Make your own @hydratebot: a tutorial for non-coders

So @hydratebot has become pretty popular, and people keep requesting different frequencies of tweets, having themselves @-ed in the tweets, etc, and I’ve been looking for a way to show y’all how easy Cheap Bots Done Quick is so you can set up your own bots. So I’m gonna kill two birds with one stone here and show you how to make your own @hydratebot, which you can modify as you want; just credit @NoraReed in the bot profile.

The first step is creating a new Twitter account. Log into it, then go to Cheap Bots Done Quick and click on the “Sign In With Twitter” button.

a screenshot of the Cheap Bots Done Quick page with an arrow pointing to "sign in with Twitter" and all caps "THAT BUTTON"

You’ll need to authorize the app to post from that account.

authorize

You’ll get a big text box. Copy and paste the following into it:

{
“please”: [
“please”,
“i command you to”,
“you must”,
“go now and”
],
“have”: [
“have some”,
“drink some”,
“consume”
],
“water”: [
“some water”,
“water”,
“fluids”,
“liquid”
],
“address”: [
“human”,
“friend human”,
“human friend”,
“hu-man”,
“meat-creature”,
“meat-friend”,
“squishy human friend”,
“biofriend”,
“biological being”,
“my friend”,
“my hu-man friend”,
“physical entity”
],
“thanks”: [
“thank you”,
“thank you #address#”,
“thanks”,
“thanks #address#”,
“thank you from a robot who loves you”
],
“hydration”: [
“become hydrated”,
“put water into your mouth-hole”,
“consume this \”water\” that humans require to live”,
“drink hydration”,
“put water into your body so that it will function”,
“drink water so you can maintain your physical form”,
“put liquids into your mouth-hole”
],
“timeto”: [
“it is time to”,
“you must”
],
“standardorigin”: [
“#please# #have# #water#, #address#!”,
“#address#! #please# #have# #water#. #thanks#.”,
“#address#! #timeto# #hydration#.”,
“#timeto# #hydration#, #thanks#.”,
“#address#, #please# #have# #water#.”
],
“origin”: [
“#standardorigin#”
]
}

Now, set it to the frequency you want and click “save”.

a screenshot of the Cheap Bots Done Quick homepage with arrows pointing at "frequency" and "save" and "WOO" written above them

Want it to @ you? Scroll down to the bottom, where it says “origin”. Insert your Twitter handle before #standardorigin#. This is handy if you want it to take advantage of Twitter’s @ notifications.

More Advanced Stuff

If you want to change it in other ways, Tracery’s visual editor is pretty easy to use; just click on “JSON” and copy and paste the code there, then click “JSON” again to get an easy interface:

a screenshot of the Tracery visual editorGalaxyKate has Tracery tutorial if you want to do anything advanced with it.

This particular bot has only a single statement for #origin# so that it’s easy to add handles to it without having to modify every #origin# phrase.

You can also use IFTTT to easily connect your tweets to hundreds of other services.

That’s it! Feel free to contact me on Twitter if you have any questions. If you found this useful, consider buying me a coffee or supporting my Patreon. Thanks! Happy hydration!

bot idea list

Bots that I think would be cool, but do not yet have the skillz to make (if you want to make one of these feel free to! just credit me in the bot’s Twitter bio or something):

  • a bot that grabs descriptions of videos on pornhub and replaces all the sex-related words with business buzzwords
  • a bot that grabs parts of two sets of quotes, Headline Smasher/Two Headlines style, and mashes them together, attributing them, incorrectly to a third person
  • a bot that grabs a list of 12 related nouns (such as 12 different vegetables, 12 fictional characters, etc– maybe using Wikipedia categories?), assigns each one to a horoscope sign, and posts them on Tumblr, a la the zodiac meme. This would also work with images. Hell, you could probably just grab a dozen images from giphy and end up with something surprisingly coherent at least half the time.

Bots that I totally could make but haven’t yet that I might make someday and which I could absolutely make if someone wanted to pay me to make them:

  • terrible names for bad guys in RPGs
  • a bot version of Orcwanker
  • a Tumblr aesthetic generator
  • a bot that says nice or encouraging things
  • artisinal beer name generator
  • creepy Lush products generator
  • terrible workout tips
  • travel/vacation ideas
  • a (pseudo) Markov bot that grabs tweets from all of my bots and smashes them together
  • a random horoscope generator (maybe for every sign?)
  • a random tarot reading (with or without interpretation)

I’ll add links if I make any of these. You can support me on Patreon to get me to make ’em a lot faster; once I get to the $250 mark I’ll be doing an extra project a month, and that can be an essay or a bot.

observations on @colormaton

I made yet another bot. This one invents names for colors. I picked the words in its corpus mostly by taking apart existing lists of colors (“yellow”, “eggplant”, “jade”), combined with one list of interesting words that aren’t color-related at all (“goat”, “grace”, “madam”) and one list of words that can be used to modify many different colors (“vivid”, “zany”, “baby”). There are a few different combinations that these can appear in, some drawing multiple entries from the same list.

I observed some interesting things while building the bot and while watching what it comes up with.

  • Most color names that aren’t just for the color (like “yellow”) come from plants (especially food plants) and stones.
  • Because of this, most of the stuff that @colormaton comes up with sounds more like a weird description of a rock and/or food than an actual color.
  • The things it comes up with that ARE plausible colors sound sort of ridiculous, but seem, at least to me, like they wouldn’t be out of place on, say, a dollar store bottle of nail polish.

You can follow @colormaton on Twitter.