One of the things that became obvious from last year’s TREC Blog track’s opinion extraction task (more here) was that people frequently express sentiments, opinions and emotions in blog posts. Aