Tag: SMS

Explanation of Twitter…priceless

A couple of burgers and salads, and a few soft drinks…uh, I’ve already lost the receipt (and I already threw the punchline out in the title anyway).

I grabbed lunch with Alex King earlier today, the original idea being picking his brain on some WordPress stuff I’m tooling around with (as well as paying my respects for all the great plug-ins he has developed and I have pilfered without coughing up donations). It was worth negotiating the highway at midday, and it came with an unexpected gift – getting a real down to earth explanation of what Twitter is all about (you know, the explanation I was still waiting for).

Anyway, I’ve had this Twitter plug-in for WordPress activated for some time, but never bothered to use it because I wasn’t really using Twitter in the first place. Alex pursued the development of the plug-in after some initial skepticism regarding Twitter himself – the genesis of the project was a quick and easy way to archive Twitter posts, and it grew from there.

I’m not going to get into detail regarding Alex’s take on the service other than to say that my initial suspicions regarding the success Twitter would have as a result of their open API are shared. Mr. King also pointed out TwitterBerry to me, which I’ve now installed on my 8700, OTA. It makes a lot of sense for any Blackberry user who doesn’t have unlimited SMS (although I have plenty, I hate keeping track of that kind of stuff, and already have unlimited data).

I still have doubts, based primarily on the fact that Twitter is a social service and I’d be hard pressed to get any of my “old fart” friends to join – I can’t even get them to read this blog (although that may be due to its low quality nature. Nevertheless, I like the idea of being able to record snippets that wouldn’t otherwise be appropriate for a blog entry (like one liners), and having them compiled at the end of each day.

Thanks Alex.

Alright, you’re a VC. Please, explain twitter to me.

Someone asked this question of Fred Wilson, and I am still looking for a solid answer myself. But I did do some digging.

I signed up for twitter, and did one post. I subsequently made my page private until I could figure the thing out. I installed the twitter plugin for this blog site, but haven’t used it. Then I called (novel, eh) ten friends and pointed them to twitter to get their thoughts. The makeup of those contacts was as follows:

  • A commercial banker who deals primarily in real estate development loans
  • A residential real estate agent who deals in middle market (750K to 2MM) properties
  • A credit card processing technology entrepreneur
  • A bond trader from a top-tier firm
  • A software engineer who specializes in mobile and video streaming applications
  • The CFO of a Midwestern retail operation
  • The CEO of a small movie production company
  • A bankruptcy attorney
  • An “angel” investor with three exits under their belt
  • and

  • A stay-at-home mother/former insurance industry executive
  • You know…really dumb people with no money, no job, no family, no track record, no life…real mainstream human beings – that’s who I asked. For the technology-embracing bit, I do know that two use Mac laptops exclusively, two are Blackberry addicts, and one is a desktop instant messaging freak. One is a Windows user that blocks ALL cookies and JavaScript and lives with it. Most use online banking. Three haven’t replied, but here are some of the comments:

  • “I don’t want strangers to know what I am up to every minute of the day, so I’ll keep my profile private and befriend you, but only if you keep your profile private as well.”
  • “I have a Blackberry – I still can’t keep up with my email.”
  • “This is Blackberry on the web, right?”
  • “I have two IM clients already – I don’t need another.”
  • “I’m on a family plan, and my kid uses all the texting.”
  • Nothing really groundbreaking here, but it does give you something of a first impression from the stupid set. The only opinion I can offer so far is that twitter has something of a barrier to entry with the SMS integration, and dealing with SMSCs can be a real pain (so kudos to them). Also, it is probably going to grow like mad with the publicly available API. Will that be enough? Or will it add more noise to an already very noisy idea?

    Still looking for answers…

    Still waiting for mobile spam

    Pundits have been saying that mobile spam was right around the corner for quite a while ago. The purported presence of it in Europe and Asia aside, I haven’t heard much else about it. Maybe that is because I am a dumb American who doesn’t know how to type on that little keypad very well. Or maybe it is because my carrier makes SMS a dime a message even if it is unsolicited harrassment from an ex. Either way, messaging hasn’t caught on, hence the coming onslaught of spam hasn’t either. And who cares – companies are already chasing solutions, so by the time it actually catches on over here, we’ll have plenty of ways to stop it (as well as plenty of new technologies to supplant short messaging altogether).

