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Cellphedia, a SMS Social Network Service 88

Roland Piquepaille writes "Based on ideas taken from Wikipedia and dodgeball, Cellphedia allows its members to broadcast questions to its community and receive answers, using SMS text messaging on cell phones. Here is how it works, according to "Cellphedia Melds Facts with Mobile Smart Mobs" from E-Commerce Times. First, you register for free on the site and you indicate your subjects of interest. If you want to ask a question, it is sent to all the members who expressed interest in this particular subject. Finally, the first answer received by Cellphedia is sent back to you. This means that later answers, which could have been more accurate, are discarded. But this service is still very young and its creator is working hard to improve it. Read more for some examples of questions and answers stored on the Cellphedia central server."
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Cellphedia, a SMS Social Network Service

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 21, 2005 @07:57PM (#12601930)
    Cellphedia, a SMS Social Network Service

    Based on ideas taken from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] and dodgeball [dodgeball.com], Cellphedia [cellphedia.com] allows its members to broadcast questions to its community and receive answers, using SMS text messaging on cell phones. Here is how it works, according to " Cellphedia Melds Facts with Mobile Smart Mobs [ecommercetimes.com]" from E-Commerce Times. First, you register for free on the site and you indicate what are your subjects of interest. If you want to ask a question, it is sent to all the members who expressed interest in this particular subject. Finally, the first answer received by Cellphedia is sent back to you. This means that later answers, which could have been more accurate, are discarded. But this service is still very young and its creator is working hard to improve it. Read more...

    Here is a general description of this service, created by Limor Garcia as part of her thesis while at New York University.

    Inspired by Wikipedia, the all-volunteer, online community encyclopedia, and Dodgeball, a cell phone-based social networking service, Cellphedia allows its members to broadcast questions to its community and receive answers, all through a mobile phone.

    Registration for the service is free at the Cellphedia Web site. After registering, members choose areas that they're interested in -- art, architecture, food, music, etc. A member can ask a question in any area, but the questions go to people who have chosen the area as one that interests them.

    Questions and answers are sent and received using SMS on your cell phone. And as I wrote above, only the first answer received by CellPhedia is sent back to the person who asked a question.

    Unlike Wikipedia, answers to questions via Cellphedia aren't subjected to community review to assess their accuracy. And while multiple members might answer a question, only the first answer received by the system is forwarded to an inquirer.

    Garcia noted that group editing of answers is her next priority for the service. "I'm going to open it up for people to correct answers as well," she said.

    Interviewed for this article, Howard Rheingold, from Smart Mobs [smartmobs.com], said that Cellphedia was another example of the convergence between technologies such as cell phone, computers and Internet.

    "The phone gives you instant communication wherever you are," he explained. "And the Internet enables you to connect with people who share an interest. Combining that gives you the ability to create something like Wikipedia with a social network."

    "It remains a question about whether she's going to get a sufficient critical mass," he noted. "Wikipedia works because there's a sufficient number of people working on it."

    Now, let's look at some examples of questions and answers stored on the Cellphedia central server. As you can see, there are all kinds of requests.

    • Short question, short answer
      Q: age new pope
      A: 78
    • Short question, long answer
      Q: what's a phreak
      A: a phreak is someone who is highly skilled in the use of phone systems. phreaksare considered a subset of hackers.
    • Long question, short answer
      Q: does someone know how to install osx tiger on to an ipod for later installation on an ibook?
      A: not possible
    • A question without answer
      Q: where can i find info on time travel?

    For another point of view about this service, you can read this article from Wired News, "

  • Answers... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hogwash McFly ( 678207 ) on Saturday May 21, 2005 @07:58PM (#12601939)
    Answers to questions, eh?

    Such as, 'How does Roland Piquepaille sleep at night'?
  • Go to hell! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CypherXero ( 798440 ) on Saturday May 21, 2005 @08:00PM (#12601951) Homepage
    Roland Piquepaille, go to hell!
  • by Scoria ( 264473 ) <slashmail AT initialized DOT org> on Saturday May 21, 2005 @08:10PM (#12602008) Homepage
    This message was immediately received by Cellphedia by SMS:

    who iz rolex pickapal n y iz he on slashdot lol lmao
  • suck .. this entire idea is a joke. Someone should be beaten repeatedly with the cluestick.
  • Ignoring the general hatred that seems to be around for Roland Piquepaille (DISCLAIMER: I have no opinion on the guy), is this something people would use?
    Maybe I'm missing something, but in the time it takes to ask the question and get an answer through your cell phone, I would think that you could find a computer and Google the inquirey. What could you possibly ask of a cell phone encyclopedia that you couldn't find on the internet?

