Because American publishers & consumers are far behind those in rest of the world when the topic is news by SMS, we heartened and not surprised to see progress in the American heartland. The reason we’re not surprised is that the news site is KUsports.com, one of the Lawrence, Kansas, sites developed by Rob Curley‘s team, including super-capable developer Adrian Holovaty.
The SMS services that KUsports launched this week are Kansas University football game score alerts. Site users have a choice of receiving KU scores on their mobile phones after each game quarter, or at game halftime and after the game, or only after the game. Holovaty says that most of the people who signed up requested the quarterly updates. “Seems like they want as much info as they can get, as often as they can get it.”
“The alert messages are hand-written by an editor rather than being automated, because that allows us to pick out key stats and interesting tidbits.
The most interesting thing about this, though, is how easy it is to do technically. The deep, dark secret behind our SMS implementation is: It’s just e-mail. All of the large American cell phone companies provide an e-mail interface to their clients’ cell phones. For example, to send an SMS to a Sprint PCS customer, just send an e-mail to the person’s 10-digit number at the messaging.sprintpcs.com domain (e.g. email@example.com), and your e-mail will be displayed on his or her phone as a text message. It’s that simple.”
By the way, here is a table that shows how to figure out an American mobile phone’s e-mail address.