Monday, August 3, 2009

'Happiness meter' analyses blogs, tweets

A method of measuring happiness based on blogs and Twitter has helped researchers highlight the happiest days in recent US history.

The software created by Dr Peter Dodds and Dr Chris Danforth of the University of Vermont, collects sentences from blogs and 'tweets', zeroing in on the happiest and saddest days of the last few years.

"We wanted to capitalise on the explosion of blogs and now Twitter to build an instrument that would give us some measure of the emotional signal from a large collective of people," says Dodds co-author of a paper that appears in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

"All this new data is basically helping us gain insight into social phenomena that didn't exist a few years ago."

The scientists started at the website, which combs through 2.3 million blogs looking for sentences that begin with "I feel" or "I am feeling."

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