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Blogging with your voice: Siri, Blogger, and post-by-SMS


As I mentioned on my earlier post, Steve Sande and I have been hard at work collaborating on "Talking to Siri," an ebook that will soon hit the Kindle store. One of the topics we're exploring is how to push Siri beyond its advertised limits.

Take blogging, for example. Did you know that you could create blog posts entirely by voice? I'm not talking about basic dictation either.

That's because Siri supports SMS messaging, and a little known feature of Google Blogger allows you to create blog posts directly from SMS text messages.

[You can also use SMS to post to Tumblr and Posterous, although it's a bit more finicky. Services like or HelloTXT may help if you plan to update several social networks right from Siri. –Ed.]

Interested in giving it a spin? Send REGISTER to 256447. Blogger replies to your registration text by texting you a URL for your new blog and an optional claim code. This code can be used to associate your new access with an existing blog. It just as easy, however, to work with the automatically generated blog that is sent to you.

To create a new post, just reply to the 256447 conversation. Dictate your new blog post to Siri and send it. Once you do, the text contents are instantly posted to the blog. If you want to start posts from scratch, just give that SMS number a memorable contact name in your address book (I used 'Geronimo Blogger' in the screenshot).

You can visit the mobile blog I created this way over at Blogger and see the two posts I created using Siri.

If you're on a limited SMS diet, posting by text message may prove too rich for your blood. There's still a Siri-capable workaround for that, but you must use an existing blogger account to create a Mail-to-Blogger address. You'll find a complete set of instructions at the Blogger help article on this subject. That write-up shows you how to use your account settings to establish your blogging email address, which consists of your user name and a secret word. You can then use Siri to send an email to that address whenever you want to post-by-voice.

If you'd prefer not to use Blogger, there are plenty of other services that work with post-via-email. Tumblr, Posterous and all support creating a custom address that you can use to post directly. Simply add the email to your address book with a distinctive yet pronounceable contact name ("Erica Tumblr" will work, but you might want to include a phonetic last name to help Siri suss out that it's pronounced 'tumbler'), then tell Siri "Send an email to Erica Tumblr." You can dictate your post and share it with the world.

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