If you were paying attention a few days ago, Yahoo! recently combined SMS with RSS to bring updates of favorite websites to your mobile device on a text message. I set up the service myself, to find that the execution was a bit rough around the edges. It is in Beta right now, which is industry lingo for “it still may suck, but we’re working on it”.
After posting the Yahoo! news, I received a comment from the developer of ZapTXT. These guys do the same thing Yahoo! did, only better. SMS + RSS is ZapTXT’s only game, whereas Yahoo! is trying to play defense, offense, special teams, cheerlead, mascot, and commentator.
My issues with Yahoo!’s new alert system was lack of information. I would receive a text message from a generic Yahoo! address. The body of the message contained only 120 characters of text. I had no idea which website was updated. I was simply informed that one of my registered RSS enabled websites were updated, and given the first 120 characters.
Yahoo!, this is useless. I registered more than 20 blogs and websites in that Yahoo! alert account. Each time I get a message, I have to surf each website to see which is the one that sent me the feed.
That problem is eliminated with ZapTXT. You are given 7 characters to name each of your feeds! Not only that, you can turn off late night messages, so that the 4am blogger doesn’t wake you up when posting to his “what I do at night when everyone sleeps” blog.
I admit it, I have since disabled my Yahoo! feeds and set up an account with ZapTXT for my RSS + SMS needs. You can also have the feeds emailed to you, but that’s just not as sexy as SMS, am I wrong?