There's strength in numbers.
And Google Voice - the controversial service that's put Google, Apple. AT&T and the Federal Communications Commission into recent headlines - is about to experience a growth spurt.
Until now, you could only become a Google Voice user through an invitation from Google, not people like me who are already Google Voice users. Now, Google is going to give guys like me - users who sing the praises of GV - the power to extend invitations to friends.
No, I don't have invitations to hand out yet. (So, please refrain from asking.) Google said in a blog post that the "Invite a Friend" will be rolled out to existing users. It didn't say how many invitations each user would receive. 5? 10? 100?
Google Voice, you'll recall, is a Web service that allows users to have one phone number for life and forward calls to that number to (almost) any landline or mobile phone number. Without a secondary number to route calls to, it's just a voice mail service.
Most recently, AT&T and lawmakers have called for the FCC to investigate Google Voice and the rules it must follow. Is it a telecommunications service or a Web service. This follows an FCC inquiry about the rejection-that-really-wasn't-rejected GV app for the Apple iPhone, which, of course, is powered by AT&T.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin, speaking about the government's Apps.gov initiatives and Washington's private Google cloud, said that the more familiar people in Washington are with Google's cloud apps, the more likely they are to shape policy that reflects that familiarity.
Sounds like a good time to send more invitations and get some folks in Washington - and elsewhere - equipped with an account.