Posted February 25, 2008 12:01 pm by with 16 comments

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Have you ever wanted to actually speak to a blogger who’s blog you admire? You may be in luck, because Google’s blogging platform Blogger is being integrated with their VOIP phone service, GrandCentral.

Google bought the company last July and it’s been in private beta since. However, if you want to try the service now, you can get an account without an invitation. All you need is a Blogger account.

The idea behind GrandCentral is that you get one phone number for all of your phones. You can manage it yourself online and set rules for your phones (like set it to ring on your desk phone during business hours and then switch to your cell phone afterwards). Other features include letting you check voicemail online, block numbers, and record calls (this is what I need to use my account for).

There’s much more to the service, but the news today is that if you have a Blogger account, you can add a GrandCentral button to your sidebar. Then people can call you without knowing your phone number. You can screen the calls. My guess is that most bloggers would rather write than talk on the phone. I’m more likely to answer the phone if I’m billing someone for consulting (see Ether).

Currently you can add a button to any web page – like your eBay or Amazon listing, but I haven’t seen anyone use the service in this way yet. Now if I can just remember my login information, I should give GrandCentral another look.