Tuesday, September 11, 2007

SMS and instant messaging advantages

In writing my last post that described activities that virtual teams can use to help communicate and develop their online communities, I omitted two very important tools, instant messaging and Short Message Service (SMS) or text messaging.

I overlooked these important tools because I use these tools all the time and I simply don't think about not using them. I use them like some people use a phone.

Instant messaging and text messaging are not just for kids.

Instant messaging is a way to:
  • know if your colleagues are in the office.
  • communicate what you are doing (examples, "I'm in a meeting" or "I'm at lunch").
  • start (and end) impromptu discussions.
  • find out answers to quick questions without interrupting ongoing office questions.
We often use instant messaging in our office when we are on support calls with clients and we need supporting information from our colleagues.
  • keep up with your kids.
When they arrive home from school, you can know when they are online and they could IM you.

Text messaging is a way to:
  • communicate in a pinch.
  • communicate when phone use is disruptive.
  • communicate when you don't know how disruptive your communication maybe to the recipient.
  • communicate when asynchronous messages are preferred.
  • communicate when cellphones don't work well (i.e., in emergency situations).
Because the way data messages are sent, text messages have better success in getting through when circuits are overloaded.

6 comments:

Kevin Gamble said...

Good post! The advantages of IM and SMS are so overwhelming, and yet I am amazed at the low adoption rate by our colleagues. If there was ever a no-brainer for adoption it's these. I don't get it!

Brian said...

Those are all really great reason's to use SMS and IM programs. The benefits of SMS are so great, and there are a lot of cool companies out there supporting SMS. I'm a real estate agent and I use, www.HouseFront.com when I'm with clients to show them home information. So texting works for business purposes also. Thanks for the post.

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Anonymous said...

Question re: IM and SMS pros/cons. I have a company-issued blackberry but send alot of texts, many personal. This is acceptable, but I'd rather not have all the phone numbers/times/dates I'm texting show up on my cell phone bill to company. I'm generally communicating with others on Blackberrys or iPhones. Its all on the up and up; just prefer a little more privacy. Thoughts as to best platform to use rather than standard cell phone company SMS?

Anne Adrian said...

Anonymous:

Thanks for your question. There isn't an easy way to disguise SMS phone numbers.

Mobile applications for Facebook and Twitter are good ways to send messages that are not tied to a phone number. Other than using email or mobile applications, I am not sure there is a good solution for your request.

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