By Harry McCracken | Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 12:33 pm
Lots of Web sites use SMS short codes to let users retrieve quick hits of information–movie listings, weather, and the like–via text messages on their mobile phones. Which is cool, except for the fact that the codes (short though they may be) are tough to remember.
Here at DEMOFall, a company called Dotgo is launching a service that aims to make SMS text services more powerful and usable. Instead of texting an individual service (such as Google’s GOOGLE, or 466453) you text the name of a site to DOTCOM (or 368266). It responds with instructions on accessing the service in question–for instance, you can get Fandango movie listings by texting Fandango + your Zip code.
And it looks like Dotgo isn’t fazed by sites that have made no provisions for text-message access. Such as, oh, Technologizer–it lets you read our posts via SMS (albeit in pretty unwieldy form–it has to chop them up into 160-character chunks, sans graphics):
Why would you use Dotgo on a phone with a capable Web browser, such as the iPhone? Well, you probably wouldn’t. Dotgo says it wants to bring the service to the millions of phones out there–especially in developing nations such as Africa–that have SMS capability but no real Web access. Makes sense to me.