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.

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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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