Automatically curating local news onto SE23.life

new-features
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SE23.life bridges social networks (Twitter, Facebook etc) and the open web, so local conversation travels far and wide. Never before has Honor Oak and Forest Hill found lost kittens and good builders with such ease!

We share forum topics manually onto our Twitter and Facebook accounts, and we keep an eye on social media to find local news and events to feature on SE23.life.

The plan for Dot Life forums has always been to automate this curation and sharing so it can run 24/7 and share news as it happens.

The image Twitter Bot

Our Twitter Bot @se23_tweets has scanned Twitter 24/7 and retweeted local news automatically for over a year now. Over that time, it has built an understanding of connections between SE23-related accounts on Twitter, and it uses this data to identify which tweets are relevant to us.

The bot is sufficiently good at identifying local news that it’s now ready to graduate - and start automatically posting to the forum.

As of today, @se23_tweets will create topics on the forum when it spots a tweet we might be interested in. These topics go into the opt-in “Curation Inbox” category, accessible to members of the @Curators group.

The bot is only a simple bit of software, so human members of the forum will need to help it (for now) by editing its topics in “Curation Inbox” where necessary, giving them an appropriate title, putting them in the right category, and tagging them.

Next Steps

  • The Twitter bot will spot people discussing SE23.life topics on Twitter and will automatically post a reply back on the relevant forum topic to let us know.

  • The Twitter bot will watch out for topics with certain tags on the forum and share them automatically onto relevant Twitter accounts. For example, if a forum topic is tagged #ebsworth-st, the bot will automatically tweet about the topic from the @ebsworthstreet Twitter account. The bot will get the word out quickly for lost cats and dogs

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How the Horniman Museum is eradicating plastic waste through retail and catering initiatives
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In addition to the Twitter bot we are also setting up curated feeds of:

  • Google News alerts for the local area (Example)
  • Forest Hill Society Newsletters (we’re just waiting on FHSoc permission before featuring these on the forum - @Michael, are you okay with this?)
  • SE23 Council Planning updates

As with Twitter bot topics, the above feeds create topics automatically in our “Curation Inbox” category, and members of the Curators group help out by tweaking them and moving appropriate topics into the main forum.

If you can spare the time and you’re a verified member (or have otherwise reached trust level 3), we’d love you to help out by joining the Curators group

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