A few weeks ago, I called my friend Miles and asked him to help me out with the programming on a project I dreamed up. Here’s how I put it to him:
Scott: “I want you to help me with a project that will either get no attention at all, or a ton. [pause to build anticipation] Talk Like Warren Ellis dot-com.”
Miles: “Oh, awesome.”
In case you’re not familiar, Warren Ellis is the famed author behind comics like Transmetropolitan, Planetary and the novel Crooked Little Vein. He is famous on the internet for posting horrifying images of body modification on his blog and has one of the most popular Twitter feeds on the network.
On Twitter, he frequently signs on for the day by saying something along the lines of “Good morning, my little lovegoats of the internet!” Because he posts this kind of thing frequently, I had the idea that we could construct a random warren-ellis-ism generator by compiling list of vocabulary words and parsing his grammar.
Miles got excited because he had tried something similar in college with a James Bond movie title generator, and had some ideas for how to improve the coding.
After a lot of scrolling through Warren’s twitter archives and debating the finer points of Warren Ellis Grammar, Miles delivered the final code to me, and now you can enjoy the results at TalkLikeWarrenEllis.com.
The day I posted it, it only got traffic from people I know, but we made it this morning. Right before I went to lunch, Warren signed into Twitter and said “Back from holiday. Who requires punishment?”
I replied “Welcome back! While you were gone, I made this:” and added a link to the site. Then I went to lunch, hoping that he might see it in the flood of replies he certainly gets.
When I came back from lunch, the site was getting a bunch of traffic. Turns out he saw it: