Today, faced with a dreary, cold, winter-like Melbourne in the middle of summer, I was trudging to the train station suffering from a minor bout of Friday-itis mixed with ongoing Bowie-bereftness.
The first turning point from meh to yay was initiated by a particularly jaunty train driver on the Metro Trains Sandringham line to the city. I’m paraphrasing from memory:
I’ve just had a thought and I wanted to share it with you all. You’re all awesome. I know we’re getting to the end of the week, everyone’s feeling a bit glum in this weather, it’s Friday, patience is running thin by the end of the week, but today no one has forced open the doors or done anything stupid. So thank you, and have a great day.
I saw a whole carriage of blank-faced and device-absorbed humans smile and look a bit happier, a bit lighter. Thank you, mystery train driver. I hope our paths cross again.
The second turning point, and catalyst for this first blog post of 2016, was a collaborative, fun twitter exchange that went on into the morning.
It started here:
@jayechats challenge accepted. (but post-VALA)
— Hugh Rundle (@HughRundle) January 14, 2016
The challenge that Hugh was referring to was this:
Ping @HughRundle A twitter bot that does this for #Melbourne weather, transport, & traffic woes would be ace https://t.co/IlT58BCiTU
— Jaye Weatherburn (@jayechats) January 13, 2016
I love the power of collaboration on Twitter – it was like a hive mind of creativity in a flurry as it escalated:
@HughRundle @jayechats @TripleThreatLib as it’s Melb is there a way to include coffee? ‘Cold winds are affecting lattes north of the river’
— Mike Jones (@mikejonesmelb) January 14, 2016
@HughRundle @mikejonesmelb Kensington Station is closed due to pop up beard groomer and artisanal ristretto bar
— Accepted Trevor (@transmissionary) January 14, 2016
@transmissionary @HughRundle @mikejonesmelb The 5.33 Sandringham service will not run due to PhD barista tripping over waxed mustache
— Jaye Weatherburn (@jayechats) January 14, 2016
@transmissionary @jayechats @HughRundle Penny farthing riders avoid High St Northcote. A beard oil spill is causing slippery conditions.
— Mike Jones (@mikejonesmelb) January 15, 2016
And so begins the birth of a fabulous Twitter bot project. Send any suggestions or ideas for the bot’s brilliance Hugh Rundle‘s way.