Project Newman :: An introduction

August 17th, 2006

I have been posting on (a football forum) since sometime in 2000. The site has been through a lot in that time, but one thing that hasn't changed is a member called Carson35 posting news stories from various football news sites with astonishing regularity. He now has 74k+ posts, far more than anyone else, and most of those are copy/paste jobs of news stories. Over the years he's become a celebrity for his undaunting commitment to bring the news, decorated with a special title - XT Post Number King. Some have jokingly suggested that he's a robot, programmed to do this one thing.

So I thought it would be fun to try and imitate Carson, as a tribute if you will. And, of course, I mean computationally, in an automated manner. The purpose of such a thing would be to satisfy my curiosity in certain areas:

  • how hard would it be to imitate Carson35 by posting news articles?
  • how closely could I be able to reproduce his activity?
  • what are the biggest challenges in making this work without any user input?
  • just how automated could it be done?
  • could I build a bot that would be accepted (or at least not hated) by other members for spamming?

The project was first dubbed Carson36, as an increment of the Carson we all know. But then Erik suggested Newman - for a bot that brings the news - and I couldn't resist that name. :D


While this is a technical topic, I'll try to do something I'm not good at - explain it in simple terms. That's what good technical writers do, and it would be nice to imitate.

This entry is part of the series Project Newman.

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