This is so twisted that I have to write it down to believe it works…

I’m running GMail Mobile on my Blackberry 8700c, with a data plan, but not a Blackberry Data Plan.  This means I don’t get to use Blackberry push email.  But I like the immediate notification of new mail that Blackberry email provides.  I don’t need it for all email, but I do need it for some.

Easy, you say – Just have GMail forward your email to your SMS.  There is a problem with that approach:

  • Long emails get broken into multiple 160-byte SMS messages.  I'm on AT&T/Cingular, and I haven't found a way to tell them that my SMS should be truncated after the first 160 bytes.  When someone sends me a couple of 16000-byte messages, there goes my 200 prepaid SMS, and they start whacking me for 20 cents per SMS.
  • GMail insists on forwarding the entire message.  I don't want to send the entire email. (See above.)

So I started looking for email forwarding service that would truncate my messages, when it occurred to me that there is a famous service that truncates messages to SMS length – Twitter.

Hmmm… In order to post to Twitter via email, I could use Twittermail.  But how to get my twits sent to my SMS?  Twitter won’t let me follow myself, soooo…  I set up a second Twitter account and a second Twittermail account.

  1. I have a GMail filter that forwards messages from VIPs to Twittermail #2.
  2. Twittermail #2 sends them to Twitter account #2.
  3. Twitter account #1 "follows" Twitter account #2.
  4. Twitter account #1 sends twits to my Blackberry SMS.

It’s actually even more complex.  I have two Blackberrys (Blackberry1 and Blackberry2).  I do have Blackberry Data Service on Blackberry2, but I don’t want to carry it around.  So Blackberry2 forwards all emails to GMail, where steps 1-4 above take over.

Surprisingly, I actually get IM notification chirps from my Blackberry within a few seconds of the original email.  (I suspect this mash-up is going to be fragile.)

Idea to follow-up on: Could I send Twits to an IM client running on my Blackberry, with IM alerts, and avoid using up my SMS quota?
Idea2 to follow-up on: Could GMail forward to an IM server via an email to IM gateway, and then I could try an IM client running on my Blackberry, with IM alerts, and avoid using up my SMS quota?