Groups SMS is in vogue at the moment as there are lots of services popping up. These services all have the main purpose, sending a group of people or your contacts a message they can access on their phone, and being able to reply to the group or sender…but these services do differ in the details.
Some have a web and mobile web presence (even a social network), some you can send text via a webform or email, and even send and receive text by RSS, email or IM.
Some of these services are more leader to group (one to many) one way communication, whereas some are many to many, eg. one to group (or contacts) or group to group (or contacts) SMSing, and replying.
Some have group voicemailing, and there are a few that have a Text-In information service.
NOTE: There are plenty of to-do, task, note, reminder services that send/receive SMS messages (eg. imified), I have chosen to not include these as this list would go forever.
Ideally this post could do with a comparison chart, a la Marshall’s post on TechCrunch…any takers?
Here we go…
Jaiku - re-syndicate your blog posts, bookmarks, latest photos, etc…into a presence stream, the strength of this stream is that it allows you to post and receive content on the go.
Post to the public stream on the web or mobile web, what about by SMS or email (phone) for those of us who think the mobile web is pricey.
Add contacts to see a stream of content from a set of people…this is not the same as a group.
See the mobile version, has presence location and more.
Since they have a mobile version you can look at the latest posts from one of your contacts, but I’d like to be notified of this, perhaps by SMS like Twitter.
Twitter - one of the most creative but staying simple (less is more).
Post to a public stream from the web, IM or SMS, and receive alerts by web, IM and SMS.
Add contacts to see a stream of content from a set of people…this is not the same as a group.
Unlike Jaiku it has private messages (not by SMS though), which is a plus otherwise people may use it as chat rather than thoughts, I expand on this on my post on Twitter Tips and Tricks.
Twitter also permanently lets you limit updates to just friends, I guess this means your posts would not be on the public page (add friends are invite-only)…the next step would seem to be formal Twitter groups, but then you would hope it wouldn’t become chat.
Both Jaiku and Twitter have people search, I do like that when I’m viewing a user page in Twitter (unlike Jaiku), I can see thumbnails that link to people they are following, I found a few like people to subscribe to this way.
When you view a user on Twitter it shows you their stream, and you can also see another stream including who they follow as well.
I do like I can post and receive updates by IM, this is the simple winning feature for me, plus you can also send/receive by SMS. What about send (and perhaps receive) by email?
TwitterPost, Twitterific, Twapp, Twitter Submitter, Twitteroo, and Twidget are other ways to get updated and to post to Twitter.
And if your phone provider allows you to use IM on your phone (for $5 a month like mine), then you can IM from your phone, and save money on SMS’g.
nowthen - it’s like Twitter, but more richer as you post photo’s with captions.
Loopnote - one to many web based alert system within a social network, people can browse around and subscribe themselves by RSS, email, IM, SMS…you can’t seem to post by SMS as of yet, it is currently limited to a webform or email.
You can still post on the go as it has email posting, if your mobile phone has email, then your set.
This doesn’t have formal groups, people simply subscribe to your Loop…this is similar to Jaiku and Twitter in a way as it is up to the audience to subscribe themselves, of course you can send them an invitation, but it’s not a closed group so to speak.
You can also delay posts to publish in the future.
Jyngle - one to many closed alert system, this is a true group SMS service. You can also send group voice messages.
From the webform post an SMS, upload an audio file, record a message or text to voice.
From your phone send an SMS, dial a number and record a voicemail.
Receive alerts just by SMS or voicemail.
moblabber - also see here.
Similar to a web based social network like Loopnote, subscribe to a group and receive new content by SMS, reply to messages (not sure if this is to all), and send a private message. Also has a mobile web version.
mixd - Many to many SMSing, set up or join groups and from your mobile phone send text or photos/videos, you can reply to all the group or just to one person.
Not sure if you can also SMS a contact list instead of a formal group.
UPDATE: mixd is no longer.
Zemble - send an SMS to your contacts list from the web, people can reply to all or just to the sender. Every Zemble you send needs a title, this title becomes part of an email address eg. email@example.com, this means you can send an email from your phone, which in turn will send an SMS to the list of people attached to that Zemble.
There are also Zemble groups (private or public).
txtGroups - create a private/public group to send an SMS to multiple from your phone…you can also send from the web, a widget or IM. It doesn’t say if people can reply, but it does give a great scenario of a teacher SMS’g students that class has been cancelled.
