Ever want to have a bot post periodically o your plurk timeline? Well it’s easy with with the plurk-api, a simple php script, and a cronjob
This post is based on @richoz’s article with small changes on php bits and cronjob. In this post, I’m only going to use the add new plurk function of the plurk-api.
What you need:
- A PC connected to the internet 24/7, or at least whenever you want the bot post on your timeline. For this post, I’m using a Ubuntu linux box.
- PHP installed on the pc mentioned above. Make sure php-cli & php-curl are also installed. to get them on ubuntu, open a terminal and do the following:
surfer@fulcrum:~$ sudo apt-get install php5 php5-cli php5-curl
- A plurk API key. You can get your plurk API key for free by registering here
- Download the plurk-php-api script. Create a folder on your home directory:
surfer@fulcrum:~$ mkdir plurkbot
unzip the plurk-php-api script to the newly created directory
surfer@fulcrum:~$ unzip php-plurk-api-1.6.2.zip -d plurkbot/
- Create a php script for the bot. The script below is a much simplified version of a script on @richoz’s article. Go to the plurkbot directory, and create the script using text editor of your choice:
surfer@fulcrum:~$ cd plurkbot/ surfer@fulcrum:~$ nano postplurk.php
Copy the following script to postplurk.php
$api_key = ‘yourapikeyhere’;
$username = ‘mach5’;
$password = ‘password’;
$post = “this is not the bot you’re looking for”;
$plurk = new plurk_api();
$plurk->login($api_key, $username, $password);
$message = $post;
$plurk->add_plurk(‘en’, ‘:’, $message);
Change the value of several variables:
- $api_key value is the plurk api key that is sent to your email
- $username value is your plurk login name, in my case it’s mach5
- $password is your plurk account password
- $post is the content of your plurk post
Save the file. Please remember that the newly created script and the plurk-php-api folder must be placed inside the plurkbot directory
- Create cronjob schedule that will automatically run the script.
surfer@fulcrum:~$ crontab –e
- The following entry will execute the script one time on 2:00 PM, everyday
00 14 * * * /usr/bin/php /home/surfer/plurkbot/postplurk.php
- Done! If you want to make several post a day, just change cronjob schedule to run several times a day. Or if you want to post different things on a single day, just create multiple script and create a cronjob for each script. Or you can also use @richoz’s script.
You can also spice up your bot by altering the text that the bot posts or make the bot fetch a comic strip. One thing that I’d like to do is to wrap the bot script with a bash script that will feed the bot with a quote from fortune-mod. These are the scripts that I use:
#!/bin/sh fore="!fb Today's PlurQuote: " quote=$(/usr/games/fortune plurquote) echo $fore$quote > quote.txt /usr/bin/php /home/surfer/postquote.php
<?php require('php-plurk-api/plurk_api.php'); $api_key = 'plurkapikeyhere'; $username = 'mach5'; $password = 'password'; $buka = file_get_contents("quote.txt"); $pesan = $buka; $plurk = new plurk_api(); $plurk->login($api_key, $username, $password); $message = $pesan; $plurk->add_plurk('en', ':', $message); ?>
Then, create a cronjob to run postplurkquote.sh, such as
00 09 * * * /home/surfer/postplurkquote.sh
..to run the script everyday at 09.00
Since plurk only allows a maximum of 144 characters on a single post, you might want to create a custom fortune database. Here’s how.