As a news source for Frankford, we’re always on the lookout to see how we can better engage our audience. Specifically, we want people to be informed of events and meetings before they happen. We actually judge our effectiveness on how many people show up for meetings.
We understand that many in our community aren’t able to check the Frankford Gazette on their computer every day. To that end, while the entire news industry moves away from print, we’ve walked towards it. By printing our internet posts and distributing them along Frankford Ave, we’ve increased our ability to attract our intended audience who might not be inclined to search the neighborhood news on the web.
And in general, it’s a painful fact that many of Frankford’s residents don’t even have computers. A recent study shows that 55% of Philadelphia’s residents don’t have internet access at home, it’s probably even greater in an economically challenged neighborhood like Frankford.
To that end, when we came across Text Blast, developed by local civic hacker (and Frankford celebrity) Tim Wisniewski, we thought it would be an excellent opportunity to further put seats in the meetings. It’s a free service that will let us send a notice to many subscribed users via text message. Our current thoughts are to get a good subscription of cel phone numbers together and then blast them all with a single text message about a civic meeting, or town watch meetup, or park cleanup, etc. This is definitely a work in progress, but I think this is going to really help get the word out about civic involvement.
So if you’re interested in receiving announcements about Frankford community events, text message the word FRANKFORD to 215-987-5555. You won’t get any reply, I’m hoping the developer can fix it so that in the future it will return a confirmation. It is anonymous. We will have your cel phone number but no more information than that. If at some time in the future you want to turn the service off, you can just notify us by email.
You you prefer, you can also email me your phone number and I’ll add it manually. My email is email@example.com.
Text the word FRANKFORD
(215) 987 – 5555
for community news about Frankford.
You may can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP or UNSUBSCRIBE to the text blast number.
1 thought on “Launching: Frankford Text Messaging Notifications”
Very cool, it’s a great use of text messaging as a technology!
You’ll want to be careful not to send too many messages through a 10 digit number, it’s not a permitted method of sending text blasts and the number can quickly get blocked. If you have any questions about this, we are happy to help, even if you don’t use our service.
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