It’s nice to be able to have a moment of fresh air, where we step out of the lab, away from all the potion fumes and mountains of spellbooks, so that we can enjoy a metaphorical cigarette break.
We get to reflect on our journey so far in our alchemical pursuits for Networked Narratives, and I think it’s been a rather interesting adventure. I don’t think I, or anyone in the class, for that matter, was really expecting anything that we did encounter in our time so far; however, it’s been a treat being able to explore and discuss different corners of what the Internet has to offer, from fanfiction to netprov to twitterbots and galore! They are little treasures, hidden pieces of art and identities, that have been stashed away in more obscure areas of the Internet, so I’m glad that our studio visits, weekly activities, and discussions have shared and uncovered them.
One of the neat things that we explored and I wanted to look back on was twitterbots! I never got around to mentioning, but I had a sudden urge to create one a few weeks ago, so I did. I didn’t get to share it in a blog post, so I thought that now would be a better time than ever to.
Since twitterbots are great generative machines, I wanted to put it to use as a name generator; however, it’s not just any name generator – it’s a drag queen one! In the drag community, there’s been a running meme of saying, “Please welcome to the stage…,” followed by a great name inspired by some cheeky / sexual / clever (or all three) play on words. But! It’s a bit hard to generate puns. The next best thing was to take common first names and last names found in the drag community and putting them all in the vocabulary pool. I am a huge RuPaul’s Drag Race fan, so I took a lot of the first and last names of the Hauses of famous queens to come across the show – but I wanted to add an element of humor as well, so I added a line for middle names, which are just inside jokes and memes within the RPDR community itself (so if you catch yourself wondering what the hell anything means, don’t worry about it).
I’m proud with how the twitterbot came out. I need to do some advertising for it on reddit or get it to interact more with RPDR fans (as well as add more names and jokes to its database), but overall I enjoy it, and I do believe any person who likes drag queens would enjoy it too! The parody twitter account has received some recognition, though, from one of the queens to appear on RPDR, as she favorited a tweet of mine, and I was a bit starstruck! It was pretty cool, and I wouldn’t have ever found myself interested in building a twitterbot if it wasn’t for us stopping to explore them on our journey through the class, so thank you!