A friend of mine recently introduced me to TextMarks. He knew that I loved twitter and he usually asked me the question, “but what useful things can you do with twitter?” From a networking solution, I’ve found twitter to be incredibly useful. However, I think that twitter is trail blazer… showing the world what micro-blogging looks like and it will be either a new evolution of twitter or another company that will do something absolutely amazing with it. As I use twitter, I think of all the cool things that I could do, but I’m not always convinced it will quite work.

For instance, I have known some people who desired to use twitter to keep parents or volunteers connected by offering daily or weekly information. The only problem? They have to sign up for twitter. They have to go online, create an account and elect for text messages. That’s too many steps for someone who may be interested but not convinced they really need it.

Then last week my friend sent me this site: TextMarks. It does very well what twitter doesn’t. It isn’t a replacement to twitter by any means, but if you’re wanting a group of people to follow your updates and you want it to be easy for them to sign up and start getting updates, then TextMarks is your solution. Simply send an email to the group you want to have receive text updates. Tell them to text the number 41411 and in the subject type “CMOtest” or whatever keyword you create. That’s it. Now they’ll being receiving text updates from you whenever you send them out. You can also put a widget like this on your web page:

This way they can actually see what the current message/status is and even sign up on the widget instead of signing up through their phone. So if you have a group of leaders you need to communicate with on a regular basis, use TextMarks. In your next meeting, have them pull out their phones and have them do it right then… it takes less that 20 seconds. You could use it for your parents of kids attending camp. Rather than sending out emails every day when finding a wireless signal is difficult, you can send out text alerts through TextMarks. Ever been way off on your arrival time and either got back to the church form camp long before parents arrived or long after? Use TextMarks to send travel updates, letting them know where you are and what the ETA is several times along the way.

If you want to check it out, feel free to visit their site. There are a lot of other things you can do with it as well. I haven’t jumped head first into this yet, but I do see many applications for this in the very near future. After I’ve been using this for a little while, I’ll post again on how well it has worked out.

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