Posted on 15 Dec 2009 by Desiree Kane
Check out what the creator of Favrd, a widely popular service that showcased who “favorited” tweets and tallied them, said via the Favrd homepage the day he pulled the plug on it a little over a week ago:
There are still lots of clever and funny things to read every day, but finding these is no longer a challenge – you already follow your sources. Sites like this one now serve mainly as fuel for emotional up-fuckedness in the guise of a game.
Seems innocuous enough, he’s entitled to his thoughts. But then there was this shortly after via Twitter:
My, my @favrd! What’d Charlotte ever do to you!?! The answer lies below.
Marvin: Like a puppet master, we dictate memes.
@BenMarvin, possibly the most vocal of #TheBotFather troupe, says his goal with his bots (notably @SeriousBizznass and @Kinda_Gay, that he boasts is blocked by internet-popular @ICHCheezburger) is:
“to tell 9 jokes that only 12 people understand over and over again.”
Ben’s bots are the meme-style bots discussed in #TheBotFather: Basics. Some of them are offensive and some are not; but all of them have the same distinct air of satirical comedy designed to make you stop for a moment and chuckle, whether it be out of blatantly uncomfortable shock, or lighthearted LOLs. While he is not the sole generator of the content these bots tweet, he is the creator of bots many in Charlotte’s social media scene use as a medium through which they can anonymously voice their thoughts, jokes and opinions.
When asked what bot he’s most proud of, he says @SeriousBizznass and his 6 clones:
Marvin: … because the internet is serious business and he/I can say whatever I want.
Ben Marvin in person is exceptionally quiet though keen with the one-liners he comes up with while participating in conversation.
Marvin: I’m a self centered asshole on Twitter.
Ben Marvin is Charlotte’s twitterverse’s Kim Kardashian. Famous for being edgy; simply famous for being famous. He’s a shameless self promoter that could teach even the most seasoned social media gurus how to build brand ambassadors. He understands that his brand is a reflection of what the market values, and what our local area values is a platform from which to anonymously voice ourselves.
Ben even got himself nominated for a Shorty award in February of this year:
It’s actually quite ingenious. The antithesis of all that social media stands for, internet hooliganry, being used as a social media tactic in the name of transparency and entertainment value. What makes it even more intriguing is that even the creator(s) of most of these bots don’t know 100% of the time who is generating their bots’ content.
Marvin’s not the only one. During last Thursday’s livecast/chat/hashtagged interview/social media extravaganza, I had a convo with who I should now refer to as #TheBotFamily. They’re a group of mostly locals who’s are “making the internet fun again” says Marvin. Sitting down and conversing with roughly 12 people via Twitter in and of itself is a challenge. Add the element of Twitter software mastery, multiply it by 12 people plus a hashtag and/or @ reply; it takes little imagination to understand what the giant cluster it developed into. It took me 4 days to digest it. I even had the help of TweetGrid’s @JazzyChad, with all of his Twitter knowledge.
Thursday’s interview highlighted the use of all three types of bots I talked about in the Basics piece. In just under an hour talking to #TheBotFamily, I had 825+ tweets from bots that all chimed in at once. Ben Marvin’s bots were at the forefront of this. I got tacostacked, twice.
Some of the parody bots chimed in as well. Recognize these guys?:
We also got to see the type of bot that is the least common: The character bots:
DK: Why don’t you just say what you want instead of using bots?
Marvin: I can’t make a joke about being gay so I have a gay bot (…) like creating a character in a movie, I can’t play every character.
DK: What does having all these bots do for your ego?
Marvin: I feel pretty powerful, I can do what I want. I can ruin someone’s personal brand just like that.
DK: What makes you different from a troll?
Marvin: I’m worse than a troll. I’ll fuck with you longer, I’ll take it to real life, if you talk [publically] about a tweet up I’ll show up, all cokes up on PBR, overturning tables, yelling SUCK HIS DICK like a moshpit @ the Tremont.
DK: This is why Favrd hates Charlotte.
Marvin: Its Web 9.0, bitch.
If anyone would like to see #thebotfather interview in it’s totality, let me know!
… Hmmm… as the n00b that I am, seems like bots are the 9.0 version of what old fashioned pseudonims and Nom De Plumes allowed those back in the Olden Days?
Or as Richard Bachmann helped Mr. King ‘brand out’ of his typical genres?
… and like you say, all in RT?
P.S: BTW, kudos on one of the MOST technical-ly illustrated Twitter Blog entries I’ve ever seen! [HATS OFF]
Next… walk back to the basic… BRB!
Thank you for the compliment, Francisco! This is very much like the old “pen names” of yore only with a high-tech twist!
And I bet you didn’t even have to leave the couch to do any work for this story. Real human content requires motion and emotion. Not to mention promotion. CLTblog could learn a lesson or two the bots. You have to have content to back up your hard-drive.
Geez Wade, if you put that much effort into criticism, you must be cranking out some good journalism somewhere. So where can we read that?
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