Sunday, September 03, 2006

Twittering Away

After months of not keeping up, I finally revisited Odeo, the new company that Evan Williams decided to start after leaving Google/Blogger.

I was aware of the plans to do podcasting from way back, so seeing it actually up and now working wasn't a surprise. What caught my eye instead was Twitter.

Living as we do in the Philippines (the SMS capital of the world!) I wanted to try it out right away. Registering was a snap, and adding the javascript to my blog's sidebar was easy, especially since I've now gotten quite used to adding these little web widgets to the sidebar. After Sitemeter, Technorati, and Flickr, Twitter was easy.

I have no idea, though, how this affects my phone bills. Since we're not used to paying to receive SMS messages here, I'm not certain how Globe will react if I were to suddenly receive a lot of SMSes from outside the country (I hope I don't get charged for them).

I'm also leery of sending messages from my phone to Twitter's SMS gateway in the US (with the +1 country code) since I know from experience I'll get charged roughly P20 a pop. So for now, I really don't expect to be updating my Twitter status via my phone, which is a rather sad state of affairs considering that's what it's designed for. The cost involved is prohibitive, at least for me. Therefore, my updates will still primarily be web-based, I think.

Now, if they had a Philippine gateway that I can use to send my latest status update to (for say P1.00 or P2.50 per message), I'd probably use it more religiously, and I'd be more predisposed to inviting my friends to this.

Come to think of it, Twitter reminds me a lot of the Ktext and Fanatxt services of local entertainment talents... you know, the one where you subscribe to receive SMS or MMS updates on their new gigs or events. The difference is that Twitter is for the masses (well, the mobile and web-aware masses, that is) and for now it doesn't support MMS-based updates.

Wouldn't be surprised if Globe or Smart think about implementing a localized version of this service once they get wind of this.


Update: I decided to send a Twitter update through SMS so I can check how much it will actually cost on my next bill. Interestingly, there's a noticeable delay before the update gets posted. I sent the text msg at 9:29pm and it finally appeared on my Twitter archive at 10:16pm -- a lag of 47 minutes.