Something I’m really excited about
I don’t know much about it yet, but if it’s what I think it is, I can’t wait for the Beta release of BrightKite.
“Notifications the way you want them” is their tagline. Just what I’m looking for.
For the last couple of months I’ve been searching for ways to send out notifications to reach massive amounts of people. Here are factors that I have to consider.
1) I want mobile options. Because not everyone will be in front of the computer at the time I want to reach them, but almost everyone has his/her cell phone in his pocket.
2) While most are familiar with the wonders of the web, I still have to think of the handful of my intended recipients who may still be living in the world of Internet 1.0.
3) I am looking to notify several hundred people at a time. With that in mind, I don’t have the resources to explain things (sign up, how it works, etc) to each one. So it has to be simple enough that even the old school users will get it right away.
4) My intended recipients are more of the LinkedIn crowd as opposed to the MySpace crowd.
Here are options I considered:
Mass E-mail – wasn’t going to mention it but heck it is there so just for the sake of being able to say I looked at everything… But e-mail is so Internet 1.0, not to mention you have to compete with spam. E-mail also doesn’t convey a sense of urgency. At least not anymore.
Twitter – I am actually using this but since it has grown so big it’s also gotten really slow in the last couple of months. The other thing is that the intended recipients of my notifications aren’t exactly familiar with Twitter and I’m having to do lengthy explanations about it…in addition to me explaining to them how to sign up so that they can get MY notifications. I gotta explain to them that they gotta go to Twitter…then make a profile…no you don’t have to update…only if you have to…and uh…sign up to be my FRIEND and FOLLOW me. Now imagine having to explain this to someone who has never read a blog (or at least doesn’t know they’re reading one)…or someone who still pays their bills via snail mail. Now…imagine that same person going to the Twitter homepage to sign up and see that “fakeid781 isWondering why Aaron didn’t demand funnel cake at the fair… ” See factor #4. But I use Twitter because it lets me notify either by IM, e-mail, SMS or the web.
Mozes – I like Mozes almost 100%. I love it about 85%. I love it because of the simple sign up process. All the recipient has to do is send a text message with my keyword to 66937 and they will get an SMS to confirm that they’ve signed up. Simple. But I can’t love it 100% because it doesn’t have the instant messaging component so I still have to use Twitter if I wanted that feature. And lastly…on Mozes, my recipients are part of a “mob.” Now I understand this service is geared towards musicians and all…so I guess I can’t complain much.
Ripple9 – Kinda like Mozes, I guess, with a ton more features…which really doesn’t matter to me because I don’t send out music. Like Mozes, Ripple9 also works with keywords. But the only thing with Ripple9 is that the word “music” is attached to whatever keyword you choose and well…I’m not an artist or a part of a band and I won’t be sending out music so it really won’t make sense that my recipients would have to type in MyCompanyName+music to sign up. Again. I can’t complain as I’m not their intended user.
As you can see…BrightKite seems to be my light at the end of the tunnel. Notifications via e-mail, SMS or IM. Cool. Now if the sign up process is as easy as Mozes and the label is professional enough for my recipients…I think I’ll be set.
Good luck to the folks at BrightKite…and I hope I get an invite to your beta!