osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Link Harvest: Charities and Text Messaging

This article is another that falls into the basic fallacy of "assume how the world works is a product of natural law."

The problem is that the short code system by which organizations are generally required to do 1-to-many texting is severely broken. I used to think it was broken because the major carriers wanted to screen for potentially competitive services. That is true, and was part of the problem at formation. But it's only part of the story.

The reality is more scary. We are seeing problems with text messaging and short codes that resemble the inability of the DNS system to scale up with demand in the late 1990s. But whereas the DNS system had room for decentralized solutions, such as NAT boxes, and freedom of action on the engineering side to do things like restructure at least some of the problems with routing tables, that freedom does not exist in short code management. It is simply too unwieldy and with too many adverse economic interests.

Short codes should be run like 800 numbers. But they aren't. They aren't even run as well as domain name registrars. I will, hopefully, get to blog on this at some point.

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