Lab Status via Twitter

Employees can be notified of changes to the laboratory’s operations — for example, a delayed opening due to a heavy overnight snowfall — via the "Argonnestatus" account on Twitter. The account can be set to automatically send text messages to most mobile phones and PDAs.

In addition to a short description of any changes in laboratory operations, messages may contain links to additional, detailed information. Only messages about changes in laboratory business hours will be sent.

Most mobile communication devices can receive Twitter updates; instructions for receiving Argonne Status updates by phone are below. Any applicable text messaging charges from your provider are your responsibility. The Twitter Web site has basic information about the free online service.

Getting Argonne Status Updates via Twitter

To check Argonne's status from the Internet at any time, go to The most recent post is at the top.

You can also sign up to get a text message sent to your phone every time the status changes from Normal. You will only get notifications about changes in business hours. Standard text-messaging rates for your phone plan apply. Any applicable text messaging charges from your provider are your responsibility.

You do not have to sign up for a Twitter account to get updates.

  1. If you do not have a Twitter account: Send a text message to the number 40404 with the message: "Follow argonnestatus" (no quotation marks.)
  2. If you already have a Twitter account: Send a text message to the number 40404 with the message "ON argonnestatus" (no quotation marks.)

You will now receive updates from Argonnestatus!

To check whatever the latest status is at any time, text "GET argonnestatus" to 40404.

To stop getting updates, text the message "OFF argonnestatus" (no quotes) to 40404.

NOTE: Upon signing up to receive Twitter updates via text message, Twitter will also send you top Tweets "related to your interests." If you do not want to receive these extra messages, send another text message to 40404 with the message "SET DISCOVER OFF" (no quotation marks). See the Twitter SMS Commands page for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What's Twitter?
A: A place where users post very short (140 characters or less) updates. Users sign up to "follow" other users to see their updates. More general-use FAQ's are online at Twitter. For Argonne's purposes, it's a convenient way to get messages about changes in Argonne's operational status to our employees instantly.

Q: Where can I find Argonne's Twitter account?
A: The laboratory status Twitter is at (The laboratory has another account for science news, etc.)

Q: Do I need to get a Twitter account?
A: No. You can just get notifications sent straight to your phone.

Q: How will the messages get to my phone? How much will they cost?
A: Twitter sends the message in the form of a regular cell phone text message. It will make the same sound as a text message, and will cost you the same as a regular text message on your phone plan. Any applicable text messaging charges from your provider are your responsibility.

Q: Will Argonne start flooding me with text messages about every little thing, like what's for lunch today?
A: No. Argonnestatus will ONLY be updated for changes in laboratory business hours.

Q: How long will this take?
A: The whole process shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.

Q: When will the status be updated?
A: You will only receive a text message if lab business hours are definitely going to be delayed or cancelled. These messages are usually sent in the early morning hours, before 6 a.m. If you don't get a message, the default assumption is that the lab is open as normal.

Q: It's snowing hard … but I didn't get a text message, so I'm still not sure whether the laboratory is open today or not.
A: You can always check the laboratory status via the INFO line (630-252-INFO) or online on the Argonne website.

Q: I don't want to receive messages anymore. How do I stop getting them?
A: You can stop getting text messages from Argonne any time by sending a text message from your phone to 40404 with the message "OFF argonnestatus" (no quotes).

Q: I'm getting unwanted messages from Twitter or other users. How do I fix that?
A: This shouldn't happen, but if it does, send a text message with the word "QUIT" to 40404. Then text "ON argonnestatus" (no quotes). This should turn off all notifications except Argonnestatus.

Q: What other commands or actions does Twitter support via text message?
A: Please refer to the Twitter SMS Commands page in the Twitter Help Center for more information.