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Mobile group messaging: TextMarks and Tatango

Mobile devices are almost becoming as ubiquitous as email addresses - that is, almost everyone has one. So it makes sense to consider mobil...


Mobile devices are almost becoming as ubiquitous as email addresses - that is, almost everyone has one. So it makes sense to consider mobile group messaging using SMS.
Specifically - for special occasions, events, or just a quick way to keep in touch with a group of people, mobile group messaging is fun and informative.
TextMarks and Tatango are two services that allow anyone to use subscription-based messaging, right on the web. All you need is a mobile phone, and friends, family, or contacts also equipped with a mobile phone.

Setting up a subscription

Your subscription is useless without a keyword. Both TextMarks and Tatango offer custom keywords (for a price), or default ones for free. Let's say our keyword is "bakesale526" - which we have set up for a bake sale we are hosting on May 26.
Your group members can opt-in by sending a text message to 41411 (TextMarks) or 68398 (Tatango). The message should just be the keyword itself. It's that simple to subscribe.
Both services also offer alternative ways to subscribe, such as through Flash widgets, or by simply going to a webpage and clicking "Subscribe" or "Join Group."
With such easy ways to subscribe, you group members should have no trouble at all!

Sending messages to the group

Whenever you'd like to send a message to your group, simply log into the web interface and type in your message:
You can also broadcast messages straight from your phone as SMS!
Overall, you may have to get creative since you are limited to about 100 characters. Your message is then broadcast to every subscriber instantly!

Advanced messaging

For more advanced users, there are options available to broadcast messages or send responses based on web content. For example, with Tatango, you could have any public RSS feed sent to your group members whenever there is new content present.
Or, with TextMarks, you can have your keyword respond with content from a webpage:
Both approaches allow you to use the power of the web with mobile messaging.

Wrap-up

This was just a brief overview on how easy it is to start using mobile group messaging!
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