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Twitter bot tutorial made for ALA 2018 and usable by anybody
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README.md
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advanced_listeningbot.py
advanced_plumpoem.py
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mybot1.py
mybot2.py
mybot3.py
mybot4.py

README.md

Twitter bot tutorial: ALA 2018 edition

This tutorial and its materials are put together by Robin Davis (@robincamille) and Mark Eaton (github.com/MarkEEaton) for the Python for Beginners: A Gentle and Fun Introduction LITA pre-conference workshop at ALA 2018.

See also: Davis, Robin, and Mark Eaton. Make a Twitter Bot in Python: Iterative Code Examples. Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (Blueprints section). April 2016. (Verbose write-up featuring code from a previous version of this workshop.)


See original repo: https://github.com/robincamille/bot-tutorial

Written in Python 3.

Required libraries: tweepy 3.5, requests, time, os, random, csv


Create an account on PythonAnywhere

If you're participating in this in-person workshop:

  1. Go to https://pythonanywhere.com and create an account by clicking on Start running Python online in less than a minute
  • Select Create a beginner account and fill out your details
  • Select Account on the top right
  • Select Teacher and enter b7jl so that we can add the sample code to your account

Bots left running on PythonAnywhere will keep running for a day or so (if the script you're using, like mybot2.py, is programmed to keep iterating through tweets) even if you close PythonAnywhere.

Not part of the in-person workshop? Download these files to your local machine or use this command: git clone https://github.com/MarkEEaton/bot-tutorial-ala.git

Create a Twitter account for your bot

  1. Go to http://twitter.com and sign up for a new account of your choosing
  • Be sure to include your mobile number (required for using the API)
  • Email address must be unique to Twitter users; try adding random periods in your Gmail address, if you have one
  1. Go to http://apps.twitter.com and create a new app
  • This info isn't public so it can be messy
  • Go to Keys and Access Tokens
  • Create my access token
  1. Copy Consumer Key/Secret and Access Key/Secret to credentials.template and save as a new file named credentials.py

  2. (Optional) Follow @litabots, which will follow & retweet bots made in this workshop

Basic bot: mybot1.py

This isn't really a bot yet, but it is a script that sends out one tweet using the Twitter API. Our code is tweeting!

  1. Go to the bot-tutorial-ala folder. Click on mybot1.py to see the code
  2. Clicking Run will run the bot. A console (output area) will appear at the bottom of the screen

Basic bot: mybot2.py

This script is a basic Twitter bot. It will tweet three things from a list inside the script.

  1. Go to the bot-tutorial-ala folder. Click on mybot2.py to see the code

  2. Take a look at the script; Robin and Mark will talk about what it's doing

  3. Run the bot!

Change it up!

  • In tweetlist, add new things for your bot to tweet
  • Increase/decrease time between tweets in time.sleep(15) (15 is the number of seconds)

Intermediate bot: mybot3.py

This script sends out five tweets from the first five lines of an external .txt file

  1. Go to the bot-tutorial-ala folder. Click on mybot3.py

  2. Also look at twain.txt to see the text

  3. Take a look at both files; Robin and Mark will talk about what the script is doing

  4. Select Run

Change it up!

  • Go to http://gutenberg.org and choose a different text for your bot to tweet. Pick the "Plain Text UTF-8" option when selecting a text format.
    • On PythonAnywhere, you can select New Empty File. This will only work if you've entered a filename. Copy and paste your gutenberg.org text (or any text of your choosing) into this blank file
    • Remove junk at the beginning (and the end) of the file. Save the file
    • Replace double linebreaks with single linebreaks. If your file is very short you can maybe do this manually.
    • For longer files you can click on Open bash console here and type: cd bot-tutorial-ala then grep . filename > newfilename. Open up the new file to make sure that it worked.
    • In mybot3.py, replace twain.txt with the newfilename
  • Make the bot send more or fewer tweets, or change which lines, by editing the numbers in for line in tweettext[0:5].
    • [0:5] means from the first thing up to (but not including) the fifth thing

Intermediate bot: mybot4.py

This script sends out tweets based on randomly selected titles (and their descriptions) from a CSV file

  1. Go to the bot-tutorial-ala folder. Click on mybot4.py

  2. Also take a look at az_database_list.csv to see the data file. This file is a list of electronic products at Kingsborough Community College. It was exported from LibGuides. Before sharing this, we removed a couple of columns that had internal library data. CSV, or comma separated values, is a great data format to work on in both Python and in Excel.

  3. Take a look at both files; Robin and Mark will talk about what the script is doing

  4. Try running it!

Advanced bot: advanced_plumpoem.py

This script treats the poem This Is Just To Say (William Carlos Williams) as a mad-lib, filling in four blanks from four data sources: JSON files from @dariusk's collection of corpora.

Change it up!

  • Choose different word lists. Make sure to change the URLs in lines 16-19 and the list name in lines 22-25.
  • Choose a different piece of text to make into a mad lib.

Advanced bot: advanced_listeningbot.py

This script tweets a random line from a .txt file whenever @ocertat (Mark) tweets.

Change it up!

  • Change what the bot tweets whenever it "hears" a new tweet from @ocertat.
  • Change who the bot listens to from @ocertat to someone else. (Please don't make a spam bot!)

Advanced bot: advanced_mashup_markov/

This script (advanced_mashup_markov/markovmaker.py) uses a Markov chain to create a new file full of nonsense sentences from another text. twain.txt is included as the default source text.

This script doesn't tweet, it just makes a new text file. Point mybot3.py to the new .txt file you created to tweet out lines. (Note that the new filename is advanced_mashup_markov/twain_markov.txt or the filename of your choosing.)

Change it up!

  • Download or create a new .txt file that markovmaker.py will use to generate nonsensical text. Library conference abstracts, perhaps?

Advanced bot: advanced_ala-talk-generator.py

This bot mixes up talk titles from ALA Annual Conferences 2016, 2017, and 2018. The mash-up titles are composed of two halves, each from a real ALA program talk.

The script chooses a random beginning and ending from data/ala_beginners.txt and data/ala_enders.txt each time it tweets. (These data files have been pre-prepared and cleaned; talk titles were split in half at :, ?, at, of, for, on, and and, sometimes generating multiple beginning and ending halves.)

Change it up!

  • Create a new data file, enders.txt, and populate it with new language data, like song titles. Each potential title ender should be on its own line in the .txt file.
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