The End

The sms_to_lj equipment was finally turned off last night (and my home office is considerably quieter for it!).

Those of you who were still using it need to head on over to for all your social networking SMS requirements. See here for more information about my involvement with

Thanks to everyone who used and supported the service over the years :)

See, I didn't make a single Michael Jackson joke!
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All good things must come to an end...

I'm going to be closing down the sms_to_lj service soon, but read on because this isn't actually bad news :)

The sms_to_lj service I created has been constantly (apart from a few outages) posting your text messages to LiveJournal since 2003. In that time it's taken over 100,000 of your messages containing insightful thoughts, social commentary and general nonsense and converted them into LiveJournal posts.

Since last year, when I added support to the gateway, it has been doing the same for over 30 other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Last month the guys at (who have always been very supportive of my unofficial service) got in touch about creating an official international SMS gateway for and that's exactly what we did.

The gateway runs entirely on equipment hosted in datacentres and has an interconnect with a major UK mobile network while the sms_to_lj gateway runs entirely on an old server (an ancient MIPS Cobalt RAQ for those interested) in my apartment connected to an equally old Nokia handset. The new gateway won't go down when I move house or when the old Nokia handset decides to turn itself off for no reason.

With all that in mind I'm going to recommend that everyone switch to using the new gateway immediately, it's very simple to get things up and running so that text messages to go to your Livejournal and if you need any help they have an excellent support community on Get Satisfaction.

So in short, sms_to_lj will be closing down soon but it's all ok because have an international SMS service now (the SMS side of which is also run by me). I appreciate that not everyone who uses the service reads this journal. If you know someone like that, please tell them :)

Lastly, thanks to everyone who supported this service over the years by clicking the Paypal donate button on the Info page :)

One small footnote, since I hooked the guys up with a a proper mobile network interconnect all the networks consider it to be a UK number unlike Jersey or Manx telecom numbers, as used by Twitter, which some networks consider "international" and charge extra for.
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    optimistic optimistic


There was an unplanned outage overnight (24/07/08 - 25/07/08) due to equipment failure.

Everything is back up and running now and messages sent during the outage have been queued and processed.

Update your social network statuses via SMS_To_LJ...

I love those TV adverts for Apple's iPhone that start "If you love facebook so much..." because I always end up shouting "WELL WHY DON'T YOU MARRY IT THEN?!" at the TV (link)... but really, loads of people use Facebook now!... or how about Jaiku? or Twitter? every single one of those has a status that can be updated.

There are a couple of services that allow you to update your statuses on all of those sites in one go.

I've integrated one of those services (Ping.FM, as it's the only one I know of that also supports LJ) into the SMS To LJ Gateway. It's only a quick hack until Ping.FM get their own SMS service up and running (I'm assuming they are working on one).

1. Signup to (use the invite code "pingbeta").
2. Setup all your services with Ping.FM
3. Send a text message to +44 7890 716 820 in the following format:

Where USERID is the bit before the @ on the posting address that gives you for e-mail (


P thi9Fova This is a test :)

This hack uses exactly the same gubbins as sms_to_lj and, is not associated with LiveJournal or Ping.FM.

Union stuff...

I've deleted the last two posts and any rules contained within that affected, to my knowledge, no more than three regular users because they were attracting commentary from a wide range of people who have either never used the service or only used it once or twice.

If I can't put one simple restriction in place on a service I've personally offered completely free of charge for four years then maybe I should reconsider any further free services I decide to launch.
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    disappointed disappointed

We're back!

The sms_to_lj service is back up and running, again, my apologies for the prolonged outage!

Just as a refresher of what's provided:

  • If you have a basic LJ account, you can post by SMS using these instructions.
  • If you have a Plus or Paid account, you can post by SMS using these instructions.
  • Plus and Paid account holders in the UK can also make voiceposts by calling 020 7100 1117 (enable voiceposting here).

  • Prolonged outage...

    Due to issues obtaining an internet connection in the new place (long story to do with LLU providers not doing their job properly... it's costing lots of money to get fixed and Ofcom are about to get involved) it's taking a bit longer than anticipated to bring the SMS gateway back up.

    I've booked a BT engineer to come out and install a new line but they won't be doing that until the 16th and then I have to order ADSL on that line which could take a further week or two.

    We're currently connecting via the 3G connection on my mobile phone so the connection is a bit sketchy, I'll try and get the gateway up and running via this 3G connection later this week if I get time but until we get ADSL again things will remain intermittent.

    Plans were in motion to get the gateway moved to a data centre location to provide more stability but unfortunately this didn't happen before the move.

    Apologies again for the prolonged outage.
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      disappointed disappointed


    Just a quick note to say that the SMS gateway will be unavailable from 00:00 (GMT) on Monday 26th February for a week or so as I'm moving house and the equipment is moving with me.

    Once moved I'll work on getting the gateway back up and running again as soon as I get ADSL installed, as soon as I have a date for this I'll update.

    My UK voice posting number remains unaffected since that is run from my companies equipment in a datacentre, plans are in motion to give the SMS gateway this level of stableness.