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.