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How To Get Notified via SMS When Someone Mentions You - And a Keyword - On Twitter

twitterlogo-shadow.jpgWould you like to receive a notification when you are mentioned on Twitter? Or more importantly, would you like to receive a notification when someone mentions your Twitter ID (or your company's ID) and uses a keyword like "fail"?

Over on the Tropo blog, my colleague Chris Matthieu wrote up how you could do this in literally one line of the Ruby programming language. You need a free Tropo account, naturally, and you need a Twitter account you want to monitor. Chris shows the steps you need to go through to set up an application and connect it to a Twitter account.

While it's cool to be able to get text messages of mentions (something Twitter doesn't support directly), what I personally think is more interesting is the ability to send a message when certain keywords are found in a tweet. For instance, what if someone started tweeting:

Just had a major #FAIL with @company services.

Wouldn't you like to know when that happens right away? Easy to do if you are sitting there with Tweetdeck open (or some other client)... but not so easy if it is some time when you are away from Twitter.

Chris shows you could do this easily in Ruby:

if $currentCall.initialText.index("fail")
     (autorespond or send sms or place call etc.)

Putting that together with his first example of sending a SMS, your code could look like this:

if $currentCall.initialText.index("fail")
     message "Mention: " + $currentCall.initialText, {
     :to => "tel:+14805551212",
     :network => "SMS"}

That's it!

For more info, check out Chris' post and then sign up for a free Tropo account to try it out yourself. Sending and receiving SMS messages, Twitter messages and phone calls are all free for folks developing apps on Tropo.

Full Disclosure: Yes, this post talks about a service (Tropo) ultimately from my employer, Voxeo. I do write about such services from time to time. :-)

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