Thumbprint

  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • ongoing

A platform for prototyping, developing and sustaining socially valuable uses of mobile messaging.

Thumbprint has been going long enough to say that there are a range of guaranteed positive results from using it.

More people will come to your events.

"The numbers were up 100% on what we would have expected and I think a large chunk of that increase is from the text messaging service."

Which means better results and better value for money to report in monitoring forms for funders.

“Within seconds of sending out a message the phones start ringing. It is a good way to infill workshops at the last minute and also a way to inform our clients of opportunities that need to be urgently filled."

Using Thumbprint means you can keep in touch with people over long periods.

“I started coming back because I got this text...and I've been coming ever since."

You can support people to improve their wellbeing.

“Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for the bibliotherapy texts, they really helped me get through my battle with anorexia, from which I'm fully recovered now...Thanks for this wonderful service.”

You can support people who are changing their behaviour.

“One message I received made me think about myself then act on it.”

You can support people 'out of hours' when your group or organisation isn't open.

“When I get texts on an evening and a weekend it’s best because that’s when I need it most.”

By using Thumbprint you can support people who are caring for other people, and might feel lonely and isolated.

"It cheered me on a bad day. I felt in touch."

You can listen to people's voices.

“We are 6 mums and we'd like to plead with you about giving the Winch Project funds so it could carry on the wonderful activities for the children. Please as it is the only chance for all low income families. Please.”

Those voices can be poetic.

"The 375 terminus at Shiloh Road - it has to be Manchester's loneliest bus terminus, with sweeping moorland views "

And heartfelt.

"piccadilly is my best, because i found the love of my life there. Ten years strong. By jim of salford."

Because it is based on experience going back to 2001, Thumbprint has the set of built-in features that most groups and organisations typically need in order to get started quickly and make productive use of mobile messaging.

That means it's easy to try out ideas for using mobile messaging in new ways, for example in bibliotherapy.

Thumbprint was even used to develop the first version of this game.

Thumbprint is used by people and organisations as different in size and activity as a council mental health service, a tenants and residents association, a community allotment , a community creative writing workshop , a drug and alcohol treatment agency , a local councillor to consult people about a budget and many more.

Thumbprint supports distributed rather than top-down ways of making things happen better.

It puts a tool in the hands of people and organisations that lets them come up with their own new ways to look after themselves and each other, and to share those models for other people to build on.

Why is Thumbprint so effective?

It is "such an accessible way of communicating” according to Linda Wilkinson, Head of Market Development and Innovation at Kirklees Council.

“Everyone can and does use mobile messaging to keep in touch. As councils increasingly look at ways to assist the development of supportive networks - either across communities of interest or in neighbourhoods - this simple technology has been shown to be effective. It puts control firmly in the hands of individuals. It’s cheap. And it works.”

One of the things that validates Thumbprint as a way to sustain mental wellbeing and positive choices is how consistent the responses are from people who take part in different contexts, including a group of young men on a council estate in Huddersfield, a community mental health network in South London, and an arts and mental health charity.

A set of Thumbprint mental health and wellbeing themes always come up: an immediate boost in mood, a sense of connection (especially welcome "out of hours"), a prompt to reflect and question personal choices, timely coincidences that chime with a current situation, and building up a library of "resilience capital" against future dips in mood.

Thumbprint began life in 2006 (it was then called Anywhereblogs ), but the ideas, insights and experience it is based on can be traced back to the 2001 Guardian text message poetry competition and City Poems in 2003.