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Escribitionism with Twitter and Fring

I never thought that I’d be enjoying it but here I am, using Twitter regularly for the past week. Twitter is a micro-blogging service that has become all the rage among tech-savvy folk and many connectivity addicts since last year.

With the service, you can write short (140 characters) updates about yourself and have these published in your Twitter account or your website and blog. These updates can also be sent as text message or instant message (IM) notifications to your friends and anyone “following” you.

I signed up for a Twitter account last year but never got around to using it regularly. I sent a few messages to the account as a demonstration on the use of various media during a seminar for Salesian priests.

The main reason I wasn’t using it regularly was the price for each message you send via SMS. To use Twitter via SMS, you send your update as a text message to an international phone number. For each Twitter update, you are billed one international SMS charge.

The ability to update from your phone means many of Twitter’s posts are personal. Most users update their accounts to tell friends what they’re up to, at the very moment when they’re keying in messages in their phones. It’s the 21st century’s take on the telegraph.

It’s SMS escribitionism and I’m beginning to love it (talk about late adopters).

But when I started using Fring with my phone, I finally had a cheaper way of updating my Twitter account. Fring is a software that allows you to use your phone as an IM client for Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, ICQ, Skype etc. It also allows you to update your Twitter account.

What’s good about Fring is that it can use Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet when it is available or the telco network when it’s not.

Using Fring, I could update my Twitter account without having to pay for an international SMS for each post.

If Wi-Fi isn’t available, I can use Fring with Smart Internet and pay just P10 for every 30-minute block of connection. For that time, I can send multiple Twitter updates at a fraction of the cost had I been sending it through SMS.

With Fring, I’ve been using Twitter to update both my Twitter account and my blog (check the sidebar) on my ongoing efforts to map the free Wi-Fi hotspots in Cebu. Anytime I go into a shop, I scan for free Wi-Fi and if I find one, log in to my Twitter account and then post a short update.

I’ve enjoyed using Twitter for mobile blogging. I’ll be using it more to blog about my tech experiments—seeing as the “daily drafts of a deadline chaser,” which used to be my tagline, has dropped “daily.”

Twitter, according to the video by Common Craft below, is life “between blog posts and emails.” That’s how I’ll use my Twitter account: tech updates between blog posts.

By Max Limpag

Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu City, Philippines. He is co-founder of the journalism start-up InnoPub Media.