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A straightforward approach is to use a SMS gateway together with a database and a HTTP server.In most cases the SMS gateway is installed on a regular smartphone (Figure 1).At work is essentially the same mechanism as in “gamification” of services, the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context to engage users and solve problems .
For SMS messages the simplest approach is to send a link to an online survey.
Given the wide-spread use of internet enabled smartphones, websites are now more accessible than ever.
However, most users will never complete the survey.
In one experiment we found that while 3,000 of 20,000 accessed the website directly with their phone, only 500 completed the survey.
Some European countries enforce an all-out ban on all SPAM like communication or require prior-consent.
However, non-commercial actors like researchers are often accepted from such regulations.
While plain text messages might be regarded as old and unattractive, the technology is fairly robust as it is very simple to generate and use.
All types of mass-messaging give a low response-rate as e.g.
Collecting data with mobile phones and SMS messages is one of many alternatives to more traditional methods.
Mass messaging using SMS is a fast and cheap way to initiate a new study.