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how to build an automatic social-media message generator?

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how to build an automatic social-media message generator?

Postby tmccormick » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:49 pm

I'm wondering how I might implement automatic generation of social-media messages from OJS-hosted journal content. For example, whenever a new article is posted, generate a tweet that in some way describes the article, and links to a public view of article.

I've reviewed documentation and forums regarding OJS API, RSS feeds, email notifications, DOIs, etc. It seems there may be many possible approaches, and with my minimal system knowledge, it is hard to assess what might be best. Can anyone advise on how and how feasibly you think this might be done?


Goals/requirements:

1. The service would not need to be hosted with, or part of, the OJS installation.

2. Therefore the service would preferably use some existing OJS capability that is Web-accessible, e.g. API or RSS feeds.

3. The service would post messages using the social network(s)' APIs, e.g. Twitter API.

4. The service might post publicly, or post in such a way that a reviewer/editor could review/edit before public posting.

5. The service would have access to article content and metadata, in order to support various methods of generating the article summary / message.

6. A possible alternate output would be to put the autogenerated message into a pre-populated "share this" style widget on the journal site's TOC or article pages, e.g.

7. Make it as easy as possible for as many OJS-hosted journals to start social-media messaging. Require as little patching/configuration/updating of OJS installations as possible.

8. Preferably, employ consistent messaging methods and gather analytics across all journals, in order to study and optimize outcomes.

9. I'm interested in approaches that could be extended to other journal platforms besides OJS.

10. Social-media platforms of possible interest, for outputting to, include Twitter, Facebook, App.net, Sina Weibo, and Mendeley.

thanks for any help or suggestions,
Tim

---
Tim McCormick
Stanford Media X / tmccormck (at) gmail.com / @tmccormick / tjm.org / Palo Alto, CA, USA
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Re: how to build an automatic social-media message generator

Postby asmecher » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:20 am

Hi Tim,

You could accomplish this any number of ways, mostly depending on the kind of output you want to have. You've mentioned a tweet when a new article is published, but I assume there are other kinds of news you'd like to promote.

For system-independent content, the existing RSS/RSS2/Atom facility would be easiest, but you'd be tied to the limitations of that data source. (Of course, we'd be open to suggestions for extending that, or better still, patches for integration into the codebase.)

For flexibility, the best way would be an OJS plugin. (These could generally be easily adapted to OCS and OMP.)

If you're amenable to working with OMP instead of OJS, it's got the "latest and greatest" of the tools we've been working on recently. You might look in particular at the notification framework it uses.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team
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Re: how to build an automatic social-media message generator

Postby axfelix » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:31 pm

Just FYI, generating tweets using only the RSS output isn't a terrible idea -- I know that's how http://www.socialflow.com/ does things.
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Re: how to build an automatic social-media message generator

Postby tmccormick » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:52 am

thanks Alec & axfelix,
your notes add to my sense that using OJS' (+ perhaps OMP's?) existing RSS output is a good way to go, as a source for generating social-media messaging.

It's a big plus to use something standard -- both in the sense of being a standard part of OJS distribution, and an [industry] standard data-exchange format. As I mentioned, a potential later-phase goal is to work with content sources beyond OJS, and it is likely that other such platforms would also have some RSS interface.

> OMP's got the "latest and greatest" of the tools we've been working on recently.
> You might look in particular at the notification framework it uses.

definitely of interest.. notification could help avoid the issue of polling RSS and detecting updates. As implemented now, it appears to be specifically used for email notification, right?

> You've mentioned a tweet when a new article is published, but I assume
> there are other kinds of news you'd like to promote.

Tweet for new article published is perhaps the base case. In fact it might be as far as a first prototype phase would go. However, yes, additional cases might include:
a) post to other networks, such as App.net or Facebook;
b) trigger by other editorial events, such as manuscript received, reviewer comments received (i.e. "open peer review" model), or article exiting paywall; or
c) other content types such as news story, book chapter.

thanks,
Tim.

---
Tim McCormick
Stanford Media X / tmccormck (at) gmail.com / @tmccormick / tjm.org / Palo Alto, CA, USA
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