Scribe.it - create/join groups, and reply to all
Joopz - send a message from the web or web-enabled device to SMS (web history or conversations) to a friend or contacts, also send to a group…people can reply to only all (not sure if this is by SMS or web-enabled phone), or course you can reply from the web. You can toggle to receive messages on the web or SMS.
Mozeo - send an SMS to a group, reply by SMS to all only.
They also have TxtCast, where you can SMS a message and whoever decides to subscribe to it can receive it by SMS, you can find users to subscribe to on the website.
Swarmit - one to many system (except for replies), invite people by email or SMS, send a message from the web, email or phone to a group, people can reply to the group…the receivers can choose to receive the message as an email, IM, or SMS. All messages, replies and contacts are available on the web.
3jam - send an SMS from your phone to your contacts and they can reply to all only…you can also do this from the web.
hotxt - SMS contacts and groups (reply to all), via the web or mobile enable web only
vixo - basically you set up an SMS alert, people subscribe, and receive your alerts by SMS (not sure about replies).
ipipi - send/receive an SMS to/from a phone or the web, you can CC: email yourself. Recipients can reply to only you, you will receive this on your phone or look on the web.
PartySynch - create a group SMS/MMS to the group, members can reply to the group only. You also have a web presence, so you can do this from the web, just find the Group page and send a message…you also have your own user space where you can send a message to a friend. Also text people at local venues and events.
Mobloco - mobile-enabled event based service…the main aim is for users to RSVP, tag and post events.
Zingku - Store and share photo’s from your phone to the web, set your web page to send you SMS reminders, gather a big crowd & their friends with txt messaging, IM, and email, all at once! (sounds like Swarmit), SMS poll with your friends, make mobile flyers where friends can get one by SMS’g a number, and RSS to SMS.
One of the things you can do with the RSS to SMS feature is allow people to text a number to get updates to your blog feed by SMS. They can also IM a buddy contact for the latest updates from your blog.
Similar services below are 4info and Msgme (the difference with Zingku is that the subscriber can create their own number).
winkSITE - mobile social network in general
Groovr - a mobile social network where you can SMS your presence, or SMS your location (check in), locate your friends last check in, comment on a place, check in back home, create and check in to a private place.
Shout Outs are broadcasted to all of your friends who are currently checked into locations.
Widgets so people know your Groovr location from other sites, eg. blog sidebar.
Also has groups or should I say Groops.
FriendsTribe - send an SMS to the system to: locate your friends, your friends to locate you, send a message to your friends (even limit to friends a certain distance from you), send an SMS to groups you create (not sure on replies), SMS for info on a venue, store photo’s (sounds very similar to Groovr). Also check out a gallery of photo’s, and info that has taken part around a venue or event.
Wadja - a mobile social network where users can send SMS messages to their friends list. Users also get an SMS when a comment or message is sent to them. You can also upload photo’s, video and audio. Wadja can be viewed on the web, but it has a mobile web view.
I like this, it’s like YouTube, Flickr and Evoca in the one service, but for the mobile enabled web…most of these services already have a mobile version, so the only real benefit is that they are combined into one, but then again a combo deal is not for everyone.
Treemo is similar but it doesn’t have SMSg friends or groups.
Hobnobster is a mobile social network, a user profile is simply their interests, so it kind of makes it a “meet people” service, you can send an SMS from the web.
Imthere - is an event based service, not unlike Mobloco and others
sms.ac - a phone social network that is presented as a start page…you get everything: friends, comments, inbox, music, video’s, photo’s, classmates, interests, send SMS, get SMS alerts, blogging…it seems you can add other widgets as well. So it is kind of like a widget start page within a mobile social network.
Socialight - location blogging within a social network (also mobile version), basically every blog post has to be about a location, beside your blog post is a map with a sticky note. This way you can look at the general web map, and check out the sticky notes from all users at a given location. They also have channels. (I think this is how it works). Use the mobile web version or by SMS or email (send sticky notes via your phone, SMS/email your location to find sticky notes, SMS email your location).
Flagr - similar to Socialight, location texting, friends can locate you, etc…
earthcomber - a mobile web enabled location service, as well as a social network as you can find people by interest (not really an SMS based service)…also see enpresence, mysaki, pinppl (not a location service), playtxt, sensor (not a location service),
SLAM - mobile enabled web or SMS, where you can share photo’s, send a txt to a group (not sure if reply to all), find location of friends…the group feature is many to many in the way that you can create a collection of photos website.
