I don’t use Twitter too much. I run my blog feeds through it, and that’s about it. But I do see the use in being able to publish to the web via text message. It could come in handy in certain situations.

Sending SMS messages to Twitter from China is relatively expensive, at least by Chinese standards:

“you need to text up Britain — the only internationally-open number is prefixed %2B44, somewhere in the British isles. International SMS is 10 times the cost of standard SMS; the moment a text message leaves the mainland, you pay CNY 1, not CNY 0.10.” –David Feng

So while I don’t plan to use it that much, I just set up an unusual workaround so that I can send text messages from my cell phone in China, and they’ll be published on Twitter.

Here’s how it works.

  1. Set up an account on Fanfou.com, which is a Chinese version of Twitter. Jiwai.de will likely work as well.
  2. Take the RSS feed of your Fanfou page, and run it through Twitterfeed_. Update: Your fanfou RSS feed should look something like this, http://api.fanfou.com/statuses/user_timeline/pandapassport.rss, where you’d replace “pandapassport” with your own username. Look for the orange RSS logo in the bottom right, and copy and paste the link.

Now when you send a text message to Fanfou, it will show on that page, but it will also be fed to your Twitter page as well. Unfortunately, your Fanfou username will be stuck on the front (so choosing a short name is best), and a tinyurl link to your Fanfou “tweet” will be appended to the end. The fastest that Twitterfeed will check for updates is every 30 mins, so it will require that time at the most before your tweet hits Twitter.

But in case you ever need to send a message like “Help! I’ve been arrested in an Olympic protest” (or something along those lines…) this will do the trick, I’m sure.

Fanfou.com’s Pandapassport page: