Much like 1000Memories with its online memorial to Egyptian protesters, group-texting app GroupFlier realized that its users were clamoring for an #Egypt-related feature, specifically one that provided curated Twitter and other content relating to the anti-Mubarak protests.
GroupFlier founder and Harvard Cyber-security expert Morris Penner thought this was a good idea. Following tweets about a specific issue on your phone is super noisy, whether you’re getting tweets on SMS (even though I have no idea who does that anymore) or using an iPhone app. Penner got one of his employees to set up the group “Egypt4Peace,” which follows the tweets made by activist and Google Executive Wael Ghonim, as well as on the ground reporters Dan Nolan and Sharif Kouddous.
To join “Egypt4Peace” you can visit http://groupflier.com/join/Egypt4Peace or text “Egypt4Peace” to (617) 394-1386. To create your own curated group, just got to http://groupflier.com and set up a group, name it and start pushing out content. Other users can follow along by texting whatever number/name corresponds to your group or visting the URL. To leave a group, just text “*bye.”
Curated SMS content can be extremely useful. For example, during Mubarak’s televised speech today news outlets like Fox and Huffington Post were reporting that Mubarak would be stepping down while Mubarak himself couched the statement that he wouldn’t with flowery words. In fact I wasn’t quite sure myself until I received the opposite “Mubarak not stepping down … Crowd waving shoes in air in anger” text from Egypt4Peace.
It pretty much summed it up.
Penner’s future plans are to set up multiple curated groups across different verticals like local sports, and he hopes that phone credits site Twilio will eventually have international support so users abroad can also keep track of curated news via phone.
While the feature is still in its early stages Penner is hopeful, “New tools are going to enable people to amplify the power of human behavior, although no one knows exactly how much or in exactly what way.”