Twitter has managed to build a robust online community (or to outsiders, a cult) at a breakneck pace. If not a profitable enterprise — or even necessarily a practical one — it has become an integral part of our cultural fabric. For example, just last night MTV’s Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi tweeted this startling confession: “Family guy and sleep ♥ goodnight tweedos”.
See, without Twitter, the world would have never been privy to that.
But aside from providing insights in Ms. Polizzi’s harrowing inner monologue, Twitter’s API allows for all manner of techno-canoodling where just about any physical entity can let us know what’s on its (non)mind.
Here are some cool, non-human tweeters who take the medium far beyond snarky TV commentary and Foursquare check-ins. Warning: you may get very depressed upon finding that these soulless things have far more followers than you. I did.
A Park Bench Speaks
@TweetingSeat, 624 followers
Designer Chris McNicholl has created a tweetcentric project matter-of-factly titled “TweetingSeat”. It’s a simple design involving a regular (though clearly marked) park bench placed in Scotland’s Dundee Botanical Garden. The bench is linked-in with two remote cameras. Whenever a passer-by decides to have themselves a sit, the TweetingSeat automatically snaps a picture of the bench-sitter as well as the area around the bench before posting the images to its feed.
The captured images are somewhat low-res and I think it would be more interesting to have a closer-up image of the actual sitter. But the end result is a fascinating proof-of-concept art surveillance project.
Tweeting Birds (kinda obvious)
@hungry_birds, 3,145 followers
Latvian writer, and possible crazy person, Voldemars Dudums has a softspot for birds. Specifically the Parus Major, a species which is commonly known in English as “great tits.” Which is true by the way. And as a side note, you don’t know how HARD it was for me to turn down making a double entendre for this family-oriented tech blog, while some others simply couldn’t resist.
Anyways, back to birds.
Mr. Dudums would often feed the birds during the long cold Latvian winter by spreading bacon fat into trees. And in that precarious mental state between boredom, genius, and madness, Mr. Dudums made the decision to fit a computer keyboard with unsalted pork fat and place it in the wild for the birds to nibble on. In the process, he was able to record the keystrokes from the tits which resulted in captivating messages such as “;;;II;;;;;;;;;;;080000000TTTTT–888888888tyeeeereeeere1111111111111111111212112211211111111112112121212121212211122211212111111211,” which are then broadcast to the world for all to enjoy.
Here’s a video explaining a bit more about the project:
@mytoster, 728 followers
Toasters. I always imagined they had a lot to tell the world. Thankfully, one hacker thought so as well and has spent time and energy giving these underappreciated grillers of bread a voice in social media.
As it turns out, they mostly tweet about toast.
Since 2008, tech consultant Hans Scharler’s toaster has announced to the world when it was “Toasting” and “Done Toasting.” And over 700 people have signed-up to be updated on this near-daily ritual in real time.
More recently, Scharler has created the ThingSpeak project, which will allow all the inanimate objects in your life find their way into the twittersphere. Soon you’ll know what your refrigerator and blender is up to at any given moment. Your Twitter stream will be your own personal Beauty and the Beast.
Plants Have Feelings Too
@pothos, 3,557 followers
They say talking to plants helps them grow. But who wants to talk to a plant? I say just let plants express themselves via 140 character missives and they should be fine. And to that end, the gang at Botanicalls wants to make all plants as communicative as their resident tweeting faunæ, @pothos.
For a mere $100, you can purchase a kit and hook your household plant into the social sphere, and it will let you (and any interested weirdoes) know how moist its soil is and when it needs some more water. And it will even thank you for your efforts.
Who knew plants were so polite? I didn’t!
This Bridge Has No Sense of Humor
@towerbridge, 3,815 followers
A lot of people think bridges are stupid and don’t have anything interesting to share. Oh, but they do! London’s tower bridge wants the world to know when it’s up, which ship is passing by, and when it has gone on in its merry way.
It’s hard to believe we once lived in a world where a bridge couldn’t boast “I am opening for the Morning Star of Revelation, which is passing upstream,” followed 10 minutes later by “I am closing after the Morning Star of Revelation has passed upstream.”
That’s good tweeting!
Thank you, technology.
note: all follower counts are as of submitting this post, they’ll probably be a lot more by the time you rush to follow the tweeting toaster
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