Geocaching with Twitter and other Fun Tools
I've been exploring the world of microblogging geocache finds via twitter lately and am really loving the url shorteners and other awesome free services out there. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to spread the wealth, and add a little bit of input myself. Check it out:
Real-time cache updates via Twitter
For a few weeks I've been having a ton of fun using field notes to post tweets when I find a cache. The geocaching.com developers have created a free Textmarks application that automatically finds the full cache name for you and creates a link in your tweet. Go here to sign up for textmarks (free): http://coord.info/textmarks.aspx and here to configure your twitter settings: http://www.geocaching.com/my/sharing.aspx
Once you get it set up all you need to do is send the text message "GEOC @GCCODE" to 41411. Textmarks will send your text to the geocache app and it will look up that geocache in the groundspeak database, find the full cache name and update your twitter feed with "found the geocache - [whatever the title is] - [link to the cache page]". You're supposed to be able to also send "GEOC xGCCODE" and it will log that you didn't find that one, but it hasn't been working for a while.
The real-time twitter updating is just totally awesome to me, but I wanted a way to also include a photo of the cache if it was really cool. I know there's a bunch of free sites that let you upload a photo with a tweet, but I wanted to do this all from my cellphone while I was out and about caching. Enter: MobyPicture...
Twitter updates WITH pics!
MobyPicture's free service is just plan amazing. If you already have a twitter account, this is what you do: Using your MMS-enabled phone, send a picture to this email address: twitter_username.twitter_password @ mobypicture.com. The subject of the message will be the text of your tweet. (Leave the text of the message blank.) The attached photo will be uploaded to their servers and they will create a link to it at the end of your tweet! Here's an example photo that I sent just yesterday:
This really opens things up for microblogging of what you're doing wherever you are!
Last but not least, GCCode Bookmarklets
I work for a big bank that shall remain nameless. Being a big bank, they block TONS of websites. I'm actually quite surprised even my own site isn't blocked. I'm also surprised that they block the url shortener site for geocaching.com - http://coord.info.
This is the domain that all the GC Codes get converted to when you post twitter updates as mentioned above. Since the site is blocked, I can't click on ANY of the caches that other people find. So I created a little bookmarklet to let me quickly jump to the cache listing on geocaching.com Drag this little guy: Geocache Info
to your browser toolbar. Now if you see a GCCode in somebody else's twitter stream you can highlight the code and click the button. It will pop you straight to the full cache listing page!