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Text-enabled community engagement: Textizen ramps up

Entry on the Knight Digital Media Center blog:

Textizen is a new platform for interactively engaging people via SMS (simple messaging service) text messaging. It was initially developed during the 2012 Code for America fellowship with the City of Philadelphia. After receiving a $350,000 Knight News Challenge grant in 2013, the Textizen team worked on developing a number of features that were rolled out in late 2014.

Textizen founder Michelle Lee explained the challenge of automated, interactive two-way texting. “Text messages are freeform. People can write anything. It’s not easy for software to create meaning from text messages. That’s why we help organizations have rich, useful conversations brokered by technology.”

The Textizen platform supports several interactive text-focused features: surveys, feedback or data collection, mapping and other data visualization options, user-specific reminders and alerts, and more. These can be scheduled in advance, or sent out at predefined intervals. In addition to text messages, the platform can also accommodate picture messages (MMS)

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