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How To Replace Yourself With A Bot


  1. Review what a twitter bot is
  2. Create a low-tech bot
  3. Cover a basic bot script/system
  4. Break into groups/teams to work on bots

#What is a twitter bot?

  • Automated posts on the Twitter microblogging service.
  • Yes - some are spam to entice clicks. Others post @replies or automatically retweet in response to tweets that include a certain word or phrase.
  • 24% of tweets that are on Twitter? source: Mashable
  • new art form
  • internet as poetry
  • experimental, weird, community

Bot styles

Chatbot, datamining, markov chains, visual generation, text generation, mashup/text remixing, scheduled tweets, response bots...

#Some Twitter bots

Bot Approaches / Low Tech v. High Tech

Low Tech

  • Start With a Concept
  • Find/write/develop your text
  • You type out your tweets in advance.
  • You use a scheduler like Hootsuite, Buffer or Botize. Or a simple script/program like IFTTT.

High Tech

  • Using cronjobs
  • cron is a daemon, meaning it starts once and stays dormant until it is needed (a web server is also a daemon. it waits for a user to type in the url to load.)

Register a new twitter name/handle

  • Note: You can make many accounts under same email address if you use for example (you can do this while using private browse so you can have mulitple accounts open at once)
  • Verify via email after making new account

Register a new app on twitter & get access tokens/keys

  • Go to
    • You need to register a phone number (arrrgh) if not already done. Must be unique!
  • Create new app
  • Go to Keys and Access Tokens tab
  • Access Level should be: Read and write
  • At bottom of page click the button to generate access tokens

Getting started With twitter in Python

  • We'll be installing tweepy to access twitter in Python
  • Open the command line/terminal shell and run this in Bash


sudo apt-get install python-pip



sudo easy_install pip #if not already installed
pip install virtualenv
pip install tweepy

Create your python bot

  • Example script such as
  • Add your access tokens and keys
  • Test it in your terminal with python

Sign up on digital ocean

  • DigitalOcean is a virtual private server
  • You create droplets aka virtual (cloud) servers
  • Sign up for an Ubuntu server
  • You will be emailed an ip address, etc, prompted to change emails
  • Log in

Login via ssh

Steps are here

Connect to your server via ssh

Steps are here

Upload Your Script

  • You can upload to your server with scp

scp <path/to/file/on/your/computer> <username>@<hostname>:<destination path>

for example

scp /Users/2sman/Documents/code/github\ projects/Gamelan_Ebooks/gamelan* admin@

Re-install what you need on remote

Getting started With twitter in Python

  • We'll be installing tweepy to access twitter in Python
  • Install pip on digitalocean server to root
apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-pip
pip install tweepy

Create a cronjob

  • first you need to add cron

sudo apt-get install cron

  • Run crontab -e and you may have to select nano (2) as your editor
  • Add to bottom 0 * * * * python to have it run once an hour

Additional things/links