[AI] Web-based messaging: new innovations

Vikas Kapoor dl.vikas at gmail.com
Sun Mar 9 23:04:04 EDT 2008

Web-based messaging: new innovations 

SMS technology assumes significance in business promotions 

This edition of NetSpeak features a few innovative on-line messaging tools.

Text SMS message has become common among mobile phone users for fast/cheap communication. 

As it is easy to send a message to several people in one shot, SMS technology assumes significance even in business promotions and other social communication

Several free on-line services meant for sending SMS to mobile phones are in place. 

The web based SMS service offered by Indiarocks (http://indyarocks.com/sms/index. php) is one among them. To use this service, you need to register and
verify your mobile phone number. 

Chikka messenger ( 
) is another tool worth a try for sending SMS from your PC or web. If you do not have a mobile phone number or do not wish to part with it, you could use
a service like Atrochatro ( 

One shortcoming of text SMS is that you can use it only with mobile phones - not with traditional landline telephones. 

Further, if voice messages could also be sent in addition to text messages, it would certainly be more appealing. As such, this will accommodate landlines
too. In this context, the newly launched voice broadcasting service, Msgforyou.com, proves useful. The advantage of this service is that you can send an
audio message to a group of people at a specified time in one go. The service allows you to create a list of telephones (mobile and landline), compose
a voice message to be sent to these telephones, and specify the time on which the message is to be delivered. 

Once the job is scheduled thus, the service automatically sends the message to each of the telephones in the list at the specified time. On each of the
target telephones, the message arrives like a normal telephone call. When the person at the receiving end picks up the receiver and responds, the service
automatically plays the recorded message. If the recipient wishes to hear the message she/he can ask the service to repeat it. 

One can find several use of this service. For instance, if a school wants to pass on some urgent information to parents, they can just create an audio message
and place it on the service to be sent to each of them. 

To use the trial version of the service, access it (https:// 

), go through the registration process, authenticate your mobile number and log-in. As per this link (https:// 

), a new user will get ten free calls. 

Apart from voice messages, the service lets you send bulk voice SMS and text SMS. To send a voice SMS, you just type in the message in text form and the
service will convert this text into voice prior to sending it.

Besides communicating with one's buddies, Googletalk lets you obtain information from different sources - IM bots (http://www.hindu. com/biz/2008/01/07/stories
/2008010750041500. htm) and the like. In fact, for many, gTalk has become an important communication channel. If you have a blog or web site, you would
naturally be keen to get feedback from your visitors. 

Rather than sending you an e-mail message, if the visitor can connect you via gTalk, communication becomes instantaneous. Google talk's recently added feature,
gTalk chatback badge, ( 
) helps you accomplish this. Once logged in to the above link, you will get a page with the gTalk badge and HTML code to embed the badge on your blog. Once
the badge is embedded on the blog, anyone visiting it can start chatting with you as 'guest', provided your gTalk is live.

In the past, this column featured several search tools that facilitate us find the right information. 'Google hack: search explorer' ( 

), the new search service built on Google, is one such tool worth a try. 

Alongside the familiar Google output, the service displays a set of related keywords. You can use them to narrow down the output. Querycat (http://querycat.com/),
the question/answer search engine, which claims to have more than five lakh questions with answers, could be another useful search service. 

Medical researchers may find the Querycat Health (http://querycat.com/health /) resourceful.

All of us reap the benefits of the open source/free software movement that continuously roll out a variety of programs. As mentioned in this column earlier,
open source alternatives are available for almost all applications. 

Several open source directories/repositories (like Sourceforge - http://sourceforge.net/, Open Source Alternative - http://www. osalt. com/etc) facilitate
finding the latest programs available on this realm. Winlibre ( 
) is another such place, where you can find open sources related news/programs. Ostatic (http://ostatic.com/) is yet another source that offers lots of
information on open-source programs available on the Net. 

Keyboard shortcuts 

Though keyboard shortcuts help us speedily access different features of a program or an on-line application, we rarely use them. One reason for this keyboard
apathy is the lack of readily available keyboard shortcut guides. The on-line service, 'Short-cut Guide' (http://www. shortcutguide.com/mozilla-foundation/)
could address this issue to some extent. This service helps you obtain keyboard shortcuts for several desktop and on-line applications with ease.


Vikas Kapoor,
MSN Id:dl_vikas at hotmail.com, Yahoo&Skype Id: dl_vikas,
Mobile: (+91) 9891098137.

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