As a webmaster, your experience with SMS as a business tool might simply be a marketer who came to you with a plan for building a mobile marketing database, and requests for API hooks into an SMS database with a provider somewhere.
But what I’m talking about in this two-part series is how you (yes, you webmaster) can use the benefits of SMS messaging for your own success.
In today’s post, I will focus on the uses of text messaging to help you succeed in the managing and operations of your sites and servers.
First of all, let’s discuss what makes SMS an ideal fit for the webmaster.
Monitor servers when voice and email isn’t an option
Whether you have a smartphone or not, when you are out on a day-off excursion with the family to the beach, you probably don’t get very good mobile coverage. Certainly, voice will be patchy, and you can probably forget consistent 3G connectivity for email .
How will you know if a server goes down?
SMS. That’s how.
The small data size allows SMS messages to get through to you when voice and data services aren’t fully available. You could be in a region without 3G services at all and still receive SMS messages from your servers.
If you receive email alerts from your servers, you can receive SMS. By integrating a service such as Email to SMS or an SMS alert from a reputable text message provider, you can either get both the email and SMS sent to you or have emails from a specific mailbox forwarded to your mobile as text messages. Even if you don’t have a smartphone, you can still receive emergency SMS messages in this way.
Query and response via SMS API
With an SMS gateway integrated via API, you can create custom scripts in Java, Perl, PHP, Ruby and Python to monitor virtually any aspect of your web servers. This could allow alerts to be sent to you via SMS, or perhaps more usefully, you could actively query your servers via text messages no matter where you are.
With experience, you’ll be able to expand how you use SMS for your own success, and in the Part II of the series, I’ll cover how you can use text messaging for success with your company, customers and clients.