— everyword (@everyword) September 1, 2013
— everyword (@everyword) January 25, 2009
If it hasn’t already happened by the time you read this, it will happen soon: @everyword‘s seven-year mission to tweet “every word in the English language” has come to an end. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the ride!
My plan is to write a more complete post-mortem on the project later. In the mean time, this post contains some links to things that followers of @everyword might find interesting or useful.
The future of @everyword
But first, a word about what’s next for @everyword. Don’t unfollow just yet! My plan at the moment is to let the account rest for a bit, and then run “@everyword Season 2,” starting over from the beginning of the alphabet. Before I do that, I’d like to find a more thorough word list, and also do some programming work so that the bot is less likely to experience failures that interrupt service.
Writing about @everyword
Here’s some writing about @everyword, by me and others.
- I wrote a short essay about how I wrote @everyword, and how I read it: @everyword in context
- Last year, I gave a short presentation at Darius Kazemi’s Bot Summit called “@everyword and the end of the world: a lexicographical eschatology.” (slides and notes, 2mb PDF).
- Leonardo Flores wrote a great post about @everyword on the I ♥ E-Poetry blog.
- Adrian Chen’s interview with me on Gawker in 2011 was the first “big” press that the project got, and the piece does a good job of capturing what @everyword is about.
- I’ve been talking a lot to the press as @everyword approaches the finish line. This Q&A with Ruth Spencer of The Guardian is probably my favorite piece to come out of that press rush so far.
Writing about Twitter bots
@everyword is a Twitter bot—an automated agent that makes Twitter posts. There are a lot of interesting Twitter bots out there. Here’s some interesting writing by and about bot-makers:
- Bots should punch up by Leonard Richardson
- A protest bot is a bot so specific you can’t mistake it for bullshit by Mark Sample
- Who Led the Horse to Ebooks? and The End of Horsebooks Is Hardly the End of Anything, from New York Review of Bots
- Leonardo Flores writes extensively about bots, Twitter and otherwise.
What to follow
Here are some Twitter bots that I think followers of @everyword might enjoy.
- I’d call @PowerVocabTweet, which tweets randomly generated words with randomly generated definitions, sort of a “spiritual sequel” to @everyword. (For the record, here’s a list of all my Twitter bots.)
- Definitely follow Fuck every word—it’s an amazing parody of @everyword, among my favorite Twitter bots influenced or inspired by @everyword.
- @MinecraftSigns, “Short-form poetry found in Minecraft maps” is Leonard Richardson‘s newest bot.
- Best of Darius’ Bots retweets only the best tweets made by Darius Kazemi’s impressive portfolio of bots.
- Portmanteau_bot by thricedotted is a constant source of lexical joy.
- ANAGRAMATRON finds tweets that are anagrams (i.e., contain exactly the same characters but in a different order) and posts them in juxtaposition. Check it out on tumblr as well.
The response to @everyword has been overwhelming. When I started the project in 2007, I never would have dreamed that the account would one day have close to 100k followers. And if you’re one of those followers, thank you! It’s a great feeling to have made something that so many people have decided to make a daily (or, uh, half-hourly) part of their lives.
I view @everyword as a success, and I want to note here that I owe this success to all of my friends and family who encouraged me along the way and helped to make @everyword a topic of conversation. I am very bad at finding value in the things I make, and I’m especially bad at self-promotion. Without the help of the people close to me, I’m sure that @everyword would have completed its task in obscurity—if it completed its task at all.