Tracking the mood(s) of the blogosphere

Want to know the current moood of the blogosphere?

blog mood analysis

Ok, here are the details: it's updated every 10 minutes and it's not the whole blogosphere, it's only the 10 million LiveJournal bloggers. But still it's cool! Well done to MoodViews – Tools for Blog Mood Analysis.

Read more about it. An excerpt:

Software that tracks mood swings across the 'blogosphere' and pinpoints the events behind them could provide more insightful ways to search and analyse the web, researchers say. The software, called MoodViews, was created by Gilad Mishne and colleagues at Amsterdam University, The Netherlands. It tracks about 10 million blogs hosted by the US service LiveJournal. "I noticed that blog posts on LiveJournal have mood labels attached," Mishne says. "We started to collect this information and noticed trends in different moods over time."

Hmmm… but in the interview I recently did, I described something similar to Moodsignals. Before I get to that, let's first read a bit about Moodsignals:

On Valentine's Day, there is spike in the numbers of bloggers who use the labels "loved" or "flirty", but also an increase in the number who report feeling "lonely". The latest addition to Moodviews, a program called Moodsignals, tries to explain match these blogospheric mood swings to current events. It identifies emotional peaks by comparing recent label usage with records of previous use. When it finds a spike, the program picks out less commonly used words from relevant blog posts in an effort to identify the cause of the emotional change.

Here is the "loved" Moodsignal in the month of February (valentines day):


Check out their various services:

In my interview about reBlogger I described the usefulness of tracking the employee blogs for a competing company:

Mark Wilson: For example, the Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft, he has a problem at the moment: he's got 27.000 employees and I don't know what percentage of them blog, but the OPML file for Microsoft is HUGE. So they have an enormous number of people blogging. Now the CTO of Microsoft cannot possibly read all of those blogs everyday, so he needs something which is smart enough to capture into themes, perhaps positive comments or negative comments, and in this way he could follow what is happening in terms of the bloggers inside the company. Somebody else, like Bill Gates, might want to track graphically, with a graph, the growing number of interest in Ajax; he might want to track what people are saying about, or Microsoft Office, the Windows version vs. the web version. If you've got a script being used on any day you'd find a 100 different opinions, and there is somebody out there who wants to track those opinions, and watch them rise or fall.

That isn't my the Moodsignal idea, here it is…

Mark Wilson: Well my idea is this, let's say that you're doing market research and you're trying to figure out what your competitor's doing. So for example let's say Microsoft is trying to understand what any competitor is doing, if you were to collect all their blogs, and you were to analyze them for upcoming themes…so say Microsoft wanted to follow the performance of a product such as Flex, a new product from Macromedia. Now, I'm just guessing this, but because companies try to encourage employees to blog in advance of a product coming up, I'm willing to bet that if you mapped out the number of posts in a particular team, say the Flex team, there would be a spike in the number of posts while they're developing their new version, and then there would be a spike just before launch the new version. So I'm guessing we haven't built the software to test this, but I'm guessing that if we mapped against product launches, and if we mapped the number of posts that that team, if we could figure out who was on that team, if we could map the two we would see a correlation. So, it's a possibility for market research all sorts of things.

Check out the rest of the interview with me.

It would be pretty cool to see some kind of Technorati style overview of the blogosphere containing moods or something useful, kinda like Technorati makes their graphs public every few months… like this one:

Technorati April 2006

I'm just day dreaming here… but if they had an API and encouraged mashups and mashing of their data… wooo! My mind boggles with possibilities. I could extend reBlogger to include their API and overlay their data on top of the stuff we generate for customers.

BUT they would need to extend beyond just tracking LiveJournal. And they can't just collect the moods that LiveJournal generate, they will have to evaluate the mood of blog posts themselves. That's a fair amount of work.

I'm convinced that corporates will find this useful.



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