randomish I wasted time making a thing to waste time ...


Do what now?

So randomish.app is a "tool" (questionably placed quotation marks intended) that I made for discovering pseudo-random things on the internet.

As of writing this, it will pick a random English dictionary word and then run a search for it against three different sources: Reddit (as a subreddit search), YouTube, and Wikipedia. Then it will return a somewhat random result from that search. 

I realize Wikipedia already has a random article feature, but I added it just to fill out another easy source.


Okay, but why?

Well, a few reasons. Mainly, I like finding weird, obscure things and falling down rabbit holes.

The project kind of got its start when I frustratingly found out that Reddit's r/random isn't actually random. It's basically a random result from the top five thousand most popular subreddits. So I figured I could make something more random than that; although I'm well aware, and fully admit, that this method isn't anywhere near truly random.

Originally, it was just a Python Flask skeleton I ran on my own machine that would redirect me to a random subreddit and it just grew from there for a variety of reasons.

At the time, I was going through some AWS training at work and was starting to get really interested in all the different things you could do in AWS. So I figured it would be a perfect candidate to try to figure out how I could run it as a Lambda application and put my own domain in front of it cheaply, which will be an entirely separate series of write-ups.

Then from there, I just decided that it needed a friendly GUI for other people to use and I learned some other front-end things along the way, like how to control swipe actions in mobile browsers so that you could just do a swipe-down gesture to have it show you a new random thing.


What's next?

I jotted down a lot of ideas for future enhancements, but most of them are just adding new sources of random things to search. Probably top of my list would be pulling random songs by artist name, lyrics, and song title by hitting a variety of different sources.

If you've managed to find this post and have feature ideas, head on over to the about page for my contact info and let me know what you'd like to see.