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Inside The Circle: Using Broadcast SMS In A Sports Club

Pat Byrne

Abstract


With over 100% penetration, the mobile phone has become a normalised part of everyday communications in Ireland. This paper examines the use of the mobile phone within two Irish sporting clubs and finds that in both the regular practice of communication has been transformed by the use of broadcast SMS text messages sent using the ‘distribution list’ facility on handsets or through the web. The SMS are sent by club administrators for information distribution and as reminders for gatherings, causing an increased cohesiveness within the group. For the administrators, broadcast SMS offers a convenience in what is a voluntary job, communicating information on fixtures, matches and training, essential for the smooth running of the club. For the club members who receive the SMS, the distribution of such information through their mobile phone has saved time and minimised travel, while strengthening their ties to the club. Both groups are enthusiastic and quote instances of how it provides new opportunities to them and how they can plan their lives around this new way of working.

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