For the midterm assignment I attempted to create a new poetic form based on social media, specifically twitter. I have been logging my geolocation data for the past year or so using Open Paths .On browsing through that data some significant days jumped out at me.
- My last day in london, where I was living before I came to NY
- My travels through eastern europe
- First day in NY, ITP etc.
This data is valuable to me as it charts out some of my most memorable experiences. So I tried to integrate this data into the poetic form. I first picked specific geolocations that felt significant. For each location I selected a word that best describes that place for me. I then carried out a twitter search for each location with the correlating word as the search query.
I repeated this pattern for a variety of words and locations and then generated verses out of them. I cleaned them up using regular expressions and removed #tags and urls from within the tweets to prevent the form from being too obvious. Eventually i abstracted the concept a bit further. The user can input any search query they want and tweets are selected from a variety of locations that are preloaded into the script. The idea here was to try and use words which would invoke a different reaction in say New York compared to New Delhi.
The source code is in two scripts. geotweets.py and tweetdict.py. The first script was used to pull the tweets. This was done using the twitter search API. The search string comprised of an input query that was provided by the user and a geocode that was randomly selected from a file. I included a text file which contained a bunch of coordinates for different cities. As an additional I also ltried putting the tweeters username as one of the sentences of the verse. Some interesting verses came out of this experiment:
When I get married, WE AINT NEVER GETTIN A DIVORCE ! “TIL DEATH DO US PART!” better take yo ass in da other room if u mad,
Take a plane slut,
Mirror Mirror On The Wall Im Looking For Love Im Looking For Love And If It’s A Crack Im Hook On Your Drug
Watch my journey, feel my hunger ,
Need A Little Taste Of Love, Doobie Brothers,
Either you love nutella or you’re wrong.
I wish that I can take a journey through your mind find emotions that your always tryin to hide,
Today is the 16th anniversary of the death of Rapper Biggie Smalls and schools are closed all over America,
I Love You Cody
I only love her if she transparent,
But lately her face seems slowly sinking, wasting, crumbling like pastries, they scream The worst things in life come free to us,
Wish one could lucid-dream their way through life. -_-
The code for this project can be viewed at my GitHub
The workflow looked something like this usually
python geotweets.py love latlong.txt | python tweetdict.py tweets.tx
One of the biggest challenges was getting data from twitter. I had to run the above command 3,4 times sometimes before I got any data back. When i looked into the problem it seems this is a know issue when using geocodes to search for tweets. I am happy with the outcome of this project, though i feel it can be made more interesting by further curating the tweets that go into the verses. If i had more time that is what I would develop further.