Recent Twitter Projects

I haven’t written about this here yet, but for the better part of the last year I’ve been experimenting with twitter bots. Specifically, I’ve been using Cheap Bots Done Quick, a phenomenal tool that allows anyone to build a twitter bot with very little effort.

It uses Tracery, a syntax that I have used a few times in Twine as well. Tracery allows you to create sort of mad-libs style randomized text passages, and by nesting its structures within one another you can create quite sophisticated constructions.

I currently have four twitter bots active, only three of which I actually like.

WRITING PROMPT BOT

The joke here is that it’s a really bad writing prompt bot that only suggests bad mashups of existing intellectual properties/TV and film tropes. It’s not very big and is not very capable of producing interesting, intricate tweets. However, every once in a while it turns out something quite charming indeed:

AUTODOYLE

This bot is my absolute favorite that I’ve helped make so far. I made it with my friend Tara, who does not use twitter. It generates endless Sherlock Holmes mystery titles and is absolutely glorious and perfect.

I sometimes respond to autodoyle tweets with my own little flash-fiction story excerpts. Some other people have started doing this too! They’re often quite good. Here are some of my favorite ones I’ve done.

ASSORTED FILES

This bot I made all by myself over the holidays. It generates X-Files plots out of thin air! I wrote it during an X-Files binge and I think it’s quite good for what it is.

SLUG-IN-HAND TAVERN

This is not a twitter bot! It is a REAL RESTAURANT that tweets dishes, specials, social events, and random news about goings-on in the small town of Earlmouth, Massachusetts. I “discovered” it with a few friends of mine– this guy and this guy— over the holidays.

There’s a lot of really weird stuff going on in Earlmouth! Alice and Sam, owners of the restaurant, are frequently at odds with their ex-busboy, Justin B, who disapproves of the cult they have helped to start. Everyone’s eating some weird fish, Trench Wizard, and arguing about whether it is responsible for all the bleeding they’re doing out of their many orifices. There’s a “ceremony” out on the bay every Friday night. Weird shit! Weird shit!


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