Getting Farside Text Entry Reminders

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Farside Semaphore

The Farside Pool for years has had handy email entry reminders. It's part of the automation that makes running the pool pretty straightforward for me and a far cry from earlier experiements in methods of reminding people to enter, as shown on the left.

Email is getting kind of old-school. To keep up with the Youth of Today, I can now also text you to remind you that an entry is due. The text doesn't include a link directly to the Farside Pool page but does add some sense of urgency to the reminder.

What do I recommend for texting?

All the details are below, but what I recommend is Gameday texts. If you select this option, I will only text you on gamedays when you haven't done your entry yet. Think of it as a last-minute reminder. I can text you every time I send an email reminder, but I tried this myself and think this is way too many texts. By contrast, the less common and more timely Gameday texts have an appropriate sense of urgency to them.

What do I need to do to make my choice?

Just send me your

OK, Here are all the boring details on texting:

The reason I need your carrier is that the text address has to be in an e-mailable format because I'm not going to sit there laboriously entering reminder messages on my phone, "omg i nd ntree 4 pool frm u lol :D". Nope, it will instead be done through Outlook and email and thus needs an email format. This format varies from carrier to carrier. In the case of AT&T, our carrier, it is "". Anyone on AT&T can use this format. The only bummer with this is that the return address on the text is going to look odd; 1 (410) 000-002 is what my test message to myself said, though when I tried replying the message did come through.

Here is a listing of the formats the different carriers use. I got this from a trusted source (Google search) and will update it as needed.

If you have another carrier, let me know and we can perform experiments. Otherwise, if you want to give texting a try, let me know your number and carrier, we'll set it up and see what happens. You can always ask me to turn texting back off again, too, if it becomes too annoying.

Farside Literary Note: Texting, with its limit of 140 characters, has revived the art of concisely getting your message across and given rise to a Whole New Shorthand. In many ways, it's reminiscent of the lost art of sending telegraphs, where the charge was by the letter. For a hilarious take on journalism in which telegraph shorthand is a running gag, I'd highly recommend Evelyn Waugh's 1938 novel Scoop, one of my favorite books.

PS: the Morse Code at the top of the page reads "i need a farside football pool entry from you by gametime sunday", just like the little semaphore guy in shorts and knee socks, and just like this, encoded by an World War II German Enigma machine:

Page last updated 8/9/2014

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