A reddit IAMA answer compilation bot written in Python
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Procfile refactoring, added some helper scripts, and saving update times May 10, 2012
requirements.txt refactoring, added some helper scripts, and saving update times May 10, 2012



A python bot that makes reading answers from reddit IAMAs easier by compiling them into an easy-to-read list and posting it into the original IAMA.

You can see it in action at reddit.com/r/iama or my bot's user page.

Don't run your own instance of this bot, please. /r/iama ain't big enough for two of these bots.


Running python go.py basically does this:

  1. Gets the hottest 25 IAMAs from r/iama.
  2. Reduces the list down to those that will likely have at least a minimum number of comments (currently set to 200).
  3. For each IAMA in the list:
    • compiles a list of questions and answers
    • posts the list in the IAMA as a chain of comments

The script tries to do this efficiently with as few requests possible. To do so, it requires a MongoDB instance to store its previous comments. See the source for more details.

the bot

The bot is set up on Heroku with the MongoLab Starter add-on and Heroku Scheduler add-on (all for free!). Running heroku config includes these lines:

MONGOLAB_URI      => mongodb://...
REDDIT_PASSWORD   => <password>
REDDIT_USERNAME   => narwal_bot
SCHEDULER_URL     => http://...
TZ                => US/Eastern
USER_AGENT        => <user_agent>

The Scheduler is set to run python go.py every hour. Technically, it runs the go process, which is defined in the Procfile as python go.py. This is necessary because running the script is a long-running job.


The bot uses narwal extensively. narwal is an open source python reddit API wrapper that I wrote. Go check it out!