For a few years, Facebook was one of the best ways to connect with college students. Not any more. It’s still useful, but not nearly as useful as it used to be. The novelty has worn off and so students aren’t as responsive on it.
So like Steve Lutz I’ve been thinking about text messaging lately. My younger students (frosh and sophomores) seem to be much more likely to have unlimited texting plans than my upperclassmen and grad students.
In the past I’ve just texted people individually, but now I’m experimenting with group text messaging services.
I considered using Twitter and telling people to subscribe via text. A few problems:
a) College students don’t use twitter.
b) It centralizes the communication too much.
c) I don’t feel confident in twitter’s reliability.
d) The verb “tweet”.
So I’ve been looking into other services. So far I’m drawn to txtBlaster. The thing I like best is that I can deputize as many of the subscribers as I want and allow them to text the entire group, so I can make this a student-driven thing. It’s a free (ad-supported) service. They claim to screen their ads carefully and to target them based on the type of group you set up. So far so good on that front.
P.S. If you want to see txtBlaster in action, feel free to text xastanford to 25278. I’ll be playing around with it for the next few days.