Apr 26

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

Mozes: Extending SMS

Mozes is a service that allows you to retrieve data from websites, store that data for later, and share that data with friends all via SMS. I was exposed to it at the Maker Faire and the team spent some time explaining the service to me. It is definitely an example of getting a lot out of a limited platform. Every phone that I have had for years now has SMS and as limited as SMS is, this ubiquity is impressive. So I am always attracted to services (like Dodgeball, Upoc, and 43places) that allow me to communicate with my friends via this platform because I know that everyone will be able to use it.

Like many other SMS services, Mozes stores every thing that I text it on its site and allows me to pull an RSS feed of all of these items. Besides the fact that most everyone with a mobile phone will be able to use it, I also like the immediate value that I get from it. I don't need to be signed up to start using the service (though I do to retrieve data from the website).

It allows me to define my own keyword to provide to people. When you sign up for an account you are able to grab a keyword. When people text it they will get my Mozes profile information stored in their account and whatever message I currently have set for the mobile experience (you can try mine right now by texting “brady” to Mozes). I am also able to change my message on the go through SMS. The Maker Faire used custom keywords to allow people to store info on their favorite makers.

It also has a series of commands. The ones that I find most valuable are tied to the existing social networks. If the person has a MySpace, Facebook, or Flickr account. I can just text the service name along with their username; a snippet of their profile data is shot bck to me immediately and links to their page are stored in my Mozes account for later retrieval. Plugging into these services is key for capturing the college-age crowd and essentially allowing everyone to have their own Mozes keyword.

Some of the other commands enable me to store notes (use "note" or ".n"), check for a book's user reviews using its ISBN (use “book”), and find out what song is playing on the radio at a certain time (use the station's call letters). It also allows me to send info to anyone with a Mozes account, whose phone number I have, or is in my address book. I can also group people together and shoot them info at the same time. You can view a complete list of commands on their site.

An API is coming soon that will allow developers to call a script when someone calls a specific keyword. I anticipate that this will expand the service's offerings greatly - especially in the games and reference areas (a Wikipedia command anyone?).

For all of the reasons that I have mentioned above I really like Mozes. It allows me to quickly trap contact info on people based on existing social networks, it provides productivity apps, and it extends the functionality of a ubiquitous tool. If they are able to get the word out I could see this service being very successful. Since it integrates directly into my existing tools via RSS I have already started using it to jot down notes to myself.

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Comments: 2

  Valleyguy [11.25.08 08:52 PM]

another perfectly useless piece of technology , developed by a bunch that has no idea how to monetize anything. People are lying awake all night trying to figure out how to pull rss feeds of their past sms msg's. yeah right. How ridiculous. Why are you wasting time on this Brady?

  brady forrest [12.01.08 02:35 AM]

Mozes has not hit the mainstream, but Twitter, a service that lets you pull down SMS-size messages has. Mozes was not that far-fetched; it just wasn't Twitter.

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