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Show HN: Static Site Authoring via SMS (phasedust.com)
38 points by aparks517 73 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 24 comments

I love this project. It's a great response to a "Ask HN: How can I use my phone to create things rather than consume them?" [0]

I look forward to playing around with this.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25570308

Oh, wow. I had missed that Ask HN. Thanks for making that connection! There are a bunch of cool suggestions in that thread, particularly regarding photography. I can't get over how good photography has gotten on phones.

Totally, I am a bit obsessed with that thread (and the lack of obvious answers).

Did you use any special tooling to handle SMS in this application? I didn't realize that this wasn't open-sourced when you first posted it.

I would absolutely help maintain this project if you ever get bored of it and don't want to maintain it yourself.

Twilio does the heavy lifting with SMS. My piece is just a short Perl CGI script that downloads attached pictures and rebuilds the sender's site. Thanks! I'll keep that in mind.

This reminds me of the old blogging platform Posterous! It was so simple to quickly email a bunch of pictures and some text and then it was published on a nice site - even supported cross posting to wordpress!

Tumblr also had the "post by email" option, and allowed to call a number to record and then post audio snippets.

I've seen something like this used to get live feedback from an audience during a speech or demo. It's pretty nice for leveling the playing field for introverts. Of course, it's easy for one person to kill it with spam.

Yeah! We used to use something like that at a place I worked. I think the audience being live put some social pressure against spam. It worked out well for us, especially for big meetings where even the more outgoing folks might have felt uncomfortable putting their hand up and waiting for a microphone.

If anyone wants to do something like this, I recall the folks that did it used this really simple thing from Anveo that just posts SMS messages to a url: http://www.anveo.com/api.asp?code=apihelp_sms_receive_http&a...

It's not really an API...more of a webhook, but it was really quick and easy to tie to a simple web app, and relatively cheap (~$8/month for a DID number and plan).


SMS was just easier to use to allow for anonymous comments and questions...the web app didn't post what number the comments/questions came from, didn't require any registration, easier to share a phone number to text than a url to enter, etc.

Man, we're back full-circle to OG Twitter, I suppose :D

This is delightful, I really like it.

Wow, this is ridiculously cool. Is the site open source?

In case you were curious, I've just built out a project that walks through how to set up your own (very crude) SMS to Jekyll blog[0]

[0]: https://writxt.fun/

Thank you for the kind words! Not at this time. It's only a few hundred lines of Perl. I had planned for it to be a weekend project, but I think I was able to mostly finish it on just a Saturday.

I have a different OP on this submission, but would you consider opening sourcing the code so others could build their own sites?

I posted the same in the parent comment above:

In case you were curious, I've just built out a project that walks through how to set up your own (very crude) SMS to Jekyll blog[0]

[0]: https://writxt.fun/

I would also love to see this open sourced (even partially?). Would be awesome to setup some personal “blogs” based on this.

I'll consider it. The way it sits now is a bit specific to my deployment environment and in a language that I'm not sure a lot of folks would choose for new development (Perl 5 forever!)

Would you say that you're mostly interested in having the code for learning purposes so you could write your own thing, to deploy your own instance mostly as-is, as a starting place for significant modification, or for other purposes I haven't considered? Knowing this would help me understand what sort of open source contribution would be most valuable.

Really it would just be to tinker with it and maybe have sort of "notes" or "micro posts" on my own personal blog. Any changes / adaptions I happen to make I would certainly open source as well (although my programming quality might not be as good as your current project for all I know...)

I looked into basic Twilio SMS setup very recently, but it looked like I would find myself heavily invested in their documentation just to spin up something like you've made.

Cool, thanks!

Yeah, Twilio has a lot of documentation. It's pretty good, though. It felt like most of the time I spent on this project was finding the right documentation and setting up my account and number correctly.

Maybe what the world really needs is a Twilio Concierge as a Service -- a meta-Twilio if you will. ;)

Does SMS deduct balance? Or you can SMS for free?

I don't charge anything from my end. Your carrier may charge something, depending on your agreement with them.

Awesome sauce! Now this is thinking creatively!

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