@abook4you

The @abook4you website is linked to the @abook4you Twitter bot. The website also crossposts to Facebook and Tumblr. You can see a full description of the bot on the About page.

The content on all four is mostly generated on a fully-automated basis, focusing on book recommendations, alongside reviews from both critics and readers. Additionally, they all feature a stream of book-related quotes.

The bot is possible due to the explosion in access to public databases through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), and scripting. The Twitter bot is able to respond autonomously to unique mentions requesting a book recommendation, as long as a genre is cited. However, the 140-character limitation does not allow for much, so the website vastly expands the amount of information that can be presented.

In addition to more data, the bot functionality has been enhanced to manage content on the website. Apart from posting, storing and indexing, it is now possible to solicit a genre-specific recommendations via a form request, and if the query is successful, a user-generated post will result. Similarly, a search query can be made via a separate form request, with a user-generated post also created if the query is successful. In order to assist with the search query, a Google custom search tool is also available. Lastly, fully functional membership and social tools have been deployed, and there is a forum for members to have their say. In summary, visitors, and members can populate the website with content that they generate.

Developed pro-bono, and for the fun of it, by @replies4u (feel free to see more bot examples at http://www.r4utools.co.uk).