FAQ

DOTGO makes it easy for you to offer mobile content. Want to learn more? Start here by having a look at answers to some of the questions frequently asked by publishers.

General

What is it?

DOTGO is a powerful new mobile publishing platform that allows your company, brand, or web site to quickly, easily, and cheaply offer mobile services, with particular emphasis on text messaging.

How does it work?

To use DOTGO, just send a text message starting with an internet domain name to the phone number DOTCOM (368266)—or to one of the phone numbers DOTNET (368638), or DOTORG (368674), as appropriate.

For example, text "cnn" to the phone number DOTCOM (368266) to access cnn.com. Or text "wikipedia" to the phone number DOTORG (368674) to access wikipedia.org.

Many services also accept additional input, allowing you to specify exactly what information you are looking for. For example, text "weather" + your zip code to the phone number DOTCOM (368266) to get a weather forecast from weather.com. Or text "ezipsky" + your zip code + something in the night sky (like the name of a planet, star, or constellation) to the phone number DOTCOM (368266) to get up-to-the-minute instruction on how to see a celestial object from ezipsky.com. Just remember that the first word of your message specifies the internet domain name and the phone number specifies the top-level domain.

The obvious advantage of DOTGO over dedicated and shared "short code" services is that it carries over brand-name recognition from the internet. You have already invested significant resources in promoting the brand name of your internet domain name; now you can offer mobile services under exactly the same brand name. With DOTGO, mobile users already know how to find you and your content—they simply send a text message starting with your internet domain name to the phone number DOTCOM (368266), or to one of the other DOTGO phone numbers as appropriate. Why acquire and promote a specialized "short code" phone number when you can already offer mobile services under your existing internet domain name through DOTGO?

What can I do with it?

You can use DOTGO to implement mobile services that send information to and receive information from mobile users. Specifically, you can use DOTGO to implement both "interactive" and "subscription" services. Interactive services provide content on demand. For example, a public transportation network might use DOTGO to provide its bus and train schedules, and a fast-food restaurant chain might use DOTGO to provide nutrition information about items on its menu. Subscription services provide content on a regular (or irregular) schedule. For example, a news service might use DOTGO to provide breaking news alerts, and a radio station might use DOTGO to provide traffic alerts. You can also use DOTGO to connect with your users through our powerful API.

How do I participate?

Do you own an internet domain name? Then you already participate! Don't believe it? Then try it now. Just send a text message starting with your internet domain name to the phone number DOTCOM (368266)—or to one of the phone numbers DOTNET (368638), or DOTORG (368674), as appropriate. [For example, if you owned the internet domain "example.com," then you would text "example" to the phone number DOTCOM (368266); if you owned "example.net," then you would text "example" to DOTNET (368638).] By default, DOTGO is configured to return simple content for all internet domains—including yours.

Can I customize the content returned under my internet domain name?

Of course—that's the point of DOTGO. If you own an internet domain name, then you—and only you—have the authority to customize the content returned under that internet domain name by DOTGO.

DOTGO is built upon the "Concise Message Routing Language" or "CMRL"—a markup language specifically designed to express mobile content. Using CMRL, a simple mobile service can be created in seconds, while a more complex mobile service can return arbitrarily sophisticated content. Your mobile service can be as simple or as extensive as you like. Return static or dynamic content. Provide information. Collect information. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

How long does it take to deploy my mobile service?

Using DOTGO, you can deploy your mobile service instantly. How? Simply by placing a file called “index.cmrl” onto the root directory of your web server. The file index.cmrl contains instructions (written in CMRL) that describe how to distribute content via cell-phone text messaging, much as the file “index.html” contains instructions (written in HTML) that describe how to distribute content via the web.

Does it work with all mobile phones?

Yes. DOTGO works using SMS text messaging, which is supported by virtually all mobile phones and is an extremely popular and rapidly-growing form of communication. You don't need a special "smart" phone, and you don't need to download and install a custom application program. (Of course, DOTGO also works beautifully on all smart phones.)

What carriers does it support?

DOTGO currently supports the following carriers:

  • Cincinnati Bell
  • Sprint
  • Cricket (Leap Wireless)
  • United States Cellular Corp
  • Verizon
  • T-Mobile
  • Alltel-Allied
  • AT&T
  • C Spire Wireless (aka Cellular South)
  • IWireless
  • Metro PCS (including subsidiary PTA-FLA)
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Boost Mobile
  • Union Telephone
  • nTelos
  • TracFone (AT&T)
  • West Central Wireless
  • Bluegrass Cellular
  • Rural Independent Network Alliance (RINA)
  • East Kentucky Network (Appalachian Wireless)
  • Illinois Valley Cellular
  • Inland Cellular
  • Nex Tech Communications
  • Boost-CDMA
  • CellCom
  • Immix
  • Revol Wireless
  • ECIT
  • Alaska Communications Systems (ACS)
  • United Wireless
  • GCI Communications
  • Thumb Cellular
  • Cross Wireless
  • Chat Mobility
  • Northwest Missouri Cellular
  • Pioneer Cellular
  • Panhandle Wireless
  • Element Mobile
  • Golden State Cellular
  • Viaero Wireless
  • Plateau Wireless
  • Cellular One of NE PA (South Canaan Cellular)
  • MTPCS Cellular One (Cellone Nation)
  • Epic Touch
  • Mosaic Telecom
  • Mobi PCS
  • Peoples Wireless
  • Duet IP (Max. Wireless/Wireless Comm. Venture)
  • Chariton Valley Cellular
  • MobileNation/SI Wireless
  • MTA Wireless/Matanuska Kenai
  • SRT Wireless/North Dakota Network Co.

