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It’s a Twitter Tuesday!: More cool stuff

March 27, 2007

Pulse …. check! Breathing … check! Still hooked on Twittercheck!

Twitter logo bigHere’s the latest on the Obvious micro-blogging application (join my Twitter group here):

bullet TWITTER BY MAIL: Found this cool new app, called Mail2Twitter, which allows you to post a “tweet” from your e-mail client. This is nice, since the instant-message access to Twitter has been spotty at best as the service booms.

Here’s how an e-mail looks to send a post to the service:

  1. To:
  2. Subject: twitterUsername twitterPassword
  3. Body: Type your tweet here, limited to 140 characters. No Enter alloweds (only the first line will be entered)

bullet API NEW FEATURES: TechCrunch makes us aware today that Twitter has changed its API to allow users to receive direct messages, which could lead to a whole lot of new services:

Until now, Twitter’s API hasn’t allowed you to access those direct messages though. With today’s API addition, you can now retrieve Twitter direct messages. What does that mean? A lot, quite frankly.

Twitter pageUsers can now send a command (”direct message”) to a username which is just a name for a web service like For example, there could be a Twitter username “weather”, which I could send a Twitter message of “d weather 14202″ by text, web, or IM. The Twitter username “weather” could get this command (er, Twitter “direct message”) via the API, run a process on a web server to retrieve the current weather forecast for 14202, and send that as a direct message back to me ( i.e. “d TechCrunch Currently: Partly Cloudy, 50F. Tomorrow’s Forecast: AM Clouds/PM Sun. High: 55 Low: 40″).

Or there could be a username “score”, which you could send “d score Yankees”, to immediately request the score of the Yankees game. Or another example could be “d 411 Starbucks 14202″ to retrieve the phone number of the closest Starbucks to zip code 14202.

The only negative that TechCrunch sees: Since Twitter is currently free, companies could use its API to send out and receive SMS information requests, and avoid using much-more-costly cellular-based services. That would strain the Twitter network (even more than it is now) and could lead to the end of “free” Twitter use.

bullet TECHNORATI CONCERNS: Dave Winer notes on his blog that the use of Twitter and the indexing of Twitter “blogs” on Technorati could artificially inflate Technorati rankings.

But can’t Technorati just block Twitter submissions (and all those TinyURLs) then? Disregard them in the rankings?

Also, a comment on Winer’s blog post asks how Twitter makes money. Anyone? I wondered that myself.

I can’t see Twitter without banner ads or sidebar ads for much longer. They’ve got the hot item, and they better start workin’ it before someone else comes along.

  1. March 27, 2007 11:09 am

    Nice piece, was also wondering if stuff like Twitter and more ‘tumblelogs’ actually get included in Technorati. Although I find the ranking system is actually kind of odd anyway and the strategies on various websites to make your blog grow even odder. Anyways, interesting stuff

  2. April 4, 2007 10:04 am

    Hey, saw your post on posting to Twitter via mail, and thought you might want to check out another similar service: – Mail-to-Twitter gateway that lets you both post new Tweets and retrieve your Twitter timeline on-demand via e-mail. Also supports some neat features like ‘’ direct messaging (no ‘d user’ syntax needed), source e-mail address registration, etc. Any feedback is appreciated, thanks!

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