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Use RSS, e-mail, or as you said Twitter. There are a lot of alternative solutions to this problem.

I grant that lack of uniformity is a problem.

That was the point I was making but didn't communicate effectively. There are a lot of different alternatives. Most of these alternatives are not 'push' but depend on the recipient monitoring something.

In the Further Education college I teach in, 98% of students have a mobile phone. Many of those are basic pay as you go dumb phones. Some feature phones, Blackberry phones are popular in UK with teenagers. A few have iPhones and Samsung and the LG slabby things. Not all have Web access on the phone (or have it but don't want to turn it on).

A result that surprised me was that teenagers don't access the Web that much on laptops or desktops.

The common denominator here is sms. I get 98% access. It costs a little money, but not huge. I hope it does not go away as we have brand (phone, carrier) dependent messaging.

SMS is great and should not go away. Charging a non trivial amount per message is ridiculous. US carriers are the worst offenders on this. They charge up to 20c to the sender AND the recipient.

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