Loopt - Find your friends in real-time on a mobile phone map (like Jaiku), SMS a group, share your status, get alerts when friends are nearby, find events and places around you and lots, lots more.
Send an SMS to a friend or multiple people from your contacts list (here you can select individuals or groups), this will also be received in the Loopt web inbox…you can also send a message from your Loopt web.
Not sure whether these groups are formal groups, or just a group a person has made from their contacts, ie. if I add someone to the group, will this automatically be added for all other members in the group.
dodgeball - send an SMS to your contacts list which will include your location (also has a web version), be notified of contacts within a location. Reply to all or just sender.
Jambo - is also a location based service, but more focused on opportunities, you can also form groups.
They’ve also added SMS alerts notifying users when a new friend request, message, or comment comes in.
buddyPing - Not sure about the group features, but you can text them to find a location of your friends, they also have a widget for your blog that displays your location, and allows people to text you, similar to oTxt.
WhoAt - SMS the service for who is in an area so you can chat, or see which friends are nearby…the website doesn’t really explain much…also use it from the web.
Mates - location based service that texts you when your buddies are near by.
SMS2email - send an SMS to be received as an email, see here…handy if your mobile phone doesn’t have email.
Also works the other way with email to SMS.
Bulk message to a distribution list of up to 1,000,000 mobile numbers…create the distribution list via a CSV file.
They also offer textback (a Text-In service), which is a number people can SMS eg. if you are holding a competition and don’t want loads of people SMSing your personal number.
TextMarks - set up a SMS message…people text your keywordID to the number 41411 and read the SMS message, and they can respond (also has a web profile, but doesn’t show an archive of the messages)…great for restaurant specials of the day.
Publishers can also push messages to subscribers.
Update a widget on your blog from your mobile phone
This got me thinking if there are any SMS auto-responders.
I’d like to see another option where the updates people get by SMS are actually your blog feed, see Zingku, and 4info and Msgme below.
Texticate - similar to TextMarks but more business oriented, with lots of management features.
4info - similar to TextMarks, where people can receive the latest by texting a number, it also can do RSS to SMS like Zingku. The only difference is that TextMarks is broadcasting a message made from within TextMarks, whereas 4info allows a publisher to enable their readers to get content from the service of their choice by SMS. In this respect you could choose to get the RSS feed from News search engine results as an SMS.
msgme - similar to TextMarks, people can SMS a keyword to 67463 to receive messages you have posted…also has subscription option (scheduled messages) where people can be pushed SMS alerts…also has group messages, polls, you can discover msgme keywords on the website eg. astrology, etc…make your own. Like Zingku and 4info you can enter your RSS feed so people can read your content on their phone by entering a keyword to 67463.
Zinadoo - create a mobile blog (not a mobile version of your blog, but create a blog at Zinadoo which is mobile friendly…not sure how long this will last till your normal blog providers enable a mobile version as a feature).
Other features are a web address book, send an SMS to your contacts from the web, like TextMarks and the others you can create a Text-In service..a dial for information service.
The Text Alert Service allows you to set up an alert site (similar to Loopnote) , people subscribe, and receive your alerts by SMS (many to one…not sure if they have replies). They also have a mobile poll service.
Mildly related is Tumblr, a no frills blog with mobile posting, but has no SMS updates…LetMeParty is more focused SMS blogging.
Crickee - free SMS from your mobile or the web
oh, don’t forget - send multiple people a text message from the web, even date stamp it to publish in the future.
peekamo - send/receive text messages to individuals and groups from the web, and reply (to group only) to messages from your phone by including a peekamo ID. Other features are scheduled messages, reminders, SMS forawrding, also meet others who share the same interests and browse the directory eg. astrology texts, etc…
freemobilesms - send an SMS from a webform for free
SMSalias - send SMS from your PC, receives SMS you back and you receive it in your email.
Tex2 - install it on your mobile and then text others (who also have it installed it) for a fraction of the cost…it seems this service does nothing new but make texting cheaper.
SMSzilla - send SMS from the web to contacts of a group, has an address book, SMS reminders, archive SMS’s
Kiboze - send an SMS to Kiboze and your IM buddies will receive it by IM or SMS…you can also send an SMS to a group.
Parlis - an IM (online status) service, and also share files, seems like most IM services, but it also allows you to send an SMS to a buddy from the web.
Tjat - mobile IM (no downloading)…phone to phone, web to phone.
