Monday, April 23, 2007

SMS or dinosaur

A hyperbolic open letter about SMS. The thrust: if your business isn't leveraging SMS, you are going the way of the dinosaur.

Communities Dominate Brands: Letter to American Execs: Joining the future of communication, via SMS text messaging

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Alan Rudy said...

I'm surely a dinosaur... it strikes me that I generally have too little (of substance) to say at the level of immediacy/addiction/profitability implied by the EuroSMS snob to need or desire texting to anything like that extent.

All the technical and cost structure stuff the guy reviews is surely accurate but does anyone out there have a sense of the proportion of substantive communication (and, yes, I am dumping on rumor, gossip, etc.) sent by text?

Can we have a discussion of the extent to which any of us use SMS to increase the quality of our work in higher education?

Clay Spinuzzi said...

Yeah, I think SMS certainly has its place in the ecology of texts leveraged in and across organizations. But it's not currently a great medium for extended discussion or reflection, due to its constraints. One of those constraints is that there's no way to track SMS history.

One of the interesting things about cross-medium micromessage services (Twitter, Jaiku) is that these do provide a history as well as a distribution list. So they open up the potential of ambient awareness. (A status of "working on Project X" is potentially very useful for others working on Project X, for instance). They also open up the potential for conversations and arguments composed on the microlevel -- not terribly coherent in the composition, but perhaps useful in the aggregate. Here's an example in the form of narrative.

Clay Spinuzzi said...

Re SMS and higher education -- I'm primarily using SMS for the following:

* Calendaring and receiving events via Google Calendar
* Tracking my work tasks by posting them to Twitter
* Following a limited number of other academics' Twitters
* Receiving Facebook alerts
* Coordinating schedules with my wife (sometimes tricky with two academics)

I don't text other academics directly, and I doubt I will start soon. However, I might use Twitter or Jaiku to coordinate volunteers at SIGDOC. There's a lot of potential there, but it has to go beyond the rather simple uses described in the article I mentioned earlier.