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Wish You Were Here: Send Postcards from your Mobile Phone

You can stay in touch while abroad without a stamp using this wireless technology.

June 2, 2003 -- Want to make sure your parents (or kids) know you're OK, but don't want to bother picking up a phone card or going to an Internet café? There's now a Web site that lets you zap out mass e-mail alerts from the road, using your cell phone.'s "Slog" is one of the coolest applications of SMS (short message service) technology we've seen. SMS, also known as "texting," is a massively popular form of communication in the rest of the world that never caught on in the US. It lets you send brief, telegraphic text messages between mobile phones, and for many foreigners, it's much cheaper than making phone calls.

If you sign up for the free Slog service and send messages to its phone number, +4477 8148 5038, your messages get posted up sequentially on a Web page, much like with a weblog. PlanetReunited sends out e-mail alerts to your friends and/or family every time you post up a new message. It's a great way to offer brief updates on your trip or just to assure people you're doing fine.

Worldphones 101

Of course, to use Slog, you need a phone that can send text messages internationally. If you've got a worldphone from T-Mobile or AT&T Wireless, you're set. Just ask your wireless carrier to activate international roaming before you go.

T-Mobile worldphones include pretty much anything by Ericsson or Sony Ericsson, the Samsung S105, V205 or R225m, Nokia 3650 and the Motorola v60 or v66; AT&T Wireless worldphones include the Sony Ericsson T68i, Nokia 3650, Nokia 7210, Nokia 6310i, Siemens S46 and the Siemens Pocket PC Phone. Sending text messages from anywhere in the world using your AT&T Wireless mMode plan costs 50¢ per message; T-Mobile texts cost 25¢ from Europe but may cost more elsewhere (call T-Mobile by dialing 611 on your wireless phone for exact prices.)

Rental phones from Roadpost (, InTouch USA ( and Travelcell ( can all send international text messages. On Roadpost phones, a text message costs 75¢ to send; on InTouch phones, each message is a whopping $2. With Travelcell, a text message costs the same as a one-minute call -- find their prices, and reflect upon an excellent free-phone deal they've got going, in our recent article found here.

If you've got a worldphone, Net cafes seem too inconvenient and postcards are just far too 20th-century, "slogging" just might fit the bill for you. To find out more, go to