Cats, they say, are the unofficial mascot on the internet — or at least, that’s what’s been claimed by the likes of ThoughtCatalog and BuzzFeed. But dogs, oft-ignored on the World Wide Web, have begun to assert their place online, too. In fact, the person behind one Twitter account with an unassuming handle (@dog_rates) but a large following (1.45 million followers) announced Thursday “We Rate Dogs” will be published in book form in October.
The person behind the account is Matt Nelson, a college student at Campbell University in North Carolina. The idea behind the account, which began in November 2015, is quite simple: People send Nelson photos of dogs, and Nelson rates them. He very rarely gives the dogs scores below 10/10, and that gimmick — along with the adorable photos of puppies, and G-rated descriptions of “h*cking” cute "doggos" — has resulted in a following that could be described as cult-like if it didn't catch on so rapidly. One joke, an exchange with a Twitter user named Brant, became so popular that it became merchandise.
The idea of a Twitter account landing a book deal might seem strange to some, but Nelson’s Twitter account isn’t the first to do so.
Jonathan Sun, the man behind the @jomnysun Twitter account, announced in December his tweets would be turned into book deal. Written entirely in lowercase letters, and replete with misspelled words and incomplete clauses, Sun’s tweets are a sort of surrealist poetry. They’re also often strangely uplifting: “repeat: when ppl do good in the world it doesnt take from my ability to do good. it doesnt mean i can do good less. the world expands,” he tweeted in February.
And there are more Twitter-account-to-book deals, too. “Sh*t My Dad Says,” published in 2010, is a collection of philosophical musings from author Justin Halpern’s dad ("The worst thing you can be is a liar. . . . Okay, fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but then number two is liar. Nazi one, liar two."). And “Sh*t Girls Say” — a book with a similar name, although very different quotes — came out in 2012.
Here are some of the most adorable tweets from We Rate Dogs: