Now I'm a big fan of text messaging. Ironically, the large majority of my text messages don't come from humans. I currently receive most of my text messages from two sources. I do text other people, but not very often. Most of my messages come from computers.
The first source is US Bank. Whenever a transaction on my account occurs over $10 I am notified. This is really helpful to track purchases and detect fraud early.
The other source is Facebook. Now, these messages do come from people but they didn't actually send them to my phone. The fun part about this is when someone writes on my wall or sends me a message I typically can respond within minutes by logging onto my computer or just responding to the text. I tend to confuse my friends because they think I'm constantly on Facebook. These messages help make Facebook a seamless form of communication.
Getting back to the point of this post, UofL now offers safety alerts via text messages. Information about this system can be found at http://louisville.edu/alerts
From what I can tell they have contracted a third party company called Get Rave. The service simply allows school administrators to send out bulk text messages to those students who opt into the program. Registration was very simple, my student username and password was already linked to the system. I simply entered my name and phone number followed by a verification number that was sent to my phone.
From a student's standpoint this system will be very beneficial. During the spring semester several bomb threats were phoned and emailed to UofL and helped prompt this type of system to be put into place. Additionally, emails will be sent with the same emergency information to any specified email address. However, in emergency situations, checking an email address isn't always the fastest mode of communication.
Hopefully this system will never need to be used but I can say I feel a little safer knowing that I'll be alerted as fast as possible should there be an emergency.