Sunday, February 27, 2005

Not Quite Useable - Txting London's Blue Plaques

The seemingly unmaintained HandHeld History website - a joint venture between English Heritage and tech aware historiy freaks, apparently - tells you how to go about using your mobile to find out just a little bit more about the lives of the famous people who's homes, birthplaces, or occasional overnight resting places are immortalised by blue plaques.

If you txta message to 82222 starting with hhh and followed by one of the codes listed on the Blue Plaques SMS codes page, you'll get an informative txt back about the person named on the plaque. The codes are generated from the initial and suname indicated on the plaque, mostly - but there are exceptions, which is where this service falls down I think...

How much better if there wre a unique code on all the plaques?

The slightly premium rate Blue Plaques story codes service (which gives you an audio description) uses an 8 digit code made up of the year of birth and the year of death detailed on the plaque.

Given the number of plaques around the country, I can quite imagine that these numbers are not unique - but this numerical code is more reliable than the txt key, I think, if it is to be generated by your average punter (assuming all the plaques carry at east one date, and you know the rule to repeat the date if only one is shown). In cases of duplication, you might be informed of the two or more possibilities relating to Plaques sharing a key and asked to reply with your choice of which Plaque you'd like to know more about (and the hhh people may find that punters then go on to request info about the alternatives that shared bith and death dates - for an extra paid for message, of course!)


Post a Comment

<< Home