Create a Free Twitter Bot - hosted on Heroku

I decided to make a Twitter Bot hosted on Heroku. And I managed to do it really easily. Surprisingly. The source code for this is on Github.

Here are the basic steps I took:

1. Think of something funny / useful for your bot to do.#

  • This is the hard part…

2. Register a new Twitter Account#

3. Create a new Twitter ‘app’ - go to http://dev.twitter.com/apps#

  • This will have the ability to control your twitter account on your behalf.
  • Make a note of the API keys.

4. Enable Read / Write Permissions for this App#

  • Found under ‘Permissions’.
  • If you need an extra mobile number, try this trick.

5. Write some code which interacts with the Twitter API.#

  • Sferik’s twitter gem makes this very easy in Ruby.
  • If you’re looking for inspiration, browse my code. It’s not very complicated… And the twitter gem is very well documented.
  • Remember to use Environmental Variables to hide your API keys.

6. Create a Gemfile / Rakefile for Heroku to latch onto.#

  • Again, examples of these can be found on my Github profile.
  • The rakefile basically defines an isolated process that can be run by heroku.
  • The Gemfile lists all the Gems you’ll need to install.
  • You may need to run bundle install (as usual…)

7. Check you can do what you want from the command line.#

  • By running your rake task.

8. Create a new Heroku App.#

9. Push your current files to Heroku.#

  • This should be a .rb file, a Rakefile, a Gemfile & a Gemfile.lock

10. Add Heroku Scheduler to your Heroku app#

  • heroku addons:add scheduler - the fastest way to add this.
  • This will allow you to customise how often it runs.
  • You can set it to run every 10 minutes if you feel the need…
  • To customise this, you’ll need to log into you Heroku Account.

11. Add your Environmental Variables to Heroku.#

You should be ready to take Twitter by storm now!

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