Anatomy Of A Twitter Bot

I’ve come up with two ideas for Twitter bots, Lyric of the Day (@lotd), and Shake Shack Flash Mob (@shakeshack). They both work the same way. People follow the twitter account (click on the links to do that) and then people post messages to the account with the @ sign.  Examples are:

@lotd "I’ve been walking Central Park singing after dark people think I’m crazy" Miss you, The Rolling Stones

or

@shakeshack andrew and I are going to the shake shack today. we’ll try to get there around noon. will twitter the line length then

both of these messages were sent today, one by me and one by this guy

when you post a message like one of the examples to the twitter account with the @ sign, it gets sent to everyone who is following the account

Whitney McNamara wrote some Perl code that does the one thing that Twitter doesn’t do for you – repost the message sent in to the account’s timeline.  He’s had a number of requests for that code in the couple weeks since he built it and he posted it on his blog this week.

I hope this means there will be more Twitter bots in the coming months. They are a great way to run a group on twitter.