Last week I put together a little Twitterbot to feed the #gc20 tag. What I was trying to do with this bot was to provide a focused stream of information about the Government of Canada and Web 2.0.
I had noticed that @DBast had put together a feed on his blog, and thought — well, why not plunk that feed right into Twitter itself? So I created the @gc_20 account on Twitter, hopped over to TweetAlert, did what you are supposed to do there, and had the feed thrown together in a matter of a few minutes. I love living in the future.
Noticed afterwards that the TweetAlert service doesn’t operate in real-time, as there’s often a lag between the originating tweet and when it get’s retweeted by the @gc_20 account. There’s probably a way to reduce the lag by using a different set-up, but I do like how TweetAlert alters the tweet content slightly when it issues the retweet so that it doesn’t spam the search results or the original tweeter.
And why the hashtag #gc20? It’s been in common use for a while, and it’s specific to the Government of Canada as opposed to the more generic #gov20 hashtag. And shorter. I also like it because it’s bilingual.
So there you have it — my first experiment with a Twitterbot — so far. More tweaking to follow.