Friday, July 9, 2010

Live Tweeting Like A Bird?

I am writing this blog post because I received several requests from followers asking if I will be live tweeting from SDCC.

I wish I could do that effectively and cheaply.

The main stumbling block being that I am not from USA and I do not hold a USA phone number. I have a phone international roaming account for my iPhone. This consists of SMS/phone calls routing at a lower (but still rather expensive) rate between an agreed USA phone company (usually AT&T or T-Mobile) and my host company, Singtel.

This DOES NOT include 3G or mobile data roaming, for which Twitter apps or sending pics via Twitter or to a blog online consists of. Downloading emails, retrieving timelines from Twitter or status from Facebook all require 3G data roaming.

3G/ mobile data roaming is a very expensive affair for one travelling overseas unless you are able to get hold of free wifi.

From what I saw last year, many people tried to get a grip on free wifi at SDCC but were not always successful (maybe due to the crowds). I will have free wifi when I'm in LA the few days before SDCC, but at SDCC itself or at the hotel where I'm staying, I can't be sure if I will.

Last year at the STLV, I tweeted live only sporadically via SMS using my Nokia phone. 

What happens with the SMS live tweets is this:
- I SMS from my Nokia to a Singapore number
- This number belongs to a Singapore geek who has a server which routes text messages to Twitter
- Hence there is an international phone SMS charge for calling from USA to Singapore per SMS. The cost from my past experience is about US$0.30 per SMS.
- Using SMS tweeting, I am unable to view or read my timeline as I do not have apps on my old skool Nokia phone. I cannot reply or read questions/ comments.
- So while I can SMS live tweet on pertinent and important stuff, I can't do that constantly for all 5 days. It will cost a bomb!

I can also SMS from my iPhone but based on my experience in LA and Las Vegas last year, the AT&T signal is iffy (as you all most probably already know). The charge for each SMS will also be the same whether I use my iPhone or the Nokia.

Kapiche??? :)

So, some kind fellow ZQ/ BFD fans like @Sunfell and @lindsaysfnm have suggested that they might like to contribute some funds to my live tweeting.

If you guys out there really DO want me to live tweet, I'd accept any amount of contributions with thanks and will then be able to tweet much more than I am currently able to. It is entirely up to you.

Contributions to my Paypal -
Subject for contribution: Pls mark it as "SDCC LIVE TWEETS"

I will SMS tweet regardless if there are no contributions - but it will be based on my own discretion and they will be reserved for especially juicy/ newsworthy tweets.

As for more immediate tweets during SDCC, you can also follow my associates on Twitter:
Special mention to @_mriel (she will have the same phone roaming issues as me, but she will be my main help/ companion!)

If not, there will definitely be good stuff after we are all back home from SDCC and I will be putting up updates on my blog(s) with more news and pics then!

Update: Thx to @lindsaysfnm, she has helped to make it more possible for me to live tweet more! I will definitely do my best to give you all the scoop! :)

Pic credit: @eserei27, taken at Comic Con 2009


  1. I see Brian Froud will also be around. Will Archaia will be doing graphic novels based on his Dark Crystal and Labyrinth? Thought I heard that somewhere. I love Froud's work - have and use his Fairie Oracles. "Lady Cottingtom's Fairy Album" is delicious irreverent.

    Sunday, July 25, 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Room 25ABC

    I am still not sure of my plans for Sunday.

    I may attend Glee .. coz many of our fellow Twitter friends love the show, but I'm still open for options.

  3. You might consider bringing a netbook. Most hotels now have wifi- although many charge for room use. Also, all Starbucks and McDonalds restaurants have free WiFi as well. If you bring a device like a netbook, you can often find open networks all over. WiFi has really grown in the last year, and hopefully the convention center has upgraded theirs.

    Best of luck- keep us posted. Lindsay is a really generous lady.

    Lindsay- I did hear about a Dark Crystal book from Froud.

  4. I'll also be doing what I can to tweet from SDCC - afreshPOV, but I also only have SMS (my phone is an LG that's like 3 or 4 years old now) so I won't be able to see ALL of the tweets coming at me. I'll prolly set up my DMs to come to my phone and ask that people only use those for UBER IMPORTANT questions.

    Brian will be working on Dark Crystal and Labyrinth GNs with Archaia!

    I also have a little bird who gives me info, but I have to wait till they say it's ok to share, so I'll be utilizing that as much as I can at SDCC as well :) I knew about Zach coming to the panel about a week before it went live and it was killing me that I couldn't share with you guys!!

  5. I am already bringing a notebook but I do not want to lug it all around the convention centre with me when it's this crowded and crazy. It'll tire me out with the extra load so no notebook carrying during the day.