Web 2 Voice

Voice 2.0, VOIP, Social Media

Screen Pops for inbound calls using IfByPhone and Twitter

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Image via CrunchBase, source unknown

Being in sales, I’m on the phone all the time.  I’m calling people, people are calling me.  And because I talk to so many people all over the country, I can’t tell from the number who the caller is.  Wouldn’t it be cool if I could have something pop up on my screen telling me who is calling?

So I set about writing a little mashup.  The number I give out is my IfByPhone number, so it’s easy to mashup with any number of services.   As I’ve written about before, I’m a big fan of Twitter, so that’s what I’m choosing for my screen pop. So the technique is sending a direct tweet from an account I set up just for this purpose to my main account: khylek.  I like it because I’m usually on Twitter much of the day. When I’m away, I am still going to get an email, since I have my account set up to Email me all direct Tweets.  It’s like a nice little call log.From my IfByPhone account, on all inbound calls, I call a little PHP page and pass the caller ID as a parameter.  From there I look up the phone number in my contact database, and get the person’s name and company with a simple query.  Here is the part of the code for sending the direct tweet.

$ch = curl_init();
$tweet= “You have a call from ” . $contact. ” of ” .$company;
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, 1);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL,”http://twitter.com/direct_messages/new.xml”);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERPWD, “username:password”);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $mydata);

curl_exec ($ch);
curl_close ($ch);
Before I finished this little project, I came across Mark Headd’s post on doing the same thing using Google Talk.  That’s next up on my docket.

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