Do it myself mobile microblogging?
April 20, 2008 8:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a barebones SMS service that would forward any text messages I submit to a web page (preferably via a POST request with variables formatted to my specifications) backed by PHP and MySQL. Basically, I'd like to try my hand at mobile microblogging, but without the hyper-social aspect, and retaining absolute control of the output. Pay services are fine, as are suggestions of alternative means of accomplishing what I seek.
posted by The Confessor to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Most US phone services have an email address that translates short emails into SMS messages for its subscribers. For example sends a message to a T-Mobile subscriber. This is by far the easiest method. Nearly all the websites that ask what carrier you use are doing it this way. I bet there's already a PHP class or PEAR module that has the list of special email addresses too.
posted by meta_eli at 8:19 AM on April 20, 2008

Or if you want something fancier, try Clickatell
posted by meta_eli at 8:26 AM on April 20, 2008

You seem to have misinterpreted my question, meta eli. I'm not looking to send SMS from a desktop or laptop, but to send an SMS from my mobile phone and have it be "forwarded" to a web page I code for addition to my database. The solutions you provided seem oriented to the former rather than the latter.
posted by The Confessor at 9:39 AM on April 20, 2008

I built something similar to this a few years ago (can't find the files though). I think I just texted to an email address and on my server I would connect to the email via pop3, open any new emails and use the data.
posted by deepscene at 9:51 AM on April 20, 2008

There are lots of ways to do this. Here is one.

1) Set up a twitter account that you can post to with your phone.
2) Use your twitter RSS feed to pull down your posts and add them to your blog. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, that range from easy (installing something like wordpress and an RSS syndication plugin), to a little more challenging (rolling your own RSS parser).

You could also text to an email address, then use one of many email to RSS services (Mailbucket is one, there are many).
posted by chrisamiller at 10:10 AM on April 20, 2008

I also built something that did this exactly.

I used a slightly different set up. I ran Trillian which has complex word-matching features. Whenever it detected an incoming AIM message with a certain code in front of it, I had a plugin that would post the content of the incoming message to an HTTP script. And I probably have that script somewhere around if you get in touch directly.

Since my phone was AIM-over-SMS enabled (this was back 5 years ago, before WAP/GPRS were big at all), I could use my phone's AIM client to send a quick SMS to my computer which would post to a PHP script that was chilling and would concat onto a running live blog.

Since I was traveling with another friend active on my (now very old school personal journal site), I had a different incoming code for him that stored his messages slightly different, and tracked them all. The result is here.

Moral of the story is that there isn't an easy way without setting up an actual Common Short Code to allow your computer to interpret or receive incoming SMS messages, unless you're using your provider's email bounce or AIM over SMS (which works for anyone, even if you don't have the AIM client; it's just a message or two to configure it; google for AIM SMS mobile or some such.)

And hit me up if you think you can make the Trillian thing work.
posted by disillusioned at 12:31 PM on April 20, 2008

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