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:wave: Hey hey, I'm Michael Lee and this is my site about being a developer, being a dad and making side projects.

Year Left: A Twitterbot with a sense of urgency

Written on May 10, 2017

I spend quite a bit of time on Twitter. It’s the way I stay informed about my industry, stay in touch with friends and keep up with the happenings around the World.

Recently I discovered a couple of accounts that are updated entirely by bots. Meaning there’s no human updating the status of the accounts, but a computer somewhere is running some code that automatically generates the status update and then tweets it.

I enjoy following these bots — knowing well they aren’t controlled by a human — because they provide value in a quirky way. One such account is @tinycarebot, which tweets reminders like to drink water, eat food, to look up from your screen and to take time to text a friend (which I actually did).

Another one is @year_progress which tweets a progress bar of the year passed so far and also adds a percent value of the year completed. I really enjoyed the visual of the tweets showing up in my timeline, but I always thought to myself, it would be helpful if the progress bar was in reverse.

What I mean by reverse is that instead of telling me how much of the year has passed, tell me how much of the year is left. This would create a sense of urgency for me. Like, “OMG there’s only 5% of the year left?! I need to hit the gym now!!!”.

So, in case others were curious how much of the year is left and enjoy a little sense of urgency, I created a Twitterbot inspired by @year_progress called @year_left.

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