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Friday, January 9, 2009

This Is Totally Random (Or, Where's The Head Of The Twitterpillar?)

Totally. But I have to get it out there.

I woke up this morning half an hour early with this idea in my head. One of those cute, silly things that take advantage of a new technology for pure entertainment. The technology? Twitter.

See, I'd just found http://www.twitterforpeace.com/ yesterday through a re-tweet by John Cleese (@JohnCleese). Everytime somebody posts a tweet with "#peace" in it, it shows up on this webpage automatically in real-time. Neato. That's the specific technology I'm talking about using for laughs, the hashtag (#).

There's a kids' group drawing activity that my old art teacher is calling the "kangaroo" game, where each kid gets an 8.5x11 sheet of paper with two dots on each 8.5 edge kinda near the corners positioned so that if any 2 sheets are placed 8.5 edge to 8.5 edge, the dots line up. The kids then draw a wacky animal body that connects the dots the long ways. When done, all the pages are assembled end to end randomly creating a really funny looking long caterpillar-like animal. The birthday kid gets to do the head and tail.

That's the idea, with tweets. Each tweet will start with the end of a sentence, the verb-object part. The middle of the tweet will be some random narrative content. The end will be the start of a sentence, the subject. So a tweet will look like:

"#tp ...[verb phrase][object phrase]. [sentence or 2]. [subject]..."

Here's my first example: "#tp ... ran to the window. "Holy mackerel" John mumbled, almost knocking off the fishbowl. The fish..."

I want to call it Twitterpillar (#tp).

If you want to play, do your tweet first: http://www.twitter.com/. Then here's the link to read what's come before, or after as the case may be: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23tp. Don't read the stream first though, keep it random. Tweet before you peek!

A good trick to make sure it'll fit in with the idea is to read your tweet like a loop. If the first and last sentence fragments, well, last and first, go together grammatically, then you're good.

Peace.

2 comments:

Megan M. said...

This is SOOOO funny and awesome!

brainpicker said...

Really cool. Penguin actually did pretty much the same thing in a recent "new media" campaign – one of the stories was exactly this kind of Twitter madlibs/crowd-written thing. Check it out.