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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Yet Another Reason to Hate Technology


SMS Get Minyanim Through Text Messaging and Email

Introduction

It is now possible to find upcoming minyanim through SMS (text messaging) and through email! This means that if you have text message or email capabilities on your cell phone or PDA (or have friends who do) you can almost instantly -- usually within 30 seconds -- get local shul minyan information even when you are on the go and away from your computer.

Current areas of coverage

This service is currently available in the following areas that MinyanMaps has extensive coverage:

  • Manhattan
  • Queens
  • Far Rockaway
  • Five Towns
  • Tri-state Metro Area Mincha
  • Edison, NJ
  • Teaneck, NJ

As additional areas attain greater minyan coverage the service will be rolled out to those areas. We rely greatly on the assistance of users like you to enter in minyan information so that shortly this system will work for anywhere in the world.

Therefore, before attempting to use the SMS feature in other areas, please check MinyanMaps on the web to ensure that your area has complete minyan coverage

How

Your cell phone must first of all be capable of sending emails. Many cell phones can send text messages and emails. A good way to check is to see if, in the area where you phone asks whom you are sending the message, it gives an option to type using letters instead of just numbers. Consult your phone's manual.

The address to send the message to is minyanim@minyanmaps.com. The body of the message can either be a zip code, or a city and state in the format city, state (eg., Kew Gardens Hills, NY). There is no need to enter an email subject. You may optionally enter in a start time (if you don't the assumed time is the current one), and the number of results you would like to receive (default is 5). The time must be entered in the format of Hours:MinutesAM/PM (eg., 8:45AM; 12:40PM). To change the number of results type '#' followed by the number. Finally, you must put a space between all search words.

Here are some examples:

How do I get... Send this message...
Upcoming 5 minyanim in Far Rockaway Far Rockaway, NY
Upcoming 10 minyanim in Forest Hills, NY Forest Hills, NY #10
Upcoming 5 minyanim in Lawrence, NY starting 3:45PM or later Lawrence, NY 3:45PM
Upcoming 5 minyanim in zip code 11367 11367
Upcoming 15 minyanim in zip code 11516 starting 1:30PM or later 11516 1:30PM #15

Since there is a limit of 160 characters per SMS message, only two or three minyanim can fit in a single message. Therefore, if you request more than you may receive multiple messages that contain the MinyanMaps response.

Additionally, due to these space constraints, the response is abbrievated. Here is a sample response that you might receive:

Min Shaarei Teshuv 4:00 14435 71nd Rd
Min Cong Toras Eme CL+5 [~4:47] 7815 Parsons Blvd.
Min Sephardim CL+5 [~4:47] 15062 78th Road


The first three letters represents Mincha, a tefillah type (Shachris, Mincha or Maariv). Then, comes the abbreviated shul name. The time for minyan follows. In this case, CL+5 indicates that the minyan will take place 5 minutes after candle lighting, followed by the calculated time for that minyan. Finally comes the address of the minyan.

The service is very exacting. If you do not follow the instructions correctly, you may not receive a response. We appreciate all feedback for this most useful service.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the most up-to-date and comprehensive minyan database is www.GoDaven.com

4:11 PM  

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