How to Bring Ticketfrei to Your City
1. Register at Ticketfrei
First you need to register at Ticketfrei to create a bot for your city.
You only need an E-Mail address, and specify the name of your city. Note: äöü don't work yet for city names.
2. Connect the social media networks
Now you need to connect Social Media accoutns to Ticketfrei in the settings. If users want to report controllers, they will write to those accounts, so choose a fitting username, profile picture, description, and so on.
The bot currently supports E-Mail, Twitter, Telegram, and Mastodon.
E-Mail works out of the box. You don't have to do anything. Users can just write to <your-city-name>@ticketfrei.links-tech.org to report a controller.
Twitter is a social media network for short messages with up to 280 letters.
You first need to create a Twitter account for the bot. Nowadays they not only want an E-Mail address for this, but often ask for a phone number directly after creation. You need to confirm it by typing in a security code which you receive by SMS. You can use one phone number for multiple accounts, maybe choose an anonymous number. Then you can use the Twitter account normally, choose a fitting name, profile pic, header image, and description.
To connect this account to Ticketfrei, just click on "Sign in with Twitter" at https://ticketfrei.links-tech.org/settings. Then a window opens where you can log in with your twitter account and authorize Ticketfrei to use the account. From then on, it should just work, try to mention the Bot with a test message to try it out.
Telegram is a more or less encrypted messenger.
For Telegram, it is a bit less intuitive:
Write "/newbot" to @botfather with your personal Telegram account to create a Telegram bot, and follow the instructions to choose a cool name.
- The botfather will give you an API key
Copy paste the API key to the "Connect with Telegram" field at https://ticketfrei.links-tech.org/settings, press "Login with Telegram".
- It should work now! Try to start a conversation with the bot to test it.
Mastodon is a federated social network and does not have only one instance - you can choose one here to create an account. It does not really matter which instance you choose.
Then enter the server name, account E-Mail adress, and passphrase to https://ticketfrei.links-tech.org/settings and press "Log In". It should work now, try it out.
3. Configure the Bot
There are some additional settings:
Each city has an own webpage it can use for explaining the concept. You can use it for promotion, share the link or QR code, so users can learn how they can use the bot.
There is a default text in german on the usage - you should adjust it to your needs, e.g. by adding the correct links to your social media profiles, and translating it to your language.
You can write in Markdown. Read a short explanation here: https://guides.github.com/features/mastering-markdown/ (Except that it's slightly different, because it's not exactly GitHub.)
Mail Subscription Page
Next to the city page, there is small page where users can subscribe to E-Mail reports. Change the text to your liking, language, etc.
Trigger Words and Blocklist
To prevent spamming and abuse, the bot only shares reports which fit certain criteria:
- You can choose trigger words. Only reports which contain one of those words will be retweeted. Watch out that there is no empty line at the end.
- You can add words to the blocklist, next to the default ones. If a report contains one of those words, it will not be shared by your bot. E.g. it makes sense to add sexist slurs in your language.
4. Promote it!
Now you have to promote the service! Ticketfrei only works if there is a community for it. Fortunately, we prepared some material you can edit, remix, use, and republish: https://github.com/ticketfrei/promotion
At some point it usually works by itself, and people tell each other about it. But until then, you have to put a little bit of energy into it. Try to approach different communities in your city and tell them about the service: students, activists, refugees, public transport users, your grandparents... until your mayor uses Ticketfrei.
If you build cool promotion material yourself, please share it with us, so others can use it, too! Also get in touch with us for exchanging experiences with promotion and community building: email@example.com