Magic SMS status messages with Textmarks

I’ve been sending Provo, Utah swing dance updates with Textmarks for quite a while, but I recently started using another service they offer which deserves mention.

Textmarks can be used in a couple of ways. I have been using the BYU Swing Kids Club Textmark to push out alerts to subscribers. This way they can get updated information about changes in venues or locations and impromptu dance opportunities much quicker than through the official club email list.

The other way to use Textmarks to return an automated response when users text a keyword. At first, this feature was only mildly useful, since it required manual updating via the web or a text message. They have since added — or I’ve finally noticed — the ability for a Textmark to get dynamic automated responses from the internet.

Now here’s where it gets magic. The Swing Kids website already has an upcoming events section. I was able to set up Textmark to scrape this info from whenever anyone requests an update. It’s currently set up to give times and locations for our free lessons for the upcoming week. Go ahead and try it :)

Text LESSONS to 41411.

The best part is that it’s automatic. I make sure the information is updated in one place (which is usually up-to-date anyway), and this great free service keeps all of my users updated in another. It’s almost as good as the day I realized that between Twitter and a blog post aggregator, I can make it look like I’m active on Facebook without ever logging in. :)