The Real Patrick Rothfuss: My Guess

Patrick Rothfuss is holding a Twitter contest to guess his real identity from a group of 6 Twitter accounts with 5 impersonators.

These are my guesses:

@PatRothfuss – John Scalzi

@Pat_Rothfuss – Mary Robinette Kowal

@NotPatRothfuss – Wil Wheaton

@RealPatRothfuss – Felicia Day

My guess [email protected] is the real Patrick Rothfuss [email protected] is an unknown participant I haven’t been able to identify.

My Analysis

I started with the tweet content and thought I had at least one of them pegged. Then I realized there was possibly a different way to do this.

I wrote a computer program to determine the consecutive hours of the day the Twitter accounts of the presumed participants, Felicia Day, John Scalzi, and Wil Wheaton, would never tweet. The program used this information to determine their rough sleeping / off schedules and compared them to the schedules of the Patrick Rothfuss accounts.

John Scalzi was the first and most exact match and to my surprise his [email protected]! (@Pat_Rothfuss was my initial guess for him based on content).

Wil Wheaton roughly [email protected] and Felicia Day roughly [email protected]

This left the @Pat_Rothfuss account, whose analysis showed it wasn’t big on sleep. I guessed Mary Robinette Kowal was possibly a participant and her off schedule fit into the account. The quality of the tweets was also very high, so high, that Twitter tried to verify this account several times. Did I mention Mary is clever? The account also used TweetDeck and Android and from looking at Mary’s feed she has an Android phone. I vaguely remember she’s setup or used TweetDeck in the past…so…guessing this is her and not the real Patrick Rothfuss.

Two accounts remained:[email protected] and @[email protected] had a normal sleep / off schedule and limited regular device use.  But the @PatrickRothfuss account was going haywire and tweeting at all hours of the day on a wide variety of different platforms and devices.

One of the participant contest instructions from Patrick Rothfuss’s blog states:

So when I put this contest together, I knew I had to thwart those tendencies. For example, if you try to guess based on what device different profiles are twittering from? You’re probably going to be wrong. Why? Because one of the requirements for all the players is that they tweet from all manner of different platforms and devices.

Only one of the accounts appears to have regularly followed this advice: the haywire @PatrickRothfuss.  I think this is Patrick Rothfuss because he has the most interest and personal investment in this contest and therefore enthusiasm. So my guess is this is him.

We Are All Patrick Rothfuss

Another cool part of this contest was getting permission to be a Pat Rothfuss for Halloween.

Kate Kligman as Pat Rothfuss for Halloween

My Twitter Halloween name this year is Katie Klingon, but maybe I will change it a bit more :-).