January 17, 2007 by Bruce
This is just cool.
Everyone needs to know about it.
How many times has this happened to you?
You’re sitting in front of your computer. You want to send an email to someone, but you don’t have their email address in your email addressbook yet… But you do have their cellphone number…
You really want to send them a message right now… (or add them to an important mailing…) Rather than stop everything and call them on the phone…
You can send a short text message (SMS) from ANY email account… to ANY cellular/mobile phone in the USA or Canada… (and even American and Canadian cellphones that are roaming anywhere in the world where they can receive text messages, too)…
The company is called, TeleFlip …but you don’t even need to know that.
Here’s what you do:
Send any short (up to 160 characters in length) message to: email@example.com
For example, if my cellphone number were… 202-456-1111…. You would email me a text message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
And it would come in on my cellphone…
The recipient can even REPLY… and the reply goes back to your (the original sender’s) email address!
They have a “One Strike – You’re Out!” policy with spam… If you send spam, one report and your banned.
Subscribe to Anything via Cellphone
When you book those airline tickets online, and the site tells you that it can notify you by email if there are any flight delays… You can enter two email addresses: your normal email address AND your email@example.com address… This way you will get the notice on your cellphone too!
If there is some site, or information that’s really really important to you… Just subscribe to the mailing list using your firstname.lastname@example.org address.
You can even Subscribe to Any RSS Feed via Cellphone
If used in conjunction with an RSS-to-Email service… Another free service… which allows you to subscribe to any RSS Feed via email… You can enter your (or your Mom’s, for example) email@example.com
This way, every update that comes in on the RSS Feed will automatically, instantly, be sent to your cellphone as a text message.
Some of the available free RSS-to-Email services include:
Try out all of them, and see what format looks best to you… It’s super easy to subscribe, and to un-subscribe again… as many times as you want.
Have new entries into your blog automatically sent to your sister’s cellphone the instant they are posted…
Endless Possible Uses
The only limit is your imagination. For example, one possible use is…
Let’s say you moderate the comments on your blog… But you allow them to be posted until you get a chance to look at them…
Since they are displayed to the public immediately, it would be good to see the new comments as soon as possible after they are posted…
You could subscribe to your own blog’s RSS Feed, for new “Comments” on your blog,… via one of the RSS-to-Email services (listed above)… to send all updates to firstname.lastname@example.org
You get the idea…
Don’t Forget – the Key Word is SHORT
The message length is short - only 160 letters, numbers, etc. Messages longer than that will be truncated!
So don’t try to forward Moby Dick to your brother’s cellphone.
NOTE: I would never rely solely on any sort of text messaging for an emergency message… because they are NOT always delivered… and they are NOT always delivered the same day…