This project as been added to GitHub the current planning board is on PivotalTracker
With the recent addition of this question: Gwibber and OAuthcalypse I began realizing an opportunity to help spread Ubuntu StackExchange. I began monitoring Twitter and replying to users complaining about that very issue. (It's progress can be tracked on Bit.ly)
Which brought me to another idea. Using StackExchange API we could target Social Media outlets by pulling certain posts containing keywords (Like Ubuntu) and running that post through a search to see if a relevant question appears. If a high enough Percentage match exists then reply to that user with the URL.
I'm not one to go off making bots to destroy users life and fear this may have some backlash - but I think it might be a possibly helpful endeavor for both unknowingly new users and this site's success.
I'm looking for feedback and ideas regarding this. I've outlined the following possible steps:
- Need to create a Twitter account (Possibly AskUbuntu - based on our Domain Name)
- Got to hook into the StackExchange API
- Monitoring for replies should probably go to someone
I've continued my caffeine fueled adventure and decided to start some base line tests to see how effective this might be.
The AskUbuntu twitter account has been registered by someone other than me (If you're a community member let us know - that account may come in handy) in the meantime I've registered UbuntuExchange and continued my efforts outside of my personal Twitter account. I've begun digging into the Twitter API and StackExchange API to become more familiarized with the kind of effort needed for a project like this.
I've also asked some of the other MODs on StackExchange sites (The Cooking site seems to have taken a hold of the opportunity) Which may mean there's more merit in this idea than I initially thought.
Some additional parameters I've been muling over to help prevent this from being a negative attraction:
- The bot needs to be aware of who it directly @ replies and limit how many replies a user gets in X amount of time (Something like 1 every week max, etc TDB)
- Bot will need to run a comparison of each word to the question (and accepted answer for that question) as well as the tags and calculate a percentage based on how related the twitter post is to the match.
- A threshold will need to be created (something like 100%-90% Auto-reply, 89%-75% Hold it - like an outbox, where human review is needed to say "Send" or "Deny", <74% Ignore)
- In addition to question matching, perform keyword searching (Like if Help & Ubuntu exist in the same tweet simply reply with a generic-ish "If you need help with Ubuntu, try our Q&A Site: http://bit.ly/askubuntu") again subject to aforementioned rate limits
- In addition to replying to users it should also post "Hot" questions regularly (bi-daily, or whatever rate makes sense) to help showcase some of our excellent community work!
Of my torrent of replies there are a few people who were happy from the outcome:
Prajwalit: Thanks! RT @ubuntuexchange: @Prajwalit Gwibber will work with the new OAuth - The update instructions are here: http://bit.ly/gwibber
Prajwalit: @nxD4n thanks! but I fixed Gwibber n its working now. thanks to @ubuntuexchange :)
t_koeppen: @ubuntuexchange thanks for the tip. Gwibber is a good interim solution.
WoundedLilies: @ubuntuexchange THX!! Now it works!!
spiky7: @ubuntuexchange Thanks, that won't take a minute :)
daw50n: @ubuntuexchange Will give a go, thanks for the tip.
So of the all the tweeting and gentle pushes towards strangers it was somewhat successful test. There was increased foot traffic to the site (as gauged by my Bit.ly links) and a positive response from users being interacted with. I still very much desire the communities feedback on this, but barring any major objections I think this is a worthwhile - and potentially successable - endeavor.
Your thoughts, opinions, and feedback are most welcome.