This post was originally posted on Cooper Hewitt Labs on Jan 16, 2013
I made a fun thing…yesterday. In my 20% time, downtime, er.. 2am time, I decided to build a simple tumblr blog called Curatorial Poetry. I was inspired by Aaron’s take on our collection data and how he chose to present objects in our collection that have no image, but have a “description.” In the office we often have fun reading these aloud, or better, with Apple’s screen reader.
But, I thought it would be fun to “reblog” these in another form. So, I built a simple python script to do just that. To do this, I forked our collection data and wrote a short tool to convert our JSON objects into an sqlite3 database. I chose sqlite3 because, well, it’s light, and doesn’t require me to set up a DB server or anything.
Next, I spent most of my time trying to learn how oAuth2 works. It took me a good bit of time googling around before I realized that the python-oath2 library includes oAuth1 ( which tumblr uses ). All I really needed to do with the tumblr API was to create the post. Once I had my keys worked out and authenticating, it was just one line of code.
Once the post is published, the script updates my sqlite3 db so it makes sure to not post the same thing twice. Thats all!
I’d like to expand the code for this a bit to add some error checking, build in connections to our own API ( instead of using the data dump ) and connect with Twitter. I’m also interested in adding other museum’s data. We have the IMA data available on GitHub, but they don’t include “description” text, so well see… In the meantime, follow it and you’ll receive a new “poem” in your tumblr feed every two hours, for the next 8 years!