My week has been a veritable twitter roller coaster, and I owe an ENORMOUS debt of gratitude to Patrick, without whom I might still be combing my way through StackOverflow error solutions. Actually, I might not have even gotten to those without help, but might still be plugging away at my Code Academy python basics.
I have had a very curious experience of the building phenomenon. People respond to the idea of a twitterbot in many different ways — more tech-savvy (snarky) friends “you’ve gone to grad school to become a spammer?” to the more tech-indifferent (kindly indulgent) “wow. you’re from the future!” (I do tell them I’m at least two years behind the trend). Many people had no idea what I was talking about (not just my mother, other people, too).
My immediate favorite, Stealth Mountain, I still aim to emulate. Though I am no wikignome crusader, I do love grammar rules and puns…. but I decided to aim for a simple random choice function. Jokingly, while leaving class last week, I told Matt I’d be making bots like I make commons wordpress sites (don’t look now), and then I said I’d make one as a birthday present for my roommate (who is working on her first Middle Grade fantasy novel). I asked her what she might want, and when I suggested something that concocted descriptions from words, she said she would like plots of Y.A. novels she could write when she finishes hers. So I set to work.
I set up my Twitter developer stuff and got my key and secret (so cloak and dagger!). Then I spent a little too long just figuring out where to write my script. (Vims and TextWranglers and Emacs, oh my!).
Friday, I sat down in the Digital Fellows office and Patrick talked me through the tricky parts. I still have some syntax issues to sort (in the sentence), but the code seems to be working. And it has 41 followers — only half of which are other bots!
I have taken down the pictures of Greg the Dog and replaced them with something at least remotely connected to my random assortment of words. I did consult with a children’s librarian (my sister) to get some more typical words to throw into the mix (until the time comes that I can successfully scrape these words from somewhere else). And I’ve even gotten a request to illustrate the plots (Thanks, @kellyblanchat, for your artistic support!).
When I have slept some, I will try to update this post with more explicit information about the steps I took (I have so many screen shots), but for now I need sleep and a chance to get some reading done.
Thanks for following @StoryMakerBot!