For my final project I am hoping to create a tweet-gathering algorithm. The idea was suggested by Dan during a class activity in our ENGL685 Writing Research class, where I am researching humor on twitter. Part of my project will involve gathering tweets from a few selected public accounts. I am limiting myself to 10 tweets over a one month span for three different accounts. However, if it is possible for me to learn how to create an algorithm within the time frame of this semester, I would be able to greatly expand my data pool for the research.

So far I’ve tried a few Google searches and found a good overview explaining the fundamentals of algorithms and where to get started. There also seem to be courses on Lynda.com, and I will use next week’s tutorial assignment to take a more in-depth look at if it is possible to create something like this as a coding novice.

My back-up idea, should the algorithm not work out, is to learn how to design and create a hyperlinked e-book. We have read some material in this class arguing that non-linear reading has a number of advantages, such as allowing readers agency over the text. Most of the examples we’ve seen have been informational, such as Wikis. I wondered, if hypertext had somehow been available at the advent of storytelling, if the linear structure of storytelling would have prevailed. I thought it might be interesting to adapt a classic piece of literature as a hypertext document in the format of an e-reader, which are increasingly becoming commonplace. A Google search tells me that others have added hypertext to classics, such as this version of Pride and Prejudice. Another idea would be to take a piece of fiction that was written as a hypertext story, analyze any shortcomings consumers may have complained about in online reviews, and determine if it is possible to re-adapt the story to account for any shortcomings. That may not be feasible as the project may infringe on copyright laws.

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