Lyric Of The Day – Ready For Prime Time

The lyric of the day group on twitter is now ready for prime time thanks to the quick work of Whitney McNamara on tuesday night. Whitney wrote the twitter bot that makes all of this work.

So, here are the rules of the game:

1) join twitter if you aren’t already a member. you can do that by going to twitter and signing up or you can simply send a text message on your phone to 40404 that says   follow lotd    and then follow the instructions that will be text messaged to you

2) if you are already a member of twitter, just go to the lotd page and hit the follow button. You can also send an update on your phone to 40404 (save that number as twitter on your phone) that says  follow lotd. if you do that, you’ll get the updates delivered on your phone too which some like and some don’t. I do.

3) whenever you hear a lyric you like (it has to be short, less than 140 characters), simply post an update to twitter that looks like this:

@lotd "lyric" song name, artist name

here’s an example from my lotd post yesterday

@lotd "I don’t want you to add me to your long list of estranged friends" Estranged Friends, The Eels

That’s all there is to it. We will all be sharing lyrics with each other.

There are some variants on the @lotd post that are already cropping up that I like.

Some people don’t put song and artist name in their post. They want people to guess. That’s fine with me, but I think they should put the word guess at the end of the post if they want people to guess.

Bijan has started to post the song to tumblr and post the tumblr link at the end of the post instead of song name and artist name. That’s a nice trick and I copied him today with this post:

   
      @lotd "i need all the friends i can get" the social networking industry theme song. http://fredwilson.vc/post/30672175

That works pretty well because if you want to guess, you can, and if you want the answer you can click thru and find it (and listen too).

I expect we’ll get a bunch of variants on the basic idea and I am looking forward to that. Right now we have 63 followers and 72 total updates since Whitney turned on the bot. I think we might have something like 150 lyrics posted to twitter in the past three days since we started this whole thing. I am having fun with this and I think a bunch of others are too.

Finally, here’s a portion of a note Whitney wrote me last night with some details on how he did this:

- How It Works –
The main thing to note is that this is (a) possible, and (b) pretty damn
easy only because Twitter allows you to do pretty much everything via
its API.  Dave Winer’s "Twitter is a coral reef" idea totally applies
here: having the API means that the hardest part of making something
like the @lotd bot is just having the idea — once you’ve got the idea,
Twitter makes it easy to build what you’ve got in your head.  The bot
basically takes three steps:

1. Every 15 minutes, call the Twitter API to get recent @replies that
have been sent to lotd.
2. Check whether any of those replies are new, and if so load them into
a database, noting that we haven’t reposted them yet.
3. Pull any unposted replies from the DB, reformat them a little, and
then call the Twitter API to repost them one by one.