Template for creating a twitter bot using python (twython) and heroku
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README.md

This is a template for creating your own twitter bot using python and heroku. The only programming necessary is to update the function get_message() in app.py to create your bot's tweets.

Also, if you'd like to randomly favorite other users' tweets by keyword search, uncoment the call to random_favoriting() in main(), and change the keywords to those you'd like to search for.

Confused? Try reading this. Or contact me @jehosafet.

Requirements

  • python
    • Install Twython (pip install Twython): for generating/posting tweets in python app
  • heroku

Instructions

  1. Fork and pull this repo.

  2. In your local repo, create a new heroku app.

    • heroku create --stack cedar
    • heroku apps:rename YOUR_APP_NAME
    • Your heroku app will now keep the python script app.py running as often as possible.
  3. Create a new twitter account.

  4. From your main twitter account (not the one you just created, unless this is your first twitter account!) create a new twitter app.

    • Under Settings / Application Type:
      • Enable "Read and Write"
      • Check "Allow this application to be used to Sign in with Twitter"
    • Under Details:
      • Click "Create My Access Token"
    • Connect this app to your bot's twitter acount (help here)
      • $ gem install twurl
      • $ twurl authorize --consumer-key "REPLACE_THIS" --consumer-secret "REPLACE_THIS"
    • When twurl asks you to go to a url to log-in, now use the bot account you just created.
  5. Create an .env file containing your twitter keys.

    • twurl generated some keys for your new bot account. You can find these in ~/.twurlrc.
    • In your local repo, create a file called .env that contains these twitter app keys, one per line:
      • TWITTER_CONSUMER_KEY=replace_this
      • TWITTER_CONSUMER_SECRET=replace_this
      • TWITTER_OAUTH_TOKEN=replace_this
      • TWITTER_OAUTH_TOKEN_SECRET=replace_this
    • For heroku, use heroku-config to copy contents of .env to your heroku app.
      • Install heroku-config: heroku plugins:install heroku-config.
      • Now run heroku config:push.
        • NOTE: To update heroku environment variables later, run heroku config:push --overwrite
        • Alternatively, add heroku environment variables manually using heroku config:set YOUR_ENV_VAR=replace_this

Okay, now here's the fun part:

  1. Update the function get_message() in app.py to create your bot's tweets.

  2. Test your bot locally.

    • Running foreman start should generate your tweets once every minute, or at whatever rate you set in app.py.
  3. Commit and push local changes to heroku and github.

    • git push heroku master pushes all commits to heroku and starts up your app.
    • Your bot should now tweet as long as your heroku app is running (via the worker dyno).