When we recently referenced Seinfeld and The Big Lebowski on Twitter, we got auto-replies back from @hellooooonewman and @TheBotLebowski. This led us in turn to Neil Kodner, a 39-year-old Hollywood, FL father of two who has been building a mini-empire of these so-called Twitter bots.
It started with Lebowski in February and really picked up a few months later when actor Adam Baldwin began re-tweeting Kodner’s Full Metal Jacket ode @worldofshit, which barks back orders worthy of R. Lee Ermey‘s Sergeant Hartman. Kodner wound up conversing with Baldwin via Twitter, at which point the Florida database manager created another bot, @somegrenades, in honor of the actor’s weapons freak work on Serenity and Firefly.
“A Seinfeld merchandising company got in touch with me about possibly doing something with @hellooooonewman,” Kodner tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “But really, this just began as a lark, something to do on the side.”
Whenever the inspiration strikes, Kodner adds another Twitter bot and soon plans to launch a website grouping all of the streams together. A brand new Kanye West one is @vma_crasher, while a Zoolander-focused bot runs as @ACenterforAnts.
Where will it all lead? Kodner isn’t sure, though he says his followers are surprisingly faithful and the data being captured could help support the marketing of something like a Zoolander sequel. For now, we say: @gooooodbyekotner!