I’ve always liked random and automated random things. While these are not strictly part of storytelling I’ve managed to bring them into DS106 whenever I can.
A while back I set up @DailyCreateBot for some reason or other. Obviously a Twitter bot of some kind to do with the Daily Create. I do remember having trouble with the OAuth requirements of the more recent Twitter API and giving up.
Last weekend, on a rainy day I blew the dust of my raspberry pi and got it online and set up as a server. I was not too sure what to do with it at the time.
During the week I did revisit a project to use the pi to flash some lights depending on a Twitter search. I don’t have hardware for that but I was interested in how simple the project was. There seems to be plenty of libraries that can sort out Authentication to Twitter for you now. A bit of googling and thinking, mostly googling and I have a Twitter bot set up.
The @DailyCreateBot will reply with a suggestion of a photo challenge of you mention him on Twitter. I am using the same list that Alan Levin provided for me for the photoblitz.
The @DailyCreateBot runs on Python. This is where the pi comes in I would not even know where to begin to find out how to host a python app but the pi lets me do that easily.
I am not proposing to write a step-by-step guide here but it is worth mentioning that several things went wrong or did not work as expected. All were beyond my 2 weeks worth of Python on the mechanical mooc . All were solved by a wee bit of googling and sometime just repeating things till they worked. The delight of working on a pi is that I knew I’d I totally messed up I could just reformat the SD card, install an so again and be back to square two.
I had already:
- installed one of the basic OS FOR THE PI
- Set up SSH access so that I can get ‘on’ to the pi from the terminal application on a mac and via SSH apps on iOS.
- set up the pi as a web server and sorted out the DNS
*I found a python library and example code that replied.
*I added logic to reply with a random string taken from a list of challenges.
*Tested it a bit.
Then I posted to the DS106 Google + group and a few kind folk tested it a bit. Rochelle asked:
That is cool +John Johnston . It worked for me right out of the bot box. Do we upload to Twitter, tag them DailyCreateBot? I’d like to see what others have done. 🙂
All very much a work in progress. There are few things to be ironed out:
- the Python bot falls over every now and again complaining about UTF8 I need to google that some more.
- the web page showing images just uses the styles used in the demo of the code. I need to tidy it up and perhaps skip tweets with the hashtag but no images.
- there is also the problem Rochelle pointed out that if you reply to the bot you get another prompt. I wonder if I could turn off replies if there is an image in the tweet?
Anyway if your expectations are low you can join in:
- Tweet @DailyCreateBot and get a prompt.
- Tweet your photo with the hashtag #DailyCreateBot
- See what other folk are doing.
- Let me know of any interesting problems.
2 thoughts on “A #DS106 DailyCreate Twitter Bot”
I love this idea, trying to wrap my head around how it might work. It’s like a personal Daily Create whenever you want it.
The problem is the tendency is going to always be to reply to the bot. And you need to remember the hashtag.
The process might need a tweak. I could see where the prompt to get a response is any tweet with something like #IWantADailyCreate rather than just tweeting the account.
Then the response comes from the Bot with a prompt to reply to me with a #MyDailyCreate or something like that.
Sounds like a plan. Currently it works if you reply and remember to change the @ to #
I think I run out of characters if the bot has to do more than prompt, but could filter any reply with a photo…
I was also thinking of filtering for ? question mark (or the word please) get a prompt, image gets posted. Could also swap list of prompts for courses…