Site or application for logging text and photo messages?
February 19, 2013 1:57 PM   Subscribe

For a research project, we’re asking ~24 high school and college students to log their experiences with homework by sending us text messages and photos over the course of about two weeks. Is there a site where they can send those messages so that we could see them from a computer? There are particular features we’re seeking... What comes closest to satisfying them?

-The students would be able to use any cell phone that can send text and photo messages, using that phone’s native messaging rather than an app.
-We’d be able to see all the posts from a computer.
-We’d be able to reply to the most recent post or to any along the way. Students could see the reply on their phone or on the site.
-We’d be able to see all the posts from all the students aggregated in one, searchable place.
-We’d be able to send a message to everyone at once, and even better, to subgroups and individuals as well.
-Students could opt to share the posts with just us or with all the other students in the project.
-Students could comment on other students’ posts shared with the group, and those comments would also be shared.
-The content would only be visible to those within the group.
-The tool would be reasonably current and accepted by students (no myspace-like options)
-The whole thing would be free or cheap, and require very little set-up/sign-up for the students.

So far, we’ve been considering:
-Posterous/Spaces (no longer accepting sign-ups)
-Text messaging (received only on phone, and not easy to manage group vs. individual messages...)
-Facebook (requires smartphone and app, not easy to manage group vs. individual messages...)
-Tumblr (not easy to set up a group...)
-Twitter (limits message length...)
-Flickr (photo-centric, requires smartphone and app...)
-dscout (not free/cheap, requires smartphone and app...)

Got anything that meets more of our criteria than these?
posted by daisyace to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)

Even most "dumb phones" can address a text message to an email address.

If they sent to a Gmail account, you could use Labels to tag messages.

The comments thing might be a little messy, but could could be handled by distribution groups or something similar, perhaps in the way that Stripe recently wrote about.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:02 PM on February 19, 2013

Google Voice has text messaging - you should look into the sharing/commenting/distribution options in the Help/Support site.
posted by radioamy at 4:09 PM on February 19, 2013

Oh also if you use the Google Voice option, you might be able to set up some sort of automatic forwarding to a blog if that works better for you.
posted by radioamy at 4:23 PM on February 19, 2013

Flickr doesn't require the app, I never use it. I just email my photos directly to the email address flickr issues you for your account. You can sign up for one account, get the direct email address and then tell it to everyone.
posted by Joh at 5:06 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

How about using Google+, and setting up a group in there that only subscribing students can see the content?
posted by Joh at 5:07 PM on February 19, 2013

« Older Yogurt Par - Fait Accompli   |   The Japanese Flag of *The Mysterious Island* Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.