Oblique Tweets

Ed Note: Boingboing's current guest blogger Gareth Branwyn writes on technology, pop and fringe culture. He is currently a Contributing Editor at Maker Media. Recent projects have included co-creating The Maker's Notebook and editing The Best of MAKE and The Best of Instructables collections.

I've been a fan of Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's Oblique Strategies cards ever since they showed up in the mid-70s. I've had a computerized version of the deck on every one of my machines since the Hypercard version was released. So, I wasn't surprised when I recently searched and discovered that there's now a Twitter version too, called Oblique_Chirps (twitter.com/Oblique_Chirps). It feeds you a card an hour. I wish there was a way you could select the feed rate. One an hour is too frequent for me and it waters down the impact. And I'm not sure I want to be auto-fed the cards anyway, as opposed to choosing them as desired. I like Far Out Labs' iPhone version (available in the Apps Store). It allows you to select from all five editions of the deck and the card-drawing experience feels closest to the analog deck than any of the electronic versions I've used. Unfortunately, they snoozed on some of the capabilities. The cards get picked in the same sequence (i.e. two people choosing cards at the same time will get the same card). It also would've been fun if you could shuffle your deck by shaking your phone. Hopefully, they'll make improvements in future editions. Here, let's pick a card and and see what is says: Go outside. Shut the door. Okay. See ya!



  1. I’m not sure if the idea is to follow the tweet religiously, or even as Twitter designed.

    If you don’t follow it and just pull up the tweet’s most recent update when you want to “pull” the card shown, it works rather like a slightly shuffled deck.

  2. They could extend this functionality by allowing people to contribute to #oblique or somesuch hash.

    Sometimes when I Tweet off spontaneous ideas, they sound like they could belong to a new generation of these inspiri-snippets.

  3. I like this game: a line that can’t sensibly be given a context. Best said in conversation when walking past strangers. My favourite:

    “She was jumping up and down, and one fell off.”

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