephony.


I got a response from Ajit saying not to think  of voicemail as it is now but how it might be if someone applied some disruptive thinking.

So let’s change the name – call it  Voice Messaging or VMS

Let’s assume we won’t be getting the service from the Telcos but in some other way.

I can see the attraction in areas where connectivity is poor or it is too noisy to listen.

I can see how it allows you to convey more, quicker and easier than writing an email.


And here’s the clincher for me I still think it’ll have a hard time supplanting SMS and MMS which offer a robust, discrete and immediate service that users can take or leave.  Plus MMS will allow you to send voice and video.

I am happy to be convinced otherwise but for now I think Tomi can safely do his SMS dance….


2 thoughts on “Asynchronous conversations

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