Drew Cogbill | Thesis Blog

works in progress.

Sign up and use Pigeon! (713) 574-9488

with 14 comments

/***Edit 2 April 2009 - Pigeon now has an official home online. Please visit callpigeon.com.

I’m looking for people sign up and use Pigeon, my thesis project.  Pigeon is a social network that you access through a phone call.  Pigeon gives you one voice message that lasts one minute to tell your world what’s up.  You can think of your Pigeon message as a voice status update, an audio micro-blog, or space for citizen journalism.  To learn more about the idea of Pigeon watch a video I’ve made on youtube or on vimeo.  Sign up for Pigeon by calling (713) 574-9488.

Once you sign up, you will need to add contacts, so feel free to send this along to any friends along with your new Pigeon number.  My pigeon number is 888-888.  Add me so I can hear what’s going on in your life and you can hear what’s up with me.

Of course this the system is still under development, and I’m excited to have user contribution shape my steps moving forward.  Any and all with an opinion and a little patience are invited to join.  There is currently only one US Pigeon access number - (713) 574-9488.  I also have a Skype code that can be used to call in; please contact me if you are interested in the Skype code.

Feedback about the system can be recorded on Pigeon by dialing “6″ at the main menu.  The comments you record will be sent straight to me.  Any comments about what you like and what you don’t like is greatly appreciated.  At certain times, I will prompt for specific feedback.

I’m also interested in observing people at different stages of Pigeon use (sign up and after using the system for a certain amounts of time).  If you’re interested in that observation, please contact me (and maybe I’ll contact you).

Written by drewcogbill

November 17th, 2008 at 5:50 pm

14 Responses to 'Sign up and use Pigeon! (713) 574-9488'

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  1. Hey Drew I signed up! my number is 777-777 yah it was fun
    When I tried add you as contact, the voice told me to press 9 digit number instead of 6, that was a bit confusing. Other than that everything works great!!


    18 Nov 08 at 2:09 am

  2. Thanks jason! Fixed that problem.


    18 Nov 08 at 2:30 am

  3. [...] One project was just recently launched by fellow blogger Drew Cogbill - Pigeon. [...]

  4. 222-222


    23 Nov 08 at 1:10 am

  5. I missed Chickfila nuggets!?!?!?! oh no!


    24 Nov 08 at 4:05 pm

  6. Drew, very interesting project you’ve got going on here. What did you build it on?


    2 Dec 08 at 12:11 am

  7. Erik- right now Pigeon is built with CallXML (a cousin of VoiceXML) generated by PHP and hosted on voxeo (voxeo.com). I’m not sure if this will be the ultimate technical solution, but I’m trying to stretch this implementation to the limit before I move on to other options.


    2 Dec 08 at 11:49 am

  8. [...] Sign up and use Pigeon! (713) 574-9488 at Drew Cogbill | Thesis Blog Drew Cogbill is experimenting with a aystem that lets you share status updates with your friends - ala Twitter - via an interactive voice response interface. I'm located at 363-363 if you want updates on what I'm doing. A very cool experiment in social networks for the phone-centered… which may well mean users in the developing world (tags: phone innovation experiment socialmedia) [...]

  9. drew, if you want to move to the Java world, let me know … We can help you out with manpower … best, martin

    Martin Konzett

    2 Dec 08 at 12:27 pm

  10. Hi. Clark Boyd here from PRI’s The World, an international news program from BBC/PRI/WGBH radio in Boston. I interviewed Drew about Pigeon for our weekly technology podcast.

    Audio: http://www.theworld.org/pod/tech/WTPpodcast222.mp3

    Show notes: http://blogs.discovery.com/news_etherized/2008/12/pris-the-world.html

    And yes, of course I signed up! 345-345

    Clark Boyd

    5 Dec 08 at 5:07 pm

  11. There needs to be a way to change your PIN. If you can create a PIN, there should be a way to change it.


    5 Dec 08 at 5:55 pm

  12. Paul- I completely agree. This is an early release, and I’ve just tried to implement the most core features. Thanks, and any other feedback is always appreciated.


    5 Dec 08 at 5:59 pm

  13. Cyrus Farivar here — freelance tech journalist temporarily based in Lyon, France — and frequent contributor to The World (Clark’s my boss). Very interested in your project and thought I’d give it a spin.

    I’m 510-510.

    Cyrus Farivar

    7 Dec 08 at 12:12 pm

  14. I’m 343-457.
    Left you some comments. I sincerely think that the main concept works on a rather deep level and I’m convinced the project will work.
    I’ve signed up using SkypeOut, which may not be ideal. One issue is that dialing in Skype can work in strange ways and it sounds like some digits don’t go through as planned. It’s also difficult to dial ‘#’ as it’s not on the numeric keypad. It does eventually work but it’s a bit more difficult. Of course, Pigeon is supposed to be used with phones, but it’s part of my experience.
    Another thing which is obvious when using SkypeOut is that the sound quality isn’t very good. Usually, with this headset on SkypeOut, the sound is much clearer. Not only in terms of sample rate (I’m assuming Pigeon uses a low SR) but also in terms of signal to noise ratio. Not a deal-breaker but a better sound quality could be more impressive for new users.
    A suggestion I would have would be to look for was to integrate Pigeon messages into microblogs and social networks. During PodcampMtl, Evan Prodromou (behind Laconica and Identi.ca) was talking about “microcasting” which has features of both microblogging and podcasting. What he had in mind had to do with phone-based social networking as the content would be submitted directly to phones (or, as in the Pigeon model, in a public box accessible via phone). It might be useful to “share” the same content through different means, including Twitter and such.
    I haven’t listened to a message yet but it might be useful to be able to reply to a given message (if it’s not already the case) and set that reply to be private or public.
    Then, there could be all sorts of things done with speech and text. Pigeon could be used to listen to textual content using the speech synthesis engine (is it NeoSpeech?) or even as a way for recorded speech to be recognized and submitted as text.
    Many of these uses are further from the original project, but it might be useful to imagine where the project might lead.

    An important point about such a phone-based project is that even people who are functionally literature may not be that efficient in writing. Pigeon can enhance both speech- and text-based communication.


    16 Dec 08 at 4:51 pm

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