Couple of thoughts about Texting

First off, these thoughts are related to the fact that I have the smallest text plan my carrier offers. I think it’s something like 200 texts per month, coming and going. I really don’t use it much, mostly to send my wife a quick note when one of us is mobile, or to send the occasional cell phone photo to Flickr. Given that I had a couple of text related thoughts this week.

I couldn’t help but notice that the radio station I listen to most of the time in the car, WWCD-101, has started doing many of their contests through texts. In order to win you have to text “some word” to them to be entered. Of course, I can only assume they are doing this, much as they did email a couple of years ago, as a way to collect addresses and send messages to their listeners.  Given that I need to stay under my monthly limit, I’m not interested in getting their marketing messages, or anyone’s, on my phone. Essentially, they’ve told me that unless I accept their text spam, I can’t win any contests. I’m tempted to tell them what they can do with their contests and their marketing.

Secondly, our firm uses MessageOne as an emergency email system, should our Exchange server ever go down. A couple of weeks ago, it did, and the system kicked in, sending a text message to alert us of the fact. Unfortunately, their default message is so long that the phone carrier broke it into 5 separate texts. That’s a lot. Luckily we don’t have Exchange outages often at all. If we did I’d have to switch to the other choice for notifications, a personal email account. Since we’re blocked from accessing any personal email accounts (web mail sites are blocked by default) while in the office, I don’t know what good that would do me. It’d only be effective when I’m not at work, when I really don’t care about the work email. Sometimes, technology just gets in it’s own way.

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