Hunter Scott decided to design a bot to enter Twitter giveaways that asked for follow/like/retweets. He wrote a Python script that searched for and retweeted giveaways, and manually followed accounts when needed. Soon, the problem was not getting banned by Twitter:
They have rate limits which prevent you from tweeting too often, retweeting too aggressively, and creating “following churn”, by rapidly following and unfollowing people. Twitter doesn’t publish these numbers, so I had to figure them out by trial and error. Twitter also limits the total number of people you can follow given a certain number of followers. If you have below a few hundred followers, you cannot follow more than 2000 people. Since a lot of contests required following the original poster, I used a FIFO to make sure I was only following the 2000 most recent contest entries. That gave me long enough to make sure the person I unfollowed had already ended their contest and it kept the follow/unfollow churn rate below the rate limit.
Over the course of nine months, he entered 165,000 contests, winning around 1000. The most valuable prize was a trip to New York Fashion Week, which he did not accept. And his favorite prize was suitably random:
My favorite thing that I won was a cowboy hat autographed by the stars of a Mexican soap opera that I had never heard of. I love it because it really embodies the totally random outcome of these contests.
Eventually, he transformed his bot into one that sought out and retweeted accounts raising money for charity.
UPDATE: Launch scrubbed due to weather just a few minutes before launch. See you Saturday for another try! Today, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule is scheduled to shuttle two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. This will be the first time humans will launch to space from the United States […]
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Knowledge is power. And a company that knows who its customers are is far more likely to see those customers return. On the web, information gathering often comes in the shape of an online form. Whether it’s a registration, a contest, an order, or just a simple contact, those opportunities to engage with users and […]