Occupy SMS: The Revolution will be texted

URGENT: Hundreds of police mobilizing around Zuccotti. Eviction in progress!

More than 4,000 people received that text message at 9:56pm on November 14, 2011. All of them had signed up for Occupy Wall Street alerts by texting @occupyalert to 23559. Coordinated through Text Occupy, Occupy groups have created “cells” on the mass-text social network called Celly.

SMS, or Short Message Service, is being used around the world to mobilize, coordinate and alert in creative ways. It’s a natural tool for the Occupy movement.

Text messages have some security vulnerabilities. For protestors concerned about concealing their identity and location, there is another option.

Vibe Messaging is a smartphone app for anonymous broadcast messaging. It’s been used by OWS too, but like a lot of social media, that wasn’t its original intention. Zami.com describes Vibe as “a new mobile app for communicating with people around you without necessarily knowing them. They can be coworkers at work, schoolmates on campus, folks in the park, or residents in your building.” When they wrote “folks in the park,” they probably didn’t have your fellow campers in Zucotti Park in mind. But it does suggest using it to spark the spontaneous flash mob.

You choose a range and duration for your anonymous broadcast. There are five settings for distance and five settings for length of time before, poof, it disappears.


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Read It Later

I think I’m in love. With an app.

I’m a compulsive clicker. On the Net every day there are a thousand articles to read and videos to watch and cool stuff to keep up with. Half the time I say, “I’ll read it later.”

Some clever app developer knows my type. He or she made “Read It Later.” I’ve already downloaded it on my Mac, iPad and Android phone, and it’s uncluttered the I-won’t-confess-how-many tabs I had open in my browser. Let’s hope it works as well as advertised, because it just looks perfect for my Internet hoarding habits.

You can use it on your web browser, iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, or Blackberry. You can save content to your queue from your browser or from over 250 apps. Here’s the really fun part: in Click to Save mode, you can zip through your news aggregator, RSS reader, or Twitter timeline, adding links to your queue without actually clicking through and loading it. Your devices will sync up, and you can even download pages to read when you’re offline.

So far, so good. If you’re using it, please share your experience.