This is the fourth in a series of posts chronicling the Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance kickoff gala, a mediated event in which I used Drupal to gather alumni memories and run a quiz show via SMS and display photography both on the small iPhone screen and on some giant screens via Flash.
As you'll recall from the last post, the idea of providing refurbished Nokia phones for all 120 of our tables just wasn’t going to work out. Flash Lite was too limited, Java was locked down, and the annoying modal popups triggered after using SMS or a data connection would destroy the experience, and so we turned our search to an SMS or MMS gateway.
There are several options out there for receiving text messages. You can get a GSM modem, put a SIM card in it and pull down all SMS messages sent to a certain number. This is certainly a cost-effective way to go about things, and it means that you can easily get a SIM set up for service on a local number. On the negative side, transmission speeds are pretty slow, taking several seconds per message, and the donors would have to type in a ten-digit number each time they wanted to interact with the system.