If you are one of those people who think that Twitter bots are annoying, then you may take some satisfaction in knowing that a bot is a nightmare to create. Last week I spent an entire night programming my very first Twitter bot from the husk of a previous Twitter account. My reason for doing this very much followed the Dr. Sheldon Cooper reasoning for doing anything vaguely technological – because you can. What I wanted my new creation to do was go around the Twitterverse and gather up the pretty things that I enjoy – micro poems, works of art, and of course haikus. After ironing out most of the glitches, with the help of hours of YouTube tutorials on bot design, Words Smith – as I have called it – started to produce some amazing results.

Every half hour or so Words Smith updated with a list of retweets containing the hashtags “FineArt,” “Poem,” and “Haiku,” and the content of the retweets was wonderfully surprising. While the bot is nothing more than a mindless logarithm engineered to deliver just what I ask, the materials that it sources are the work of real people; to me completely unknown people, from all around the world. Gifted amateur and professional writers and artists from every part of the globe are sharing every conceivable shape and form of human creativity, most of which is genuinely moving to browse.

Haikus about politics and the news courtesy of Stéphan Ruest (@stephanruest), a dedicated and gifted Québécois author of haiku poetry, the sharp hammer blow photography of PioPioKeYoNoHeSio (@hazmelomirar), from somewhere in Europe, and the often painful but romantic short poems of the Californian GP (@GPWriter), fill the feed all day long. Okay, my bot has already defeated my ability to take all of it in – there is just so much, but I am consoled by the fact that others are following and getting to take in what they can. The fruit of my very own annoying little bot was quite accidental, but what a beautiful accident.

All that I can suggest is that you go along and take a look for yourself. I do hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Jason Michael
Blog Author

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