Here’s an easy game to play

“Here’s an easy thing to say…” * (from one of my hands-down favorite books)

So – there’s Twitter – 140 character messages that bounce around the twitterverse. Within Twitter, there’s the notion of re-tweeting – echoing something someone else tweeted because it’s useful, amusing, etc. Originally, retweets  were a user convention – you’d copy everything, prepend ‘RT’, add pithy comments of your own if you wanted, and send the message. It was so popular that a while ago Twitter formalized retweeting (a bit – you can still force the old style). The twitterverse also has bots – bits of software (running on hardware here, there and everywhere) that watch the global tweetstream for particular strings and retweet any message containing the target phrase. For example, Monsieur Poutine (@Poutine_Bot) will retweet any message he sees that contains a reference to the Quebecois delicacy.

An hour or so ago David Malki emitted “Poutine in Guam is great #experiment” * followed by ” RT @guamtweetbot: RT @Poutine_Bot: RT @malki Poutine in Guam is great #experiment” *. By using two keywords, he got two bots to retweet each other. That’s my kind of fun (sad, isn’t it) and I jumped in. It didn’t take me very long to catch on to something that would have been obvious if I’d thought about for a nanosecond – there’s good potential for the bots to start playing ping-pong with each other.

It appears that whoever coded the BurroughsBot considered the echo problem – he doesn’t resend like Monsieur Poutine will. I do draw the line at spending my evening looking for a romantic match for cheese-curd and gravy covered software, so I jumped in and retweeted to fill up this screen shot:


Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew.
While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew.
Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze.
Freezy trees made these trees’ cheese freeze.
That’s what made these three free fleas sneeze. *