SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Archive for March, 2009

G1 battery … FAIL

Posted by Admin on March 25, 2009

I’ve ranted about this before … but for God’s sake!!! I mean what’s the point of having the damn phone if it’s not going to work for longer than a day – or actually even as long as day.

So I charged the phone over night last night and then took it off with me to my day of meetings. I don’t use voice on it as I know the battery can’t cope. But I did check how to get to the meeting, catch up with my email when I could to see if I was missing anything and do a little bit of browsing – but I turned the phone off when I was in my meetings intentionally to save battery life. So now at about 8pm (about 12 hours after I set off) it has died on me.

What a pile of crap!

Fortunately I don’t need it right now and can probably survive without it until I get to a charger – but come on! Why should I have to manage my consumption like that.

Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, oh … and RUBBISH!

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Posted in Annoying, Handsets | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish

Posted by Admin on March 14, 2009

That was one of the first comments on a bittersweet post on Mobile Industry Review. Bittersweet because it is a successful way to monetise the site for Ewan, but it deprives us the regular readers of the insight and opinion, the gossip and videos and the all round great resource for mobile related stuff that MIR was.

As you’d expect on a post as earth shattering as this there have been a number of comments. Most of them have been people just wanting to express sadness at losing the site as a resource and with Ewan and the team good luck. But some have verged on the angry – which is a shame.

What a lot of the comments have highlighted are two key questions – which I’m not going to try and answer here. The first is how to make money from a blog. If a site like MIR can’t generate enough sponsorship to keep it afloat then what hope is there? MIR had a hugely loyal readership and also a huge readership of people that mattered in mobile. On top of that the quality of the articles and videos put many ‘professional’ sites to shame. Yet still the advertising model wasn’t working.

The other question, and a slightly more philosophical one, is who owns a blog. Several comments have been made on the article that suggest that Ewan shouldn’t have made this decision as he’s letting people down, as if MIR was some sort of public broadcasting. I’m afraid I don’t subscribe to that view at all. The blog was Ewan’s to do what the hell he likes with. The man’s got to eat and as readers we should just be grateful that he was generous enough with his time (and so were Ben, Dan, James and all the other contributors) for so long.

For me, it’s going to be a shame to see it go. It was a regular source of news for me (and sometimes a source of news for this blog). It was also a way to plug into the community as reading some of the comments and discussions was almost as important as the articles themselves. I was even lucky enough to be able to write a few pieces a while ago.

But now the time has come, so as ollysk2 said so eloquently in the comments – “So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish.”

Posted in Industry | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

No charity in mobile as club turns to SMS for survival

Posted by Jon Russell on March 9, 2009

The weekend saw Darlington FC, of England’s League Two, adopt an innovative form of fund raising in a bid to avoid administration and a potentially crippling points deduction next season.

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Fans of the club, which needs to raise an estimated £300,000 to survive the rest of the season, have created an SMS donation service to increase awareness of the club’s situation and help it pull through. 

Sky Sports News reports that “players, management and all other staff at the football club were not paid during February and a wage deferral scheme is now being discussed with the administrators.”

To help support The Quakers, as the club is known, would be donors should text ‘GL SAVEDFC’ to 87070. The SMS will cost around £1.50 with around 95p going to the club’s survival fund.

The real news here is that the middleman fee is as significant as a one-third (55p of £1.50). The campaign is an excellent idea in theory but in practice donations are best received from more traditional channels that avoid service costs.

Surely, in the name of saving an 125 year old, historic club on the brink of extinction, the companies handling the service could be a little more charitable?

The publicity of the campaign could help promote the mobile donation service to a wider audience and potential customers, instead the club loses one-third of all donations made by the SMS service.

Sadly the companies involved are unknown to us at this stage so no naming and shaming.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

10 things you didn’t know you could do via text

Posted by Admin on March 4, 2009

There’s a great post over on Technokitten’s blog (inspired by one from Mobile Maven) about the various different things that you can do via text message – aside from sending a note to a friend.

Many people in the industry forget that the humble text message is an incredibly important tool for two main reasons. The first is the ubiquitous nature of it – ‘everyone’ uses text messaging and there is no learning curve or education to go through with regards to a new service on text. Even my mum regularly occasionally sends me texts and would be happy to use relevant SMS-based services.

For me, I use SpinVox all the time (or at least as often as people leave a message) and if I’ve got any niggling questions  to be answered then I drop AQA63336 a message and am certain to get back an astute or humourous (or both) response. I also, as Technokitten points out, really like it when people use text messages for customer care – telling me a delivery is on the way, letting me know that a cab has been dispatched, that kind of thing.

One of the other uses that I’ve seen around a lot, but haven’t used yet, is creating a ‘real’ social network of your friends or colleagues for important and immediate updates – eg sports teams confirming the kick-off time, or that the venue has moved. The kind of service that allows many-to-many messages to be sent and received easily and intuitively. I also think that the use of SMS in helping me to automate my life will grow – eg allowing me to turn on my heating as I’m on the train home etc.

Have a full read of the original post and comments here.

Posted in Texts work | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »