Getting in Touch with my Phone

No, not getting in touch with people with my phone but getting to know my smart-phone more intimately. My first mobile phone was a Motorola flip-phone, analog, no gizmos, cost 1000 bucks and when the LED’s started to fail 3 years later I was told it couldn’t be fixed so I tossed it. My nurse recently convinced me to get a Samsung Galaxy note3 and in spite of myself I have been loading it up with apps (including Twitter and Facebook) and links to various web-sites. Now I here about the Russians hacking all my passwords!Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 3.17.32 PM

A few thoughts about the platforms I explored this week especially looking at their connectivity with my phone:

1. CrowdMap; a combination of Twitter and FourSquare lets more than one person work on a project together and gives a visual guide to each person’s location. Runs well on Chrome but I couldn’t get it to run on Safari.

2. Verboice: lots of fun, I like building things and I have been a long time user of voice recognition technology for medical charting. Felt a bit like I was making one of those annoying robo-calling things that you get every time an election is coming up. But I got it to phone me on schedule and having the info delivered in “Old English” (circa 1100-1500) was a hoot.

3.EZTexting: scary how fast the activation code appeared on my phone. A la Sun’s post earlier this week it seems that mass texting may be the most appropriate method to reach to 18-49  demographic; at least in this country. I can really see the utility of this application for the the personal  and non-profit world. I will still likely cancel my personal Facebook account at the end of the course but will hang on to this one.

4. Rapid SMS: I thought this platform had the most utility for small non-profits. It is free, customizable for different facilities and campaigns and is well-supported. One timely application of the technology was featured on NPR this week as Liberian-Americans living in Atlanta used a similar service to connect with their family members in Liberia spreading CDC-backed information on how best to avoid or deal with the ebola outbreak. http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/08/06/338016781/liberians-in-america-help-dispel-ebola-myths-back-home

P.S. The exploration of SexInfoSf.org was disappointing. Although the text messaging feature works well the website required me to change my security setting to allow access; something I was not willing to do (the Russians may be listening!)

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5 thoughts on “Getting in Touch with my Phone

  1. Hi Randal, great post! I was also disappointed with the sexinfosf.org activity and thought that they would give more information for teens/endusers. I didn’t have that issue but you maybe right this all maybe a ploy by the Russians lol. I would love to get the verboice message you created! I didn’t get a chance to open it and create a message myself but it seems like a great tool to use for public health messages/campaign. I do hate getting them though during election season…. the minute I hear a politicians voice or a beep indicating its a per-recorded message I hang up immediately.

  2. Sara, I think the key to having something like Verboise avoid being a robo-caller is to have your audience sign up or register to use your information gallery. Would enjoy hearing others’ thought on the issue.

  3. The SexinSF was not so bad with me. I did not have to change my security settings. However, I will admit that I quickly texted “STOP” after typing several prompts, because it was not a service that I thought I should be using past this class.

  4. I totally know what motorola flip phone you had, Randall! My dad had the same issue when the LED lights pooped out. He used it blindly for a while, but then jumped onto the then-hot Nokia bandwagon.

    I really enjoy your posts because you are so transparent and comical about your first-time experiences with some of the interfaces we’ve been introduced to during this course. The Verboice experiment is hilarious, I won’t lie!! But even providing public health messages in a unique “accent” like Old English might be just the thing to engage people to remember the message.

    I also appreciate your candid admission that your FB account will likely be closed at the end of the course, but am glad to see you’ve found a few applications that you could continue to use going forward! I, too, will be closing several of the accounts, but am so happy to have learned more about some of the SMS applications since I am a texting fiend… that being said, though, Jennifer’s post last week resonated with my own sentiment that texts are more sacred and more “filtered” in a sense that the only people who I text with are close friends and family. So there’s virtually no spam, no bills, no work/deadline texts, etc. But subscribing to SMS campaigns changes that dynamic for me, and I really had to text “STOP” after the first couple of incoming text messages because I just didn’t like it!

    Thanks for the shout out to my post 🙂

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