Crawling the Web for Poetry

A Creator Friendly Workshop on Scraping Text on the Internet

What is Scraping?

Web scraping describes techniques for automatically downloading and processing web content, or converting online text and other media into structured data that can then be used for various purposes.

How is it relevant to creators?

Data driven work, be it for journalism, poetry or analytics is predicated on having data. The world wide web hosts our virtual city halls, community centers, libraries. Scraping is often step one of deconstructing and understanding these spaces. This workshop offers a simple guide to collecting, crawling, scraping the vast landscape of the internet. You will leave with an idea of how to make sense of huge sets of information, gather what you need and use it for your own creative pursuits.

What will happen at the workshop?

Denny and Tarunima from Tattle will walk participants through the basics of scraping text on the internet with the help of an online poetry repository.
The first hour of the workshop will focus on understanding and using tools to scrape data from the internet. The second hour will be a hands-on session for participants to try scraping on their own with support from the facilitators when required.

Who should do this workshop?

Scraping has become an important research tool in fields such as journalism and sociology. We welcome all creators, makers, journalists, and anyone who wants to explore digitality and text.
Please note: This workshop does not require any prior programming or coding experience

What do you need?

Participants must have access to a computer, an internet connection and a web browser. No special software is required.

This open workshop is a part of the ongoing ‘Collaborative Text Lab’ by dra.ft, under the upcoming Electronic Literature Organization Conference & Festival 2021.

About dra.ft

dra.ft is a movement, a festival, a community, a long-term research project that explores emergent ideas of text and its future. dra.ft draws from the idea of poetic computation where the machine and author are collaborators.

About Tattle

Tattle is building community centered tools for combating misinformation by enabling mobile first users to learn more about the content they receive on chat apps, in languages that they are comfortable with. The data collected by Tattle is helping researchers understand trends on misinformation in closed messaging apps and regional social media.


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