Twitter Bots for Community Building! (or How Do You Know When Someone Wants to go Vegan? Don't Worry, They'll Tweet About It)*
I built my first Twitter bot in Node js to help automate a task: giving advice to people interested in being vegan. Simple enough! But even simple bots require love, maintenance, and moderation, to keep them useful, and more importantly, positive! How do you design and code a bot to engage with people in a way that maximizes positive interactions, and minimizes negative ones? I'll tell you what I did.
I built my first (open source!) Twitter bot in Node js to help automate a task: vegan advocacy. The bot, @VegAssist, reTweets people who express a desire to become vegan. The bot’s community of followers then reach out to offer support and tips to the reTweeted person. Simple enough! And so far the project has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response from those who are reTweeted!
But even simple bots require love, maintenance, and moderation, to keep them useful, and more importantly, positive!
In this talk, I’ll cover (with code examples) the very simple steps taken to get a Twitter bot setup from scratch using Node js. I’ll also cover the thought process behind some of the design decisions, primarily guided by a simple principle: Everyone who the bot reTweets should be glad about it! A few minor surprises came up along the way, such as problematic responders, and large influxes of followers. I’ll explain the simple steps I took to address these and other issues as best and simply as I could, often with nothing more than minor code changes, a private message here and there, and a comprehensive project document, with clear etiquette rules.
Maybe your community advocacy could also use a friendly bot!
This would be my first speaking engagement.
Andrew has been a Python developer in Toronto for 4 years. He has a fondness for slow, long, and sustainable travel.