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Tweet from a dumb phone

22/07/2009
Buzby - British Telecom's old mascot

Buzby - British Telecom's old mascot ... the original Tweeter

There are lots of Twitter clients out there for smart phones, but you can also tweet from a ‘dumb’ phone.  The trick is to use a service like TwitSay or TwitterFone.  Once you register, these services give you a local telephone number to call.  You can then record a short voice message.

  • If you use TwitSay, then your message will be held as an audio recording on TwitSay and a URL will be posted to your Twitter feed.
  • If you use TwitterFone then a transcription takes place and the resulting text is posted to your Twitter feed.  TwitterFone also allows you a few additional options such as being able to listen to your Twitter feed being read to you and then being able to post responses and direct messages through the same audio transcription system.

It’s an interesting alternative interface to Twitter and one with several benefits in terms of accessibility – both in a disability sense and an availability of technology sense.  Even with a smart phone you could take advantage of these services if for example you have voice dialling enabled … not that I’d recommend tweeting whilst driving.

Interestingly both services refer only to mobile phones.  I do wonder if a land line would work too.  I can’t see any reason that it wouldn’t unless you have caller ID sending off or the services are actively blocking them.  You would however need to be able to receive a text message to the land line for activation validation purposes.  however many operators offer an SMS to audio service so even that shouldn’t really be an issue for most people.

Now I want to know when I can have a transcription take place on my phone without using a service so that I can just dictate a tweet (or an SMS) and not even have to pay for the local call – just make use of the data plan instead.

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