Birds and The Bees: Beeminder Has Twitter Integration

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
By Chris Goodman

A bird (for Twitter) and a bee (for Beeminder) blissfully in love

We are exceedingly proud to debut the work of our intern, Chris Goodman, in this blog post. Chris has joined us this summer through Saturday Academy’s ASE Internship program. Both Chris and Saturday Academy have knocked our socks off. Chris had not written a line of Ruby when he started, and now, well, his blog post here speaks for itself. He far exceeded our expectations. The original plan was simply a third-party tool to beemind tweets using the Beeminder API. Unprompted, he dove in to the Beeminder codebase and figured out how to make it an official integration. Enjoy! And thank you, Chris!

Today I, Chris the Intern, also known as EendiVidi, have hereby completed my main internship duty, Twitter integration. “But Eend!” you say. “We already have Twitter integration!” To that I say, “Wait! Don’t go! What I added is different, I swear!”

What we’ve had until now is the option to sign in using your Twitter account. This integration is about actually beeminding your tweets. [1] The Twitter API lets you access data from any user, so there is no authentication step with Twitter. Just type in your Twitter username, or any Twitter username, and you can start beeminding tweets or tweets with a specified hashtag. If you have a friend who you feel tweets far too much, here’s a way to cure them: Create a Twitterminder goal pointing at your friend’s Twitter acount and with the Yellow Brick Road set to a reasonable number of tweets per day. Now show your friend the graph. They will not be able to resist causing you to get charged money, which they can do by tweeting less than the rate you set on your Twitterminder goal. It’s win-win-win! (The third win is for Beeminder, who wins actual money in this scenario.)

Ok, but (slightly) more seriously, if you did want beemind tweeting less, we considered adding Do Less goals for tweeting. If you want this, all I have to do is uncomment a block of code. Don’t hesitate to ask if you feel this would be a good feature! Of course that would also open doors for doing things such as giving us money every time Kim Kardashian tweets, just so you can add a monetary loss to a loss of faith in humanity.

“Twitterminder is about much more than minding your tweeting”

Ok, but let’s get even more serious. Twitterminder is actually about much more than minding your (or your friends’, or pop idols’) tweeting. There are a lot of tools and websites and Quantified Self gadgets that integrate with Twitter and can tweet automatically when you accomplish various things, often with a specific hashtag. Well, you can now automatically beemind all those things! Maybe you prefer Codecademy to Beeminder’s Code School integration. Codecademy makes it easy to tweet your progress after each lesson, so just create a Twitterminder goal to watch those tweets. Even more exciting, you can use IFTTT to automatically tweet on your behalf and have Beeminder subsequently count those tweets, meaning you can count any IFTTTible [2] thing. (Technically you already could, by having IFTTT generate emails to the Beeminder bot, but it’s cleaner via Twitter and doesn’t require connecting your Gmail to IFTTT.)

So that’s Twitterminder! If (i.e., when) you notice any bugs or issues, please tweet at us.

And if anyone [3] is really curious about what it’s like here at the hive, or is a current or future high schooler living in Portland, Oregon interested in pursuing an internship with Beeminder, feel free to ask about it in the comments.


 

Footnotes

[1] Also implemented but not currently exposed are things like minding the number of people you follow or number of retweets. We decided to wait to see if anyone would actually want to do things like that before confusing users with too many options.

[2] This has to be one of the worst verb-to-adjectivabilities of any website name I’ve ever seen.

[3] Who isn’t my mother, as this is the internet and there are people here.

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