A few days ago, Yahoo! Announced RSS features incorporated into their email service. That’s great news for the few people who know and use RSS feeds. But, the aim is teach and tell the world that RSS is your friend.
SMS text messaging on the other hand is established, understood, and used by almost all. Hey, my mom replied to a text message I sent her, she’s in her mid 50’s I mean, she looks 28 tho (hi mom).
So Yahoo! has decided that meshing the two together would be a nice means to get RSS into the public’s eye. SMS meet RSS, WTH, OMG, BRB!
What do all these 3 letter acronyms mean? RSS means: the moment a website is updated, you are somehow notified. SMS, that’s the technology we use to send text messages. Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and Short Message Service (SMS) together sound like a great idea. So I tried it out!
Setting up the feed was not so tough, I chose to have my mobile phone alerted when LIVEdigitally.com was updated. I also stuck some of my personal friends’ blogs in there for a test of how the phone handled feeds from multiple sites.
A few clicks, copys, pastes, saved changes, and I was ready to RSS via SMS. The first 120 characters of the feed are sent to your device. After about 10 minutes, I got three different RSS feeds sent to me via Yahoo!! I was so excited to see which websites had been updated.
Upon looking at the text message, I could only see that Yahoo! sent me the text, and the first 120 characters in the newly updated post. I had no clue who wrote it, or where to go in order to finish the rest of the story. I may have my alert settings fumbled, or there’s something wrong with this beta release.
Yahoo! has a great idea, but there’s a small chink in the chain. I see this as a long jump in the right direction. I was trying to get some sort of RSS reader onto my phone, with no third party luck. Thanks Yahoo! keep up the good work.
RSS to SMS is a great idea. I’ve been playing with this technology for the last several months. At the time I couldn’t find any decent RSS to SMS tools so I wrote one myself (zaptxt.com). At first I had exactly the same problem you did – I would get an update but I would have to search for the original post, plus I was getting way too many alerts, so I enhanced my application by introducing keyword filters and frequency/schedule of alerts. I was able to specify, for example, that I only want alerts when a certain word/phrase appears in the title and only between 8AM and 10PM. In addition I began storing links to to the posts that generated my alerts, so later I could just login and see all of the alerts that were sent to me with the link to the original posts.
I also added a few SMS commands, one of them allows me to turn all (or one) alerts off from my cell. It’s great in situations when you’re not at your computer and you’re getting way too many alerts and all you want is to turn them off. I would appreciate if you could check out zaptxt.com and let me know what you think.
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