I had a conversation today with a colleague to discuss our SXSW Interactive strategy. My coworker figured, rightfully, that SXSW would be a shitshow and that maybe we should use one of the much talked about group texting apps to stay in touch. I only “use” one group texting app, one that I covered for TechCrunch, and thus suggested GroupMe. My colleague said that he liked Beluga better and that we should use Beluga. And then he hesitated, “Hmm … Well maybe we shouldn’t use Beluga because what if Facebook ‘does something to them’ ?…”
!!! This is the hyper-techy microcosm that we live in, where you’re scared to use a budding app to communicate with co-workers during a conference lest a company sunset it. And what? You end up looking uncool?
While there’s no way I’m going to ever be the ideal use case for Group Texting ( … is the new “Location Based”), because it necessitates having more than one friend, I can’t really see the big problem it solves, or rather, I have no idea why there are tens of tens apps in in the space.
Also, I have no idea why a SXSW breakfast with Guy Kawasaki is presented as a prize, but the email promoting it has miraculously found its way to my inbox, along with a bunch of nonsense “VIP” events sponsored by non-tech companies and a ton of pitches from a bunch of startups that just confuse me by their reluctance to say what it is they actually do, lest someone out there clones their killer app before their plane hits Austin-Bergstrom.
A follow through on one of these pitches leads you down an inbox rabbit hole where seven emails later you figure out it’s a Group Texting app but the founders don’t want to reveal that just yet because they don’t want anyone to copy them.
“Then why pitch to the press so early?” “To build “buzz” before SXSW.” Geez. Geez.
While I wouldn’t miss it for the world (I’m moderating an incredibly worthy and industry relevant core conversation here), SXSW creeps me out, if simply because it makes otherwise sane people act so silly.
This SXSW 2011 Influencers Guide, a mashup of Plancast and some shady thing called Socmetrics is the epitome of why I’m already sick of SXSW four days before it’s even started. Mainly because it reminds me that we’re now viewing each other as “influencers” and have somehow stopped looking at each other like “people” — I didn’t study so hard to get out of high school just to be faced with a whole ‘nother high school as an adult.
And I just RSVP’d in a panic to some super duper VIP thing while writing this, so trust me, I understand the allure of hobnobbing with the tech snobs and am not immune. But at the drunken end of the SXSW day proceed with caution: You almost never want to be a part of the cool kids, because they’re not the ones actually getting anything done. I promise.
Video: Alex Blagg
Source: I’m Already Sick Of SXSW
tekgoblin writes “The FCC is looking into allowing people to report incidents to 911 via SMS from their mobile phones. They are also considering mobile video to show the 911 service what is going on. The current 911 system handles around 230 million calls per year with most of the calls being from mobile phones. One situation influenced this move to allow texting to 911 was the Virginia Tech shooting. ‘The technological limitations of 9-1-1 can have tragic, real-world consequences,’ the release said. ‘During the 2007 Virginia Tech campus shooting, students and witnesses desperately tried to send texts to 9-1-1 that local dispatchers never received. If these messages had gone through, first responders may have arrived on the scene faster with firsthand intelligence about the life-threatening situation that was unfolding.’”
Source: FCC To Allow Texting To 911
statesman writes “The Associated Press reports that teens who text frequently are three and a half times more likely to have sex. A survey of 4,200 public high school students in the Cleveland area found that one in five students sent more than 120 text messages a day or spent more than 3 hours a day on Facebook. Students in this group were much more likely to have sex. Alcohol and drug use also correlate with frequent texting and heavy Facebook use.”
Source: Sex Drugs and Texting
An anonymous reader writes “A new study has found that various state laws that ban texting while driving might actually make the roads more dangerous. If that seems counterintuitive, it’s the laws of unintended consequences at work. The theory is that the laws don’t do much to stop people from texting while driving — but instead, leads them to try to hide the activity more. That is, they end up trying to text with the phone held lower down to avoid it being detected. But, of course, that also takes their eyes even further off the road. The study itself looked at texting-related accidents both before and after 4 different states implemented such laws, and also compared them to neighboring states with no such laws. The results suggest the laws certainly don’t help and in some cases appeared to make the situation worse. So if the laws don’t work, what is a better solution to preventing texting while driving accidents?”
frontwave links to this stat-laden overview of trends in text-messaging among Americans, citing a few of its findings: “The average teen (even including teens without cell phones) sends and receives five times more text messages a day than a typical adult. A teen typically sends or receives 50 text messages a day, while the average adult sends or receives 10. Fully 31% of teens send more than 100 texts a day and 15% send more than 200 a day, while just 8% and 5% of adults send that many, respectively.”
Source: Texting On the Rise In the US
Tootech writes with this quote from Wired:
“A mobile-marketing company claimed Friday it would go out of business unless a federal judge orders T-Mobile to stop blocking its text-messaging service, the first case testing whether wireless providers can block text messages they don’t like. EZ Texting claims T-Mobile blocked the company from sending text messages for all of its clients after learning that legalmarijuanadispensary.com, an EZ Texting client, was using its service to send texts about legal medical marijuana dispensaries in California. ‘T-Mobile subjectively did not approve of one of the thousands of lawful businesses and non-profits served by EZ Texting,’ according to New York federal lawsuit.”