Keep in Touch When it Really Matters
WHAT IS PROJECT TEXT
Social media is great, but algorithms, noise and trolls make it impossible to make a real connection and get the insider information you need. We created Project Text as a way to cut through the clutter.
“What Twitter used to feel like.”
“What are you doing now”? That’s what Twitter originally set out to answer. It was meant to be an easy and inviting way to keep in touch with people you cared about. Distant and personal at the same time.
Today a lot of social media, and especially Twitter, isn’t about what any individual person is doing, but about what the world is thinking. It’s a great way to capture the #zeitgeist, but a horrible way to keep in touch and find out what any specific person is doing or thinking. Between trolls, fake accounts and general screeching, the signal to noise problem is real and getting worse.
But there are people you want to hear from. There are people who you trust or admire. There are experts whose insight you want immediately and you want to be able to send them your thoughts back. And usually those are the very people who are inundated with too much noise to any meaningful signal.
Project Text helps fans support the work of their favorite hosts while providing them unique and intimate access to to the insights and personalities they love.
Through Project Text you can subscribe to a hosts private SMS channel and get updates from them in real time and text back.
In simpler information times, you didn’t subscribe to a news source and hope the right information found you amidst a sea of misinformation. You paid to have it delivered to your doorstep, direct, clean and if the product didn’t satisfy, you would quit.
FROM THE PUBLISHERS SIDE
Project Text is about reaching people where it counts. Everyone uses SMS. It has a higher open/response rate than email and that’s because it’s a space in your life that is reserved for contacts you truly care about.
It’s a channel that is highly curated. That means it isn’t easily earned. If you’re a host and you are in somebody’s text contacts, you’re on the same footing as their mother, father, sister, brother and best friend. SMS is a highly curated channel, reserved for friends, family and an elite group of informational sources. It isn’t easily earned, but if you’re a host, every single signup means you have the power to grab somebody’s immediate attention at any time.
Thirty years ago, the best a reporter could hope for was to have their story on the front page, tossed onto the doorstep of readers. Today, you can make somebody’s leg or purse buzz with an alert. That’s power.
Becoming a host is easy. You can fill out this form in under five minutes and we will get back to you asap with a host page ready to roll. From there, you’ll see how many subscribers and the messages they’ve received from you over time and of course, the messages they’ve sent back to you.
You’re under no obligation to respond to every message, but it’s quick, easy and builds loyalty like no other type of interaction. Kevin Kelly posited the theory of 1,000 true fans in 2008. If you have 1,000 subscribers paying $5–10 a month to get your text messages, you have a kind of freedom and independence that most content creators only dream of. You are your own boss — and you monetize your content directly with your audience, mediated only by SMS.
You can send 2–3 texts a week, insights, gold nuggets of info, or whatever you think your audience would appreciate, but that can be enough to grow your audience even more. Subscribers are on your team, they are your superfans and they can also be your eyes, ears and tipsters for you.
Great question, especially now that we’ve hit a new phase of the project.
First: Features. Lots and lots of product features. You know you’ve got an exciting project when you can brainstorm with your team and come up with enough features to keep a developer busy for months. We have features that will be audience facing as well as features to better support our hosts. Those are all coming!
We are starting out with beat reporters, but Project Text doesn’t have to be only for journalists. We see a future where fitness gurus, life coaches, business and cryptocurrency experts, popular entertainers and more use Project Text to stay in touch with their fans, build community and more.
We can also imagine really unique use-cases for Project Text.
Can a local beat reporter organize scavenger hunts or partner with their audience to get photos around a city?
Instead of being built around a host, can a Project Text be built around the story? Can you imagine signing up to get SMS updates about the government shutdown from a team of DC reporters?
Can Project Text be used to organize a book club, or protest?
Could a diet and workout plan stay on track with a life-coach waking you up every morning with a text, and there to answer your questions?
Can social influencers use this to better understand their audiences’ burning questions and answer them directly?
There’s no shortage of ways that Project Text can be used. And we are looking forward to seeing how hosts and subscribers lead the way!