A lot of the people around me today seemed just a bit more unhappy, or moody, or easily irritated than usual today.  This got me wondering as to whether or not someone had started aggregating mood data from what currently seems to be the simplest stream of gestalt information that we currently have, twitter.  It seemed that it might be relatively simple, if you have the processing power, to collect lots and lots of tweets and their location information and produce a map that gives a general sense of the mood for some period of time.

Unsurprisingly, this has, in fact, been done, and lives at, also unsurprisingly, www.twittermood.org It’s pretty interesting to me, as a methodology, an interesting way to present massive data simply, and simply as some indication of how the nation is feeling.  Obviously, by the very nature of the thing, it’s a slanted view of the populace.  Due to the fact that it is based on a stream of data sourced from people with a twitter account, the technology to use it, and the free time to comment on how they’re feeling, I think it’s safe to say that it can’t possibly reflect the actual mood of the nation, per se.  It’s also based on the twitter “gardenhose”, which is something I’d never heard of before, and have no idea how tweets are selected to be included.

You also have to wonder how often tweets from things like @sockington, my friend’s cat, who bizarrely is up to almost 1.5 million followers, and who is also, I know for a fact, completely made up.  Despite the fact that I’m confident that cats can’t actually type, I’ve heard him admit it.  However, the things made up for Sockington to believe certainly tend to be emotional, in some sense, given that a cat is rarely one for a reasoned argument v. an emotional one.  So, I wonder if Twittermood has a certain set of Twitter accounts, like that, that they’ve just learned to throw out?  Who knows, they don’t really say anything about that sort of thing on their About page.

It’s interesting, nonetheless.  I suggest you go read their “about” page, if you have any interest, as their method for determining mood is one that is kind of intriguing.

However, when I use their map to take a look at Colorado, it would seem to indicate, largely, an overall “above average” mood day, so it’s either coincidence, or it’s just me.

I’m betting it’s just me, and my vaguely negative attitude.  Stupid time change.