The mood of the Internet

MoodGrapherIn fact Blogs, are a relatively new form of web content – grown from a handful in the late 1990s to tens of millions in 2005. Not only the amount of blogs is on the rise, but so is their influence in terms of the number of readers. One of several simple-to-use personal blogging tools is LiveJournal – others are, where I have my personal blog, Blogger or EdBlog. Bloggers using LiveJournal can report their mood at the time of writing a post; about 80% of the posts indeed have a mood attached to them. These moods can give a very intertesting understanding about the actual state of the mood of people worldwide.

Dutch researcher Maarten de Rijke and his co-workers Gilad Mishne and Krisztian Balog have developed a new programme that can trace and explain significant changes in mood patterns in LiveJournal. The opinions and experiences of tens of millions of people can be followed every day. Their software (called MoodViews) follows the moods of 2 million bloggers from around the world. Each day the programs pick up about 150,000 blog messages.

MoodViews is a collection of tools for tracking the stream of mood-annotated text made available by LiveJournal. Just clickt at the logo of Moddtracker on the top of this article: You’ll get forwarded to the graph measuring the word mentioned in this picture.

At present, MoodViews consists of three components, each offering a different view of global mood levels, the aggregate across all postings of the various moods:

  • Moodgrapher tracks the global mood levels and converts these data into overview graphs.,
  • Moodteller uses language technology to predict the mood on the Web, and
  • Moodsignals helps in understanding the underlying reasons for mood changes.

More info can be found at the MoodView Webpage.

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