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I'm a moderator for the Literature Stack Exchange, and we've been trying to promote the site. We've gotten a lot of engagement on twitter (sometimes from famous authors), and we want to use twitter to promote the site.

I know that Stack Exchange has automated twitter accounts, but automated accounts are horrible from a promotion/community building perspective. We want to have a curated account controlled by real humans.

Gallifreyan, one of our community members, had the brilliant idea that if people could post on twitter from the site's chat room, it would be easy for people to update the site's shared twitter account, and people would be more likely to keep the twitter account flowing with good content. Everyone is always in the chat room, but posting on a shared twitter account requires going to a new site, logging in to the shared account, etc.

A chat bot shouldn't be that hard to implement, and the upsides are huge. Could we have this feature please?

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    Can anyone in that room then Twitter? I mean, I just joined your room, I know nothing about your site. Can I now send a Twitter message? (It would be cool if you intend it to work this way because I don't have an twitter account)
    – rene
    Apr 21 '17 at 17:57
  • @rene there are two use cases for this feature. First, trusted users should be able to control the site's twitter account (or a shared community account). Second, everyone should be able to control their own personal account if they want to send a quick message about Stack Exchange. I personally don't twitter, but I would create one to promote the site if I could control it from a Stack Exchange chat room.
    – user160606
    Apr 21 '17 at 18:04
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We no longer create Twitter accounts for new Stack Exchange sites at all:

We stopped creating them for all public beta sites by default because a) Twitter sees very little engagement for us; b) Twitter-the-company started blocking new accounts for us (probably because it thinks we're bots?) and fighting that got too annoying and time-consuming.

As you've correctly noted, a bot quietly tweeting question links is pretty terrible at drumming up engagement. That's why we discontinued the practice a while back. The old @StackLit account that's still kicking around on Twitter predates that decision, which is why it exists in the first place, but it probably should have been made private or something when the beta site was shut down. I'll look into that.

In the meantime, you guys are totally free to promote the Literature community anywhere you see fit, Twitter included. Someone could even cook up a way to manage it from a chat room like you're suggesting here. It's a cool idea - just not one that fits into our plans, since Twitter integration has been deprecated.

If you want the SE name on it, just make sure it's credited to "the Literature Stack Exchange community". This is to make it clear that it's community-owned and not operated by SE Inc. It's probably best to steer clear of the @Stack[Subj] type handle to avoid that confusion, too.

But otherwise, have at it! I'm excited to see what you can make of it.

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A remark for those interested in such a thing:

  • Chat offers an RSS feed for any keyword/room combination. For example, here is RSS feed for the word "twitter" in the Literature room (see the RSS link in bottom right).
  • IFTTT can connect an RSS feed to your Twitter account.

Put the two things together, and you have a chat-to-Twitter relay with no development or hosting headaches.

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    That's really clever, thank you! We'll probably try using that.
    – user160606
    Apr 21 '17 at 19:38

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