    Wait! I don't think I want an answer to that.
  • Great idea (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mensa Babe ( 675349 ) on Saturday May 21, 2005 @08:16PM (#12602055) Homepage Journal
    It's just like Wikipedia only with one-sentence articles with no punctuation, every query costs you arm and leg and reading with 2-point font makes you blind in the process. I expect it to be a great success. Cellphones are truly amazing.
  • effing a (Score:3, Funny)

    by Valar ( 167606 ) on Saturday May 21, 2005 @08:22PM (#12602087)
    just make roland an editor so we can block his stories and get on with it.
  • by Dave21212 ( 256924 ) <dav@spamcop.net> on Saturday May 21, 2005 @08:26PM (#12602113) Homepage Journal

    No, really... that's what it says.

    With all the advances in KM over the years [ibm.com], maybe a more interesting approach would be to have the system aggregate/rate responses over a period of time and respond with the top 3 or so. As planned, I would think the system described is less than useful, it would be downright obnoxious once it hit critical mass (go read every first post [slashdot.org] on /. for a preview).
    • I think everyone will answer the same question slightly differently, and then its down to software to parse and understand the reactions and weigh all the odds and bits until a perfect singular response emerges.

      While they are coding this up, they could spare 5 minutes to handle slash dupes ;)
  • spam? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ErichTheWebGuy ( 745925 ) on Saturday May 21, 2005 @08:27PM (#12602115) Homepage
    I see a massive potential for spam.

    1. Setup a SMS bridge
    2. Register for all topics of interest
    3. write a script that replies almost instantly with "I hear that all the time, here is an in-depth article on my website" that points to whatever porn/free ipod/whatever spam site
    4. profit!!!
  • by britneys 9th husband ( 741556 ) on Saturday May 21, 2005 @08:27PM (#12602119) Homepage Journal
    If you use this, how do you have any assurance that the answers you get are actually accurate? Given the number of uninformed people walking around, not to mention people who think it's funny to hand out deliberate misinformation, wouldn't this be practically useless? And you can completely forget about any questions that would attract commercially motivated answers (e.g. Where is the nearest gas station?)
  • the only reply that you ever get is "First Post!!!"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    children. As soon as you've got children who can easily get in touch with you, via SMS or other means, you'll find yourself fielding all sorts of stupid questions.

    This cellpodiatry thing ought to be a great introduction for couples contemplating kids. With some experience they may change their minds.

    Son, "Dad, the cars out of gas, what do I do."

    Dad, "You walk to a gas station, borrow a can, buy some gas, walk back to the car, put it in, drive back to the gas station, return the can, and buy more gas. Don
  • Brilliant (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kent_eh ( 543303 ) on Saturday May 21, 2005 @09:26PM (#12602429)
    I wonder which cell phone provider came up with this idea.
    Some cell companies charge as much as $0.15 per SMS message.
    If this thing catches on, they'll be rolling in cash (even more than they are now).
  • So, I'll take a test and just whip out my cell phone and send a question I'm having problem on to this service and get back an answer. Awesome!
  • At least "wikipedia" is a funky pigeon of Hawaiian and English, which is kinda natural for any combo with a Hawaiian word.

    But cellphedia sounds more like a social disease than a social network. They need a new name.
  • for all the reasons noted elsewhere, this probably isn't going anywhere.

    But, human behavior, particularly human social behavior is complex. Many a sure thing has foundered on human complexity, and many a ridiculous idea has become the next big thing because of it. After all, the idea of a world class operating system being created and maintained by a worldwide network of volunteers (and people paid to contribute to a free, public work by their employers) would have seemed absurd to nearly anybody with any
  • Everybody needs a sidekick!

    "fabric softener? so that's how those hip hop guys get all the babes!"

    man... i had no idea some dumbass would make an automated service based on a comercial for a different product.
  • There's already others doing this (at least in the UK), most notably two commercial services using call centers, Re5ult [re5ult.com] and AQA [issuebits.com], as well as Nuggets [mynuggets.net], an automatic service.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.

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