Horse_ebooks

Horse_ebooks

Part of a series on Novelty Twitter Accounts. [View Related Entries]

Updated Sep 24, 2013 at 02:01PM EDT by Brad.

Added Nov 03, 2011 at 11:56PM EDT by Austin.

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About

Horse_ebooks is a novelty Twitter account that spams seemingly nonsensical excerpts from equine ebooks.

Origin

@Horse_ebooks[1] is the companion Twitter account for Horse-Ebooks.com[2], an ebook store that is part of the e-Library Network.[3] The network hosts between 170 and 197 other ebook sites with similar Twitter accounts. Owned by Alexei Kuznetzsov, the Horse eBooks site was registered on November 26th, 2009 and the Twitter handle was registered on August 5th, 2010. One of the earliest documented and shared tweets was made on February 6th, 2011 (shown below).




As of October 2012, the account has made 16,148 tweets and has more than 120,000 followers. The account is known for interspersing spam links with phrases from the books, receiving hundreds of retweets and favorites for many of its fragmented messages.[6]

Spread

One of the first websites to pick up on the @Horse_ebooks account was Something Awful[4], where a compilation article of @Horse_ebooks’ tweets was featured on the site’s frontpage on April 12th, 2011. The article was part of a series called Twitter Tuesday[5], which also featured tweets from other ebooks accounts run by Kuznetzsov’s network including @DogsEbooks, @School_Ebooks and @MuscleEbooks. However, as of October 2012, many of these accounts are now suspended. The same month, a Facebook fan page[20] was created, reposting many of the tweets. As of October 2012, it has nearly 10,000 likes. On September 6th, 2011, the first fan blog was created, horse_ebooks fanfics[13], which publishes 100+ word fanfiction stories based on the tweets.



Named the best Twitter of 2011 by pop culture site UGO Entertainment[10], the account lay relatively unnoticed by the media until November 2011, when it was covered by the Daily Dot[7], Buzzfeed[8], and Title Magazine[9], who published a critical analysis of why people enjoy retweeting the nonsense snippets. In December, graphic designer Burton Durand from Lafayette, LA began reinterpreting the tweets in comics[14], some of which were featured on the New York Times Bits blog[12] and Buzzfeed.[19] A chronicle of the spambot’s history was published on Splitsider[11] on January 9th, 2012. In May 2012, a Lorem Ipsum generator[23] was launched, taking all of the text from @Horse_ebooks’ tweets.

Controversy

On September 14th, 2011, the @Horse_ebooks tweets suddenly switched from being made via Horse ebooks to via web. After this change, the amount of tweets increased as did the pool of source material for them. Instead of just being taken from ebooks about horses, the tweets were coming from searchable ebooks across all genres. Several blogs[15][16] argued that the website had been hacked by a real person and had lost its humor, but it did not affect the account’s followers or interactions.




Identity

In February 2012, Gawker writer Adrian Chen[17] published an account of the process he took to find the truth behind the account. The name and address of the domain owner, Alexei Kuznetzsov was deemed a fake by a Russian fan on Twitter. After a domain search, Chen found the Cyrillic version of his name, Алексей Кузнецов, through which he found a Facebook profile, a profile on a Russian social network, VKontakte and his portfolio site[18], which uses a stylized version of the @Horse_ebooks avatar as its logo. Though Kuznetzsov never responded to Chen’s emails, a client of Kuznetsov’s described him as “a genuinely nice guy, humble [and] a gentle spirit.”



Horse e-Posters

On October 24th, 2012, Atlanta, GA based artist Tim Lampe launched Horse e-Posters[21], posting 14 posters he had made turning the nonsensical tweets into high-brow art. Inspired by vintage book covers, Lampe began sketching the tweets to share with his coworkers but soon involved into painting larger pieces after he began seeking out a new side project.[22]



Bear Stearns Bravo Project

On September 24th, @Horse_ebooks tweeted a link to a Pronunciation Book YouTube video featuring a promotion for a choose-your-own-adventure video art project titled “Bear Sterns Bravo”[24] (shown below).




On the same day, the New Yorker[29] published an article reporting that the @Horse_ebooks founder had outed himself as BuzzFeed creative director Jacob Bakkila in order to promote the art project. The article also reported that the Bears Stearns Bravo project formed as a collaboration between Bakkila and the Pronunciation Book founder Thomas Bender, who previously held the position of vice president of product development at the how-to video site Howcast. Meanwhile, the Internet news sites Gawker,[25] UpRoxx,[26] Daily Beast[27] and the New York Times Bits[28] blog published articles about the art project.



Twitter Feed




Search Interest

Search for Horse_ebooks began picking up in September 2011 and has been steadily rising.



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