3 - mobile IM (Yahoo! Messenger and MSN Messenger)
Pheeder - Call Pheeder and leave a message, seconds later all your friends or contacts will instantly receive a text message alerting them that you’ve left a new voice message on your pheed and they can call in to retrieve that message whenever they want. Then they can reply to your message, or forward the message on to their own pheed. All this is available on the web, as it is also a social network
Evoca - an audio social network where you can upload soundbites via your phone or the web, not sure if people who subscribe to you can get updated on their phone.
Yodio - similar to Evoca but you get to accompany your soundbite with captions, video and photo’s.
wattpad - a mobile social network based on texts, it’s kind of like a generic social blog network.
Pitch - a personalised WAP page, upload and share content and send messages and chat to friends.
Pinger - send a voicemail to a person or multiple people in your contacts.
FunkyCall - upload audio bites, share/rate/favorite/comment on items, and then send them to your friends mobile phone. Basically a free call-out service for sending pre-recorded phone calls.
Jott - call a special number, leave a voice message, and Jott will turn it into text and SMS or email you…you can also send a voicemessage to multiple people.
fring - mobile web-based service allows you to IM and VOIP call
mobiluck - download the software to your phone, then turn on bluetooth to detect nearby mobilucks, send messages, photo’s, video, audio for free without needing a phone number. When you receive a bluetooth message you can reply to sender. Send mobiluck profiles…a lot more coming soon.
PlaySMS - download your own system to do what you want with SMS
Some mobile social network services concentrate just on mobile media, ie. either mobile-enabled web or allow you to email or MMS mobile photo’s, video, audio to the web:
Flukiest, PixPulse, JuiceCaster, Veeka, Nakama (also has video), Cellblock (also has video), Pickle (also has video), nowthen (mentioned earlier), abazab (also has video), snapfish, fotochatter, radar (also has video), twango (audio, photo and video) and MyTago…I also mentioned Yodio above.
Not sure if these services will survive, as your normal web services like Flickr and YouTube enable you to upload a photo by email, if your phone has email then you can upload photos to the web on the go (actually YouTube uploads via MMS).
Don’t forget that some of these services as well as SMS or instead of SMS allow to send or receive content via email, if your phone has email this is OK, but all is not lost as Flurry is a free email for your phone.
RSS to SMS
Without the publisher provided RSS to SMS of 4info and Msgme we could try the below…a Zingku number can be created by a subscriber (not technically publisher provided).
eg. you may have any RSS feed, from a blog, from a social network where you can post your own content, from a personal note or to-do service, from an IM to RSS service, from an edge feed or standalone feed like publi.sh (these are both the same thing, basically a feed without a HTML interface), etc…
All you need to do is run it through ZapTXT (do not filter with a search term) to promote it. Then point friends to your ZapTXT task, where they can join and clone it (create a Zaptask) and get it delivered via SMS. Since Rasasa doesn’t have public pages, you would have to send the feed URL to your friends, where they would then join Rasasa and enter this feed (do not filter with a search term) and get SMS delivery.
OK here’s some more mobile phone type tools:
txtms - create a virtual business card with details and a photo, people can access it by sending an SMS with your user ID to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call wave - voicemail-to-email forwarding
GoToMsg - Lets you schedule text messages to be sent to your email or cell phone.
Gotvoice - converts voicemails into audio files
Spinvox - converts voicemails to text
Phonifier - see a mobile friendly webpage
rminder - send yourself reminder SMS and voicemails
decode, ShotCode, BeeTagg, and MyTago - camera phone barcode decoding service.
Tiggdo - mobile startpage
Mobile networks are on the rise, see Social Communities Go Mobile: 174 Million Members Forecasted by 2011.
160 characters - an SMS and mobile messaging association
And watch out for “The Swarm” (conceived by RMIT - that’s where I did my library studies in Melbourne), this goes beyond the idea of an SMS auto-responder (someone SMS’s you and receives an SMS of your status…this could be costly, unless some web service picked up the bill).
Anyway it seems the idea of “The Swarm” is a mobile social network (so I guess you need a web-enabled phone), nothing new, but the focus is that you display your current status or activity or send your current status…I suppose Jaiku and Twitter are a bit like this, but this is more focused on your status. I’m sure it is more than this, but this is what I can see it doing…
[ADDED: 8/5/07: iotum Talk-Now is a mobile web presence indicator]
MoSoSo stands for mobile social software, referring to either laptops or web enabled phones, the basic features are finding people of interest, finding people within a proximity…see more.
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