Originally a manually (and infrequently) updated website, @ask_gertrude, the number one source for advice from Gertrude Stein, was re-designed as an automated twitterbot. @ask_gertrude responds to advice-seeking twitter users with a randomly selected sentence from a growing archive of Stein’s poetry.
If a tweet contains both a mention of the bot and a question mark, @ask_gertrude interprets it as a question, archiving the tweet and randomly choosing to “answer” the question in the future (a kind of metaphor for mailing a question in to Dear Abbey and hoping to, at some point, get an answer in response). All answers from @ask_gertrude are prepended by “Dear [twitter user name], ” + [the quote]. If all incoming questions have been answered, @ask_gertrude performs a search of all twitter statuses containing the term “Gertrude Stein,” and reaches out by way of asking if each user needs any advice.