Last week on 4/13/14, our Second Tutorial assignment was due. That forced me to get on track with my coding tutorial and put some of my knowledge to use. I was really happy with how it turned out! It was very basic code, and I’m sure I didn’t go about it in the cleanest, easiest way possible, but I wrote it from scratch and consider that in and of itself a huge accomplishment. Once I had gone through the first few chapters of the coding tutorial, I was able to start Googling smartly. By that I mean I had the basic jargon down, and had a better idea what search terms I should use to get the results that I want.

I still wasn’t sure how to go about applying the code (once I got it) to Twitter to start grabbing tweets for me. Luckily, in class last week we were in groups discussing the progress of our projects, and Dan mentioned that he has a tutorial on Twitter bots. I saw him post it on Facebook, but a. I didn’t know that a bot could do what I was asking—I associate them with Twitter profiles that interact with other users and produce things an b. I was hoping to start from scratch and figure it out on my own so I could understand the logistics of it. That definitely was not working, so I tried out the tutorial.

It went really well! It was very simple—I still ran into problems, but they were Google-able. For example, he instructs to install “tweepy” by using the line:

pip install tweepy

I kept receiving the error message:

-bash: pip: command not found

After a little searching, I found out that “pip” (whatever that is) does not come automatically installed with the version of Python I was using. I tried to manually install it, but after failing, just upgraded my version of Python and it was fixed! Finally, I got the bot to work:

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 11.07.32 AMBot results

My aim is to collect data, rather than reproduce tweets, but this was an excellent introduction to bots…now I have a better idea of what I’m working with, and how I use the code to make it do things. I am still woefully behind on having a code ready, but this tutorial introduced me to Tweepy, and I’ve seen a few tutorials about using it to data mine, so I think I’m getting closer.


One thought on “ENGL 539 Designer Blog: IT’S ALIIIIIIIVEEEE (I Made a Bot)

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