@PhillyBurbWorking twitter account

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Brian Donahue

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Mar 7, 2012, 9:48:31 AM3/7/12
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Anyone have experience with Twitter bots?  Thinking it would be cool if @PhillyBurbWorking would retweet anybody's tweets that either has a #phillyburbworking hashtag, or just @replies to the account (the latter might result more spam than the former).  That way people could just tweet out if/where they are working on a given day, and @PhillyBurbWorking would retweet to anyone following.  Then other folks could just show up if they want.  Might be easier and definitely more spontaneous than trying to organize via email...

For example, today I'm at Starbucks in Montgomeryville until lunch :)

-Brian


Mark Starkman

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Mar 7, 2012, 9:58:02 AM3/7/12
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I wish you had posted this earlier, I would have met up with you.  That is less than five minutes from my house.  Unfortunately, I have a call soon and don't want to take it from a Starbucks.  

-Mark

Brian Donahue

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Mar 7, 2012, 10:08:56 AM3/7/12
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Was a last minute decision :)  That's why I was wishing I could have just tweeted it real quick :)

Matthew Botos

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Mar 7, 2012, 10:50:31 AM3/7/12
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Like the idea; I'd imagine there's plenty of Twitter bot examples out there. Retweeting anything with @phillyburbworking or #phillyburbworking sounds good, with a few spam protections as you suggest.

Most @ spam I see is in the form of "@foo http://spam" or "@bar @foo @baz http://spam", so maybe check for at least 3 non-link, non-mention words in the tweet? A non-spam example might be "Coworking at Starbucks in Montgomeryville until lunch http://maps.google.com @phillyburbworking".

Brian Donahue

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Mar 7, 2012, 10:55:54 AM3/7/12
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Yep.  And just to clarify, Mark just stopped by and was talking about how the Twitter thing would work.  If the account retweets all mentions of #phillyburbworking, then you wouldn't necessarily need to be looking at it at the time of the tweet, you could just view the @PhillyBurbWorking page/history to see if anyone had tweeted that day if you were looking for a meetup.  

Dave Konopka

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Mar 7, 2012, 10:56:59 AM3/7/12
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https://ifttt.com/ could handle this. 

If @ mention or maybe if DM to limit to followed folks… retweet the message.

Brian Donahue

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Mar 7, 2012, 12:03:45 PM3/7/12
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Dave, great idea! I've used that before but forgot about it. I'd be happy to set it up but would need the account credentials. 

I like the hash tag idea because it doesn't require following for DMs and is unlikely to be spammed by a bot...

Sent from my iPhone

Brian Donahue

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Mar 8, 2012, 12:28:36 PM3/8/12
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OK, so this works with a couple caveats.  Apparently, Twitter doesn't allow retweeting or @mentioning with an automated hook, so you end up with the username without the @ sign, like:

"RT briandonahue: I'm working somewhere so very cool. #phillyburbworking"

Also, it only polls every 15 minutes, so there is a delay (no instant gratification for uber-connected cyber-addicts like myself). 

I set it up to work with two versions of the hash tag, #phillyburbworking and #phillyburbwrkng

But, it does work, and you don't have to use the @phillyburbwrkng name at all, just the hashtag.  I didnt want to retweet @replies because a lot of spammers use them, and filtering ain't easy.

To see where people are working, either follow @phillyburbwrkng or create a saved search for the above hashtags.  

Enjoy!

-Brian

Todd Hiestand

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Mar 8, 2012, 12:30:03 PM3/8/12
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Brian, you are the man. Thanks! 

Todd

Matthew Monihan

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Mar 8, 2012, 12:40:25 PM3/8/12
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Sweet!

Brian Donahue

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Mar 8, 2012, 12:43:59 PM3/8/12
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It's pretty trivial with ifttt.com - thanks to Dave for reminding me of its existence.  It's actually really useful, despite it's UI seemingly being designed for mobile only and looking GIGANTIC on a regular screen.  I recently used it to watch a forum at deals.woot.com to save money on re-upping my XBox Live account :)

Brian Donahue

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Mar 8, 2012, 12:45:09 PM3/8/12
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Haha - we may have spoken to soon...  check the tweets.  It looks like it may retweet itself in an infinite loop... will look into this!  :)

Todd Hiestand

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Mar 8, 2012, 12:46:59 PM3/8/12
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LOL - awesome :)

Brian Donahue

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Mar 8, 2012, 1:04:59 PM3/8/12
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OK, tried adding a "!from:phillyburbwrkng" qualifier.  If ifttt is using Twitter's search API, this should work.  I'll let you know in a half hour or so :)
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