Text Generators

I have a pretty big interest in text generators. Not to automate creativity (though that would be great if it worked) but to give it a helpful kick in the ass sometimes. So I was excited about Google Poem but the output from it wasn't very interesting. Which made me think again about how the web totally isn't providing the awesome word nerd web app I want.

What I'd like is a page that let you import streams (which ideally could be a webpage, a file you upload, an RSS feed) and uses word pairs or Markov chains or anything else cool to mix them together to varying degrees. (There are more features I'd want after that, but let's start slow.)

The idea isn't new, it's basically just a web implemention of the 1991 DOS program Babble! by Korenthal Associates, with no tiny memory restriction. If you included the RSS ability so people could easily mash up the text on their own and their friends' blogs, I think you'd have the feel-good hit of the summer.

Here are a few text mashup/generating sites I've come across that don't quite do the trick:

  • DadaDodo - This one definitely has the right idea and also gives a good overview of the use of cut-ups and generators in art, but the sources are pre-determined. The ANSI C source code is provided but I have no idea what to do with ANSI C code anymore these days.
  • The Shannonizer - this one only allows one source of text and the mashup is fixed with your choice of one of eight editors.
  • When you run out of words - this one will mash up whatever text you give it, but you're constrained to just one text source.

If anybody knows of any sites that do what I want, please let me know.

Brad Turcottemisc, rant