The New York Times tried putting in actual novels, such as "Moby-Dick." Herman Melville, it turns out, writes less like himself than King, according to I Write Like.
Obviously, I Write Like isn't an exact science. But simply the idea of an algorithm that can reveal traces of influence in writing has proven wildly popular.
Though the site might seem the idle dalliance of an English professor on summer break, it was created by Dmitry Chestnykh, a 27-year-old Russian software programmer currently living in Montenegro. Though he speaks English reasonably well, it's his second language.
Chestnykh modeled the site on software for e-mail spam filters. This means that the site's text analysis is largely keyword based. Even if you write in short, declarative, Hemingwayesque sentences, its your word choice that may determine your comparison.
Chestnykh has uploaded works by about 50 authors - three books for each, he said. That, too, explains some of its shortcomings. Melville, for example, isn't in the system.