Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Google via TXT

The idea to do the BOHAN Byte as a vlog came from work on a sales PowerPoint for a new client, which is interactive in design, allowing viewers to navigate to any section of the presentation rather than see the slides presented in a linear order (increases both comprehension and retention rates). If PowerPoint is the new web, then video is becoming the new PowerPoint (or Keynote for you MAC users), because video remains a linear presentation medium (beginning, middle, end).

And now for the topic: Google via TXT...

Even in the digital world, "everything old is new again." Take for example the venerable Google, at one time a mere startup, now the unquestionably the industry leader, despite what Microsoft or Yahoo! may do in the near future.

In an increasingly mobile world, how is Google responding? Of course, you can access the Google website on internet-enabled cell phones and other mobile devices. But that still leaves out the majority of cell phone users who do not have internet access on their phones.

So Google is beta-testing a TXT messaging service that works like this:

Create a TXT message on your cellphone that includes a keyword (or phrase) and a ZIP code. Send that TXT message to phone number 46645 or "GOOGL" (the "E" is excluded). In a few moments you will receive two reply TXT messages from Google, with the name, address and phone number of the first few businesses that match your keyword(s) and ZIP code.

For example, send the TXT message "PIZZA 37203" to GOOGL and the system will reply TXT you with the name, address and phone numbers for Mellow Mushroom, DaVinci's and Papa John's pizza, all in the same ZIP code as our office.

Why is this important for our clients? If this GOOGL TXT program ever comes out of beta development and becomes more popular, we may want to help clients optimize their websites and improve their Google ranking to be sure they appear in this type of search.

In a broader sense, the use of TXT messaging is becoming more common, certainly with younger generations and teens for whom TXT is a very large part of their peer communications, and we should know how to use it effectively. Also, TXT messages like email can be forwarded and shared with others, so the more viral the message, the better.

Restaurants and destinations could use the technology to send TXT alerts about new menu items or promotions or special events to customers and prospects who have either given permission previously for us to send them TXT messages, or who send a TXT message in response to an advertisement or POS display.

TXT a message with a month/date/year to "PALMBCH" and receive a reply TXT with a list of events for that date in Palm Beach County. Or TXT a message with your ZIP code to "FAZOLIS" and receive the nearest restaurant contact information along with a code for a discount or the latest promotion.

Imagine the possibilities...


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