Twins here offer mobile web diary service
Use SMS and MMS to update your website with free program
created by 19-year-old S’poreans
BLOGGERS in Singapore can now update their weblogs – frequently updated
online journals – using their cellphones with Phlogger, a service offered by a
pair of Singaporean computer whizzes.
The free service rides on the latest trend of ‘moblogging’, or updating of
blogs with mobile phones.
Virtual diarists can post details of their lives online by sending text and
pictures via SMS (short message service) and MMS (multimedia messaging service)
from cellphones to personal websites in a fuss-free way, thanks to twins Tay Kah
Keng and Tay Kah Seng.
The full-time national servicemen, 19, say they are the first to offer a
mobile phone blogging service in Singapore.
They wrote the software for their cellphone publishing service in May last
year and tested the service on their website, www.whisktech.com, with the help
of a group of local bloggers.
‘We started off with three users in August last year, and the service has
grown since,’ said Mr Tay Kah Keng.
Phlogger now boasts 340 registered users, comprising mostly of SMS-addicts
ranging from their teens to mid-20s.
Phlogger is free, and the twin programming enthusiasts intend to keep it that
way, although they could potentially rake in big bucks from selling the service.
Moblogging is poised to generate millions in revenue for mobile network
operators when they start offering such services to subscribers over the next
few years, said Mr Paddy Holahan, chief executive officer of Irish company
NewBay Software, which is touting FoneBlog, its own mobile phone blogging
programme, to telcos worldwide.
But Phlogger’s Mr Tay Kah Seng said: ‘We incur few costs as we don’t spend
money publicising this service.
‘It spreads by word-of-blog.’
The three telcos here, SingTel, StarHub and M1, have said that they have no
plans to offer a service similar to Phlogger soon.
‘We won’t offer a mobile phone blogging service until we find sizeable demand
for it among our customers,’ said a StarHub spokesman.
Blogging has gained popularity among web-savvy individuals worldwide in the
past few years.
Key to its spread is the availability of push-button publishing websites such
as www.livejournal.com and Blogger.com, which allow non-techies to update their
virtual diaries without having to use HTML and other scripting languages.
Singapore, it seems, has a group of keen bloggers.
There are 2,105 Singaporean users registered on the American website,
That makes up the seventh-highest number of users of the website by country.
Americans lead the list, with 393,701 users.
Many bloggers indulge in updating their sites with mundane entries, but some
digital diarists have become mini-celebrities for using their blogs as a
platform to collect and disseminate information.
During the recent Sars outbreak, for instance, Californian Tim Bishop,
creator of the Sarsblog known as www.sarswatch.org, became a strong critic of
official efforts in dealing with the deadly flu-like disease in the United
Among other things, Mr Bishop’s blog provided links to regularly updated news
on Sars, and was also highly critical of the University of California, Berkeley,
plan to bar students from Sars-hit Asian countries from attending its summer
USERS can sign up for Phlogger at
, using their cellphone numbers and e-mail addresses.
They will then get detailed instructions on how to blog on the go with their
Before they start updating their blogs, they need to send an SMS to Phlogger
to register usernames and passwords of their choice.
They will then receive an automated reply, after which they can start
updating their personal websites via SMS or MMS.
As an added feature, the service does not require users to have their own
blogs or personal websites. Those without such sites can post their SMS or MMS
updates on www.whisktech.com