What is the DOTGO technical infrastructure?

DOTGO is implemented on a network of scalable, redundant computer servers located at various secure data centers around the USA. These computer servers are monitored 24 hours per day, seven days per week. DOTGO implements regular data backups to assure reliability.

Pricing and Costs

How much does it cost?

All basic DOTGO services for publishers are offered free of charge. That means no setup fees, no monthly fees, and no per-message fees. There is simply no faster, easier, or cheaper way for you to implement your mobile service.

How much would it cost to replicate this on my own?

Operating a dedicated "short code" service is an expensive proposition. Set-up fees run typically $2000 or more, and ongoing fees run typically $2000 or more per month and up to $0.05 or more per message. Operating a shared "short code" service is cheaper, but still expensive. Ongoing fees run typically $100 or more per keyword per month and up to $0.10 or more per message. Then there are costs associated with building and maintaining the computer hardware and software needed to operate the service. DOTGO handles all of this and more, allowing you to concentrate on your content.

Do you attach advertisements to my outgoing messages?

By default, DOTGO does not attach advertisements to your outgoing messages. DOTGO does allow some publishers the option of having short, targeted advertisements appended onto their outgoing messages through the (beta) DOTGO Advertising Program.

So how do you make money?

DOTGO makes money in two ways: (1) by selling DOTGO Premium Services and (2) by selling advertising impressions through our (beta) DOTGO Advertising Program.

What are DOTGO Premium Services?

DOTGO Premium Services are optional services—available for a fee—that augment and enhance the basic DOTGO services for publishers. Examples of DOTGO Premium Services include (1) analytics (which allow you to monitor all traffic associated with your internet domain name), (2) debugging tools (which help you to develop and maintain your mobile service), (3) high-throughput and -volume messaging queues (which provide your mobile service with high-performance capabilities), and (4) service level agreements (which guarantee the performance of your mobile service). Currently, only the DOTGO Analytics premium service is available directly through the DOTGO web site. If you are interested in one of the other DOTGO Premium Services, then please contact us at contact@dotgo.com.

What is the (beta) DOTGO Advertising Program?

DOTGO allows some publishers the option of having short, targeted advertisements appended onto their outgoing messages through the (beta) DOTGO Advertising Program. These advertisements are optional, at the discretion of the publisher, and revenue generated from these advertisements is shared with the publishers. If you are interested in the (beta) DOTGO Advertising Program, then please contact us at contact@dotgo.com.

Concise Message Routing Language

What is the "Concise Message Routing Language" or "CMRL"?

The "Concise Message Routing Language" or "CMRL" is an XML-based markup language designed by DOTGO specifically to express mobile content.

What can I do with CMRL?

You can use CMRL with DOTGO to implement pretty much any mobile service that you can think of. Although CMRL is easy to learn and simple to use, it is also extremely powerful and flexible. Using CMRL, you can create dynamic mobile service with "engines" that connect DOTGO to the internet, databases, and other computer-based services. You can also create content links wth "anchors" (which are analogous to web hyperlinks) and store session information with "session variables" (which are analogous to web cookies). Further, CMRL has facilities for creating subscriptions, account services, and social networking applications. Chances are that if you can imagine it, then you can implement it in CMRL with DOTGO.

Is CMRL documented?

Yes, CMRL is fully documented. To learn about CMRL, have a look at the document A Brief Introduction to DOTGO, then check out the DOTGO documentation page.

Is CMRL only for text messaging?

No, CMRL is designed to express mobile content irrespective of the medium by which it is delivered, although DOTGO currently places particular emphasis on text messaging.

Subscriptions and Registration

What is a subscription?

A subscription is a way for your users to receive information through DOTGO on a regular (or irregular) schedule. Your users can arrange to receive subscription messages or "alerts" at a fixed time interval (say daily) or when something happens (say when a breaking news headline is released). Your users can also arrange to receive a "one-off" alert, which can serve as a sort of text-message reminder.

How can I offer a subscription?

Any user can subscribe to any query on any schedule directly from their mobile phone. But you can make it easier for your users to subscribe to your mobile service by suggesting subscription queries and schedules and by promoting your subscriptions on the web. To learn more, have a look at the document Documenting and Promoting Your DOTGO Mobile Service.

How can I know how many subscribers I have?

The DOTGO Analytics premium service allows you to monitor all traffic associated with your internet domain name, including how many subscribers you have to every query. To sign up for DOTGO Analytics, you need to have a DOTGO&trade account. You can sign in to your DOTGO account through the DOTGO account page, or you can register for a DOTGO account through the DOTGO register page.

Next Steps

How do I get started?

To get started with DOTGO, have a look at the document A Brief Introduction to DOTGO, then check out the DOTGO documentation page. If you still have questions, or to learn about DOTGO Premium Services or the (beta) DOTGO Advertising Program, then please contact us at contact@dotgo.com.