While there is a lot of excitement about mobile apps and online communication channels, the truth is that the only universal data channel is good old SMS. Once in a while, a great idea comes up that utilises this old, but ubiquitous technology to get things done.
Trombone by Timba Objects is one such idea. It is a service that let’s a group create a channel to which everyone can subscribe to receive updates via SMS. Because it runs on SMS, it works with any kind of mobile phone – dumb, smart, or smarter.
How It Works
1. Create a Channel for your channel
In my case, I wanted to create a channel called “Mobility”. To do that, I composed an SMS with this as content: “create #mobility”
You can replace “mobility” there with the name of the channel that you want to create. Send to: +447797880420.
After sending those instructions, I received an SMS shortly after notifying me that the channel #mobility has been created.
2. Get people to subscribe to your channel
To get people to subscribe to your channel, ask them to send “subscribe #channelname” to +447797880420.
That means to subscribe to Mobility’s Trombone channel, you will send “#mobility” to +447797880420. Do it now! You will receive a response that you have now been subscribed, and you will be able to receive updates from the Mobility team via SMS, whether or not you have a data connection and regardless of the type of mobile phone you use.
3. To send out SMS updates
To send a message to the Mobility channel, for example, I would compose a text with the contents: ‘#mobility Mister Mo hanging out with friends 8pm Friday at GetArena!,” and send to: +447797880420. Everyone subscribed to the #mobility channel would receive a text message saying, “Mister Mo hanging out with friends 8pm Friday at GetArena!” Nifty.
Top Marks to Trombone
This has to be said: this is fantastic, and I see it catching on with time. There is nothing as robust and as ubiquitous as an SMS-based broadcast system. The service is still in beta, so if you run a service that needs to send out updates, you should create your Trombone channel right away.
It is simple and unrestricted. I hope that when the pricing is announced, it will be something comfortable.
Subscribe to #Mobility on Trombone!
Mobility’s Trombone channel is “#mobility”. Subscribe today by sending as SMS “#mobility” to +447797880420. We have great stuff lined up, including events and freebies.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.