I'm giving you ALL my phone number today!
or
"Why don't you put your money where your mouth is?"

I can't tell you how many times people have said something like this to me over the last couple of years. I got my Google Voice invitation around May or June of 2009, and I was instantly in love with the level of customization possible. I converted immediately. I gave every family member, every friend, and every business my Google Voice number, certain my new level of control would make managing my contacts a breeze -- and safe.

So far, I've been right. I sing the praises of Voice whenever it comes up in conversation. I've given my Google Voice number to strangers in bars, I've penciled it in on surveys that would normally give me pause, I've given it to bill collectors, crazy ex-boyfriends, and extended relatives I didn't actually want calling me. The spam and block controls make this easy.

I tell people, when trying to convert them, that I'd be comfortable putting my Google Voice number on a billboard. This is something I say all the time, without really considering it much -- after all, I don't have the money to buy a billboard ad and even if I did, I'm pretty sure I'd be buying more important things, like razors (seriously, twelve dollars for three cartridges? What kind of society is this?!).

Last night, I got called out on my evangelism. Google Voice came up in conversation with someone who complains constantly about wanting to block certain numbers on his phone (he upsets girls frequently, but that's none of our business, G+). The billboard comment flew right out of my mouth, but this time it was met with, "Oh yeah? Aren't you, like, followed by ten thousand people on Google?"

It was clear what had to be done.

I'm going to prove to my friend (and to everyone else I've said this to) that I'm comfortable enough with Google Voice to put my number on a "billboard."

(281) 940-4786

There it is. I'm going to add it to my About Me section, too.

You can share my number with as many people as you like.

If you call, I'll answer if I can. If I can't, you can leave me a message. I can't promise to call you back, but I can promise to post about you if you leave a message that's interesting enough.

If anyone abuses this and spams my phone or acts like a psycho, I'll just block you.

This is an experiment, so you can be sure I'll be updating about how this goes.

If you're trying to convert your friends or family to Google Voice, hopefully my experiment here will help you make a good case! After all, if you can confidently give your phone number to 10,000 people on the Internet (knowing they can share it with anyone), then you know the controls are good enough for everyday, normal use.

Worst case scenario? I pay $10 and change my #GoogleVoice number.

Best case scenario? I make some new friends!
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