I follow a lot of rock clubs on Twitter. As someone who goes to shows an average of 1-2x per week, I’ve found it to be the easiest way to track upcoming events here in Seattle.
I also check Songkick every now and then to check tour dates for specific bands I’m interested in. As part of this process, I found that it’s possible to not just see future dates, but past dates for bands. So I also like to torture myself by seeing what amazing shows I’ve missed.
I suppose in some weird fashion these two activities helped germinate the idea for my new Twitter bot: shozebot.
What does shozebot do? Why, it tells you all about (completely, utterly fake) upcoming shows by combining each of the following randomly-selected elements into a single tweet:
- a two-band combination from my iTunes database of ~1200 artists
- a date
- a Seattle venue
- some typical rock club Twitter account promotional lingo
3/30: Small Factory / Bronski Beat at Lo-Fi Gallery in Seattle – SOLD OUT!
— shozebot (@shozebot) October 12, 2015
It’s currently set to tweet once every 3 hours, and it’s been amusing so far to see the combos that have been generated, especially since all artists are weighted equally for now. That one-hit wonder with a single song in my music database has the same odds of turning up in a tweet as, say, the Go-Betweens (120+ songs).
At some point I’ll rewrite it with fancier logic that support city-specific venues, greater weighting for artists that constitute a larger chunk of my library, and maybe even inserting matching band Twitter handles. (But only if I want to confuse the hell out of bands!)
- Bot-generation interface and tweet service by Cheap Bots, Done Quick! (@v21)
- Generative grammar used to construct the tweet syntax by Tracery (@galaxykate)
- Twitter avatar created using the late, great Ryland’s movie marquee generator.
- Bot name/avatar inspiration and promo-text personality injection by @mikebaehr