Thursday, June 24, 2010

SMS on Steroids

By: Alon Cohen

I am sure any one of us at some point or another tried coordinating a dinner or movie with few friends. Using e-mail it is relatively simple, you send a note to a group of people and hope that everyone will use “reply –all” and that the meeting time and place will converge.

However, in this day and age, kids want to do the same using SMS. Normally you can send messages to few people at once but the concept of “reply-all” has not made it yet to SMS specifically since SMS has a “from” field of only one caller ID.

The team at decided that there is a way around it and concocted this unpublished unnamed tool that does just that and still is in alpha.

The tool enables you to create an SMS Conference (few to few) with a group where each participant can choose to see accept messages from all the others and can respond to all. The nice thing is that you do not need a special smart phone, it is wad made so cleverly that any SMS device will work. In addition, it is free.

Here is how to use it at your own risk:

To initiate a bridge you need to text to 1-973-577-6378 a list of numbers and corresponding names:

Number 1 Name1 Number2 Name2 …..(and so on)

Use this EXACT format for the phone numbers: 1xxxyyyzzzz

Use one name for each person (with no spaces in the name)

The bridge will respond on with different caller ID that will be your bridge number that you can name and keep in your address book.

Participants will have to accept a request to join before receiving any messages from the bridge.

Once on the bridge you can send “help”, to find out about few more options like how to add or remove people, how to mute people and some other fun features.

Please try it but know this: it is addictive, specifically for family members with teenagers, for students on vacation that want to keep contact and arrange parties or a movie time.

It is not that easy to start, and I know may fix it if people will ask.

It is not twitter, as the messages are not public, it is more like a mobile chat room but different in the sense that any phone can use that without any application download.

Let me know what you think.