Okay, I hate robocalls as much as the next person, but I just became aware of the service Simple Blast – an affordable way to send a recorded message to phone numbers.

Since the community I serve includes many without Internet access, I’m wondering if this would be a welcome option. Years ago, we maintained “dial a message” accounts, and people could call in to get updates. That’s still possible, of course, but puts the motivation on the individuals which is problematic, especially if the news isn’t distributed on a relatively frequent, regular schedule.

  • So what applications would you see for this kind of service? Reminders on meetings? Public policy alerts? General e-newsletter summaries?
  • What opt-in procedures would you use before putting someone on a call list?
  • How large would the list be before you’d be tempted to use this service (rather than spending the time to make the much more welcome personal calls)?
  • What other questions should be considered before using such a service?

Thanks, all! Facebook and comments are welcome.

Interesting, if not completely successful, experiment with twitter

The previous post talked about the tweets appearing in the sidebar, but sometime before Convention, I moved them to a separate page, that you can find in the horizontal menu at the top of the page.

We didn’t do a good job of advertising this (ask me over a beer about the failed strategies), but a couple of us did post from a cell phone or blackberry to the web from the Convention Center.

One characteristic of the postings is that they are “transient” — that page is probably empty now.

We also had a technical glitch on Sunday/Monday that meant the “real-time” tweets from the convention floor (on the bylaws changes and the public policy debate) were lost in cyber-space somewhere. But it was a start.

Perhaps with the leadership meetings tentatively planned for next summer we’ll be able to exchange information among the different venues — and allow the folks “back home” to get the flavor of the event even if their schedules prevent them from attending.

Here are a few examples of what you would have seen if you’d gone to that “tweets” page or to the page during the convention.


Google groups?

Yahoo! groups have, of course, been around for years, and many AAUW communities use them for mailing lists and some use their file storage and general web site features. Indeed, nearly 50 AAUW-related communities are listed in the directory.
Somewhat newer is Google groups. On a quick look today, I found two AAUW related groups — one for International Fellows and another labeled “AAUWbookgroup” that seems to have been an experiment that isn’t going very far. Note that Google also indexes Usenet newsgroups like alt.feminism (full list matching aauw).