Smash the Bot for Fun and Profit

I’ve become interested in the scholarly possibilities of Twitter bots. From bots that tweet a line from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, “over and over” (@TweetsOfGrass), to generating tweets that sound like Buddhist koans (@Horse_ebooks), to automating the writing of Modernist poetry (@MoPoBot), Twitter bots have invaded our timelines faster than we can block them. I’m proposing a session where participants can discuss ways in which scholars could use bots for our own pursuits. This would include using bots to isolate lines from longer pieces of literature, creating algorithmic methods for writing poetry, randomizing highlights from a collection, helping with vocabulary learning, or just making witty comments to amuse ourselves during office hours. If interest exists, we could also try to hack together a Twitter bot of our own.

Categories: Session Proposals, Session: Make, Session: Talk, Social Media, Teaching, Your Categories Are Inadequate | Tags: , |

About Jesse Menn

2nd year PhD student, English with an intended emphasis in the eighteenth century and distant reading.

One Response to Smash the Bot for Fun and Profit

  1. I love this idea, especially your emphasis on bots and levels of attention. This would fit in great with a both a python session & a discussion of e-literature (heard rumors of the former, planning to propose the latter).

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