Tech Tip: Text Blasts

TextMarks is a FREE service that allows you to create a subscription code via the TextMarks website www.textmarks.com so that anyone who text messages that code to the TextMarks number 41411 will subsequently be registered as a part of your distribution list. Then whenever you need to send out a text blast, everyone who has signed up will receive the messages you send.

This is a really useful service with lots of real-life applications, especially if you help coordinate medium-to-large groups of people during short-term events. Think disaster recovery situations (Sanjay?), church mission trips (Chuck?), big scavenger hunts, competitive events,...basically any event during which you may need to send out impromptu instructions or alerts.

The main concern I would have with a service like this is that my phone number might be text-SPAMed or war-dialed. But I've been using TextMarks for about 6 months now, and I haven't gotten any text-SPAM or solicitation calls. Still, the possibility exists, so keep an eye on the privacy policy.

But there is another concern, less dark, yet still scary: many-to-many text blasts. I've never tried this (because it sounds like a mess), but TextMarks also allows all of your participants to send blasts to the rest of the group too! Just imagine all of those awful email chains where everyone keeps "replying to all"...but it's happening on your phone!

But I have to admit, coordinating a week-long family reunion of 150 people with last minute instructions announced via text messaging is a pretty cool trick.

Tech Tips is written by Joshua de Koning, Josh is a good friend and is the Administrator at Lloyd, Gosselink, Rochelle & Townsend.