Well. Even our PM Kevin Rudd has a Twitter account (and have more followers than I do, which is actually not surprising :). I guess that at least justifies me spending a bit too much time tweeting -- I am just doing what our PM is also doing :) However only being able to tweet in front of my computer is no fun. How else can I tweet about the lunch I had on Saturday, with a photo attached?
Well. Sending tweets from mobile photos is actually relatively trivial -- if you have a nice phone that can run a nice native Twitter application, and Internet connection from your phone. If you are low-tech, then at least you can SMS your tweets to an international number (IDD SMS rate applies). I am on prepaid 3, which didn't have Internet until very recently (with a ridiculously expensive data charges). I have a 3Skypephone, which half of the J2ME program would refuse to run...
But, the phone does come with a working email client (not great though). Moreover if you sign up to even the cheapest X-Series pack from 3, you get unlimited email to/from Three's server, and they don't count against your data cap. So that gave me an idea...
This is how I tweet now.
- Take a photo of the "happening" with my phone. Yup. 2MP with a tiny sensor = crappy shots, but picture > 1000 words. So attaching a picture is the best way around Twitter's 140 character limit.
- Attach this picture to an email. The recipient has a cryptic email address on my server. In the body of the email I typed in "Lunch for saturday..."
- My server would receive the email, and a Python script got invoked from
procmail to parse the message.
- Photo found as an attachment! Use Flickr API (+ Beej's Flickr API wrapper for Python) to upload it onto my Flickr account.
- Shorten the URL to my Flickr photo using my own URL shortening service (written in good ol' PHP and jQuery).
- Append the shortened URL to the content of the email, and send the whole text to Twitter (+ Python-Twitter library)
Done! Step 4-7 are all automated, and now I can share the latest photos on Twitter, and my FriendFeed and Facebook friends can also see the photos I uploaded to Flickr. Now I just need to figure out how to take better pictures.