Create and Deliver your own TwitterGram (No Code Required)

Dave Winer has proposed the TwitterGram, a simple way to post audio files to Twitter. He's contributed plenty to audio file distribution already, but here he proposes another first. I think the TwitterGram is supposed to be an easy way to send very short form audio posts out to the folks who might be interested in you. I can't tell if the idea has legs, but if you've got ears, you can take a listen at my first attempt.

Dave has coded a web interface to his service, but I thought that I might try to mashup something using just over the counter services and my fingers as the glue. The result is the no code required method I used to create my own TwitterGram.
By the way, Every step of this procedure can be performed from my Blackberry, so it's not only no coding required, it's no PC required for recording or playback!

Create and Deliver your own TwitterGram (No Code Required)
The goal is to create a short audio clip that can be played by someone who is tracking you on Twitter. Quite possibly this could be listened to someone not tracking you on Twitter. It's like a podcast but much smaller, and probably more ephemeral.

What you need: a GrandCentral account, a browser, copy, and paste keys.

What? You don't have a GrandCentral account? There is very little I can do for someone who refuses to cook with real butter, smoke handmade cigars, or take their calls through GrandCentral. Go get yourself an account.

1) Call your Grand Cental number and leave a voice mail message less than 60 seconds long.

This probably requires no explanation, but there is a tip. Call yourself using the web button from a phone number other than the one you use to check your Grand Central voice mail. The call will go quicker, and your link will not contain any identifying information like your name and phone number that you might not want to be posted publicly.

2) Copy the email link you receive from GrandCentral into a link shortening service like TinyURL or URLTea. This will shorten the 131 character link into something you can safely post via Twitter. When available, I use the URLTea service inside of my Google Talk client. It's quick, easy, and a log of my activity is kept inside of GMail.

3) Post the link in Twitter along with a short friendly explanation. Again, I use the GTalk client when available, but use Twitter web client when it is not. Be sure to use the @username sign if you want the message to be directed to someone in particular. For example @davewiner to send to Dave, or @thinkhammer if you want to send a message to me.
It's really as easy as that. What I do like about the service is that I can click on the link which appears in the GTalk client on my blackberry and it automatically plays the message. It's just one click to a one minute dose of audio bliss.
ps: When you're done here, feel free to slide on over to the ThinkHammer Blog.

About Phil Yanov

Phil Yanov is a Technologist, Columnist and Public Radio Commentator.

He is the founder of Tech After Five as well as the founder and President of the GSA Technology Council and the IT Leadership Council.

His personal technology column appears in Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Journal.

He co-hosts the Your Day technology shows heard on NPR radio stations across South Carolina and is a frequent contributor to technology stories appearing on radio and television.