Tag Archives: twitterbot


StoryMakerBot first tweetMy 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!

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MY BOT’s growth spurt (& slightly naughty phase).

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!


Technocracy News Today

Just wanted to post a link to my Twitterbot, Technocracy News Today. The idea is to combine random buzzwords from tech and venture capital to create hyperbolic news stories. My code is on GitHub. It’s pretty simple…I built it in Python and used the Tweepy library to connect to the Twitter API. The gen.py script creates a text file full of randomly generated tweets. The tbot.py file takes the tweets.txt file and uses it to tweet every 90 minutes or so.

TwitterBot twiddling

Hi everybody.  In the spirit of today’s class, I just wanted to share a couple things I discovered while trying to get my head around this Twitterbot business. For one, I stumbled across a 2013 twitterbot article that this guy I know wrote (linked in the Mark Sample!), so that was cool. I also was checking all the bot links and this one, while very simple, struck me as quite fun.

from Rob’s article, a the Python text resource TextBlob and its basis WordNet, a lexical database.

If anyone is up for some coffeeshop roundtable bot-building, let me know, especially if on Friday.