Twitter as a free Asynchronous Message Queue

This has been spinning in the back of my mind for a couple weeks now, but seeing as how Twitter uses a message queue internally and is available for free, it seems that you could use it to have disparate (separately homed) applications communicate to each other using Twitter accounts to send messages. The messages are preserved in order, although limited to 140 characters and not secured.

So I checked around and I see that I’m not the only person who has considered this. Todd Clayton’s post even goes into some detail about how to build such a service, how to support larger messages (by splitting or with external tools like TwitPic).

Mostly, though, it’s a Gedankenexperiment. Clearly it’s just a solution looking for a problem.

Pesky phonebooks

Who uses phonebooks these days, anyway? I suppose many people do, but I seriously haven’t looked in one in years. It pains me when they drop six pounds of ground and reconstituted timber at my doorstep every few months. Then I read the poorly printed bag that the lastest one came in (oh yeah, timber in plastic!), and guess what, Dex will stop sending you phone books if you ask nicely (and give them all kinds of PII).

Go ahead, do it for yourself and save a tree or two a year.

Then, if you want to be really pedantic, email customercareemail@dexone.comĀ and ask them to delete your records that you just created, which according to their theirĀ privacy policy they may or may not do depending on “internal… policies and legal obligations.” Or at least delete the cell phone number that you had to provide because you don’t have a POTS line and the email address that they required. I can’t guarantee that this step won’t mess up the opt-out that you just did, though.