Ed Fear is the most annyonging man on Twitter. And we mean that in a good way.
As the creator of @AnnyongBot, the London-based Fear (yes, that’s his real last name) has produced an unthinkable 18,000 tweets. Each tweet mentions a unique Twitter account and consists of one single word:
For those not versed in East Asian languages, "Annyong" is the Korean word for "Hello." It's also the woefully politically incorrect name of Arrested Development character Annyong Bluth, a Korean adoptee who would respond to every mention of his name by repeating "annyong."
Fear says he came up with the idea for the bot account two months ago while he was rewatching episodes of Arrested Development, "one of the best comedy series to have ever been made."
He was looking for a weekend project to keep him busy—something that would expand his knowledge in tech areas where he was fuzzy. So he decided to make a bot.
Fear began scripting the bot's habits that weekend, writing a hypertext preprocessor (PHP) script that uses Twitter’s API (application programming interface) to run a search for the word "Annyong" every 10 minutes and tweet a response to the people that wrote it.
The result: a virtual greeter who sends out roughly 20 tweets an hour, with more coming during the time when Twitter users in Korea are logging in for their morning conversation, judging from analytics provided by Topsy.
He's says he's most popular with Twitter’s Korean members "who seem to think it's nice that someone is saying 'hello' to them every day.”
"I feel kind of bad that it's essentially trolling [Koreans]," Fear wrote to the Daily Dot. "But given the number of new followers and it gets a day, evidently people like it!"
More than 450 people like the account enough to follow it, in fact. It's a remarkable statistic when you consider that, as Fear readily admits, the account "never really says anything."
"My best friend referred to it as 'the best thing that I have ever done, or ever will do,'" Fear wrote. "Given that she's normally calling me a douchebag, that's pretty good praise."