    Why you need a web-capable phone

    Blackberry, crackberry, smackberry – I don’t care what the brand or connotation is, you have to have a web-capable phone. Or at least a short-messaging plan. Why?

    You know when you are away from your computer, you could miss one of those great stock tips that hits your inbox. Luckily for you, with that cell phone you can now get all those juicy, money making secrets

    December 14, 2005 Add Comment

    Even in communist China, it is all about the profit

    Funny that China is a communist country, and yet all I ever hear is how rich everyone over there is getting. Maybe it is the massive flow of capital leaving the US, or maybe it is just that spammers have opted out of wired email punishment, and gone directly to mobile spam.

    The Chinese are on track to send roughly 300 billion SMS messages this year. It is no wonder the sleaze has already found its way in.

    Seen this on your phone?


    Cell phone subscribers in the Phillipines have – it is the latest in SMS spam. While this article points out a number of different scams perpetrated by those who responded to this message, Spamroll will give you the highlights…

    What is SPIM, and who is his address?

    I have heard this new acronym “SPIM” used in a variety of contexts. First it is spam over instant messaging, then it morphs into spam over cell phones, and now it is the combination of the two. I don’t know if we will ever learn what exactly “SPIM” is, but you can be certain of two things…

    SMS spam rules, fines get tougher in Korea

    South Koreans are about to receive less spam on their cell phones if their government’s plans take hold. According to this press release, fines for unsolicited cell phone calls, land-line calls, faxes, and short messages could hit roughly $30K per violation. The new opt-in only rulings don’t effect email, but don’t you fret. The new generation of our Asian friends don’t use much email nowadays anyway (see New Forms of Online Communication Spell End of Email Era in Korea).

    Mobile Operator fined for SMS spam

    Once again, the big companies are at it. But this time, they get hammered. Turns out, a mobile phone operator in Denmark sent out a bunch of SMS spam, supposedly as “a test”. With MSNBC it was a “mistake”; with these guys, “a test”. Well they got fined, as they should.

    SMS Could Die Without A Real Try

    SMS just won’t make it in America, if things proceed on their present course. The reason being, we are just to trusting to newfangled service providers. That should be a good thing, but those same service providers are often the ones using every means possible to get your business, even if it means spamming your phone and IM address.

    Case in point…SMS.ac.

    It seems that during the signup process for an otherwise nifty service, these folks down in San Diego snatch your email, your mobile phone number, your IM address and its buddy lists, and who knows what else. A number of folks have found their contacts getting pummeled by invitations to join the service, even if they never finished the signup process.

    To make matters worse (in what will end up worse for the company), they have happened on a couple of cyberspace blog-jockeys with deep pockets, big connections, and plenty of time to spare on bashing.

    Some very popular folks in cyberspace have had problems with these guys, including Russell Beattie (read Russell Beattie Notebook – SMS.ac is a scam), and Joi Ito (see Joi Ito’s Web: Apologies for spamming friends with SMS.ac). Topping it off, the company has even threated to sue Joi, which did nothing more than make for added bad publicity (dirty details here).

    If the strategy here is negative publicity, SMS.ac is sure doing a good job of it.

    Now the bull is well on his way to smashing the china closet, as complaints of fraudulent billing, misrepresentation, and other nastiness are now coming out of the woodwork. It seems SMS.ac is not what it seems, and neither are their proprietors. For more, check out the following blurbs:

    from the Rip Off Report or U n l e a d e d O n l i n e . n e t.

    There is no shortage of international backlash either. See Whirlpool Forums – Stay away from “sms.ac”” for starters.

    Many thanks to Eric Smith of Spamblogging.com for leading us to this (see spamblogging: Making friends and influencing people: SMS.ac and Joi Ito).,