SMS - Is it for serious work or just for fun?

Source - Tomi Ahonen - Almanac 2009

The Americans got really into SMS only last year, with the hype around the Obama campaign. The Americans will be bewildered by some statistics and facts about SMS. The rest of the world has known SMS for this whole decade. For example, the Tony Blair government was reported to use SMS text messages during cabinet meetings, so that his ministers and advisors could communicate with individuals in the same cabinet meeting, without distrurbing the meeting; as well as sending for urgent data communicating with government staff that was not in the meeting, in real time, while the meeting was going on. This was in 2004. And of President Obama's Blackberry and his Twittering and SMS addiction? The Slovenian Prime Minister was sending out cabinet agendas via SMS - in 2001.

It is the most widely used data application on the planet. Kids who don't qualify for credit cards, make payments at McDonalds and Pizza Hut and inside Habbo Hotel, using their mobile phones. In most parts of Africa and many parts of Asia and Latin America, if you want to communicate with another person, they won't have an interent connection or PC; they won't have a landline. But they will have a mobile phone and most will be active users of SMS. There are even services for illiterate people where someone will read and write SMS messages for you.

This technology is changing how we communicate. You need to understand it. SMS is not like email, not like Twitter or the Blackberry. SMS is a different powerful communication method that we all can use in work and play. And 3 billlion people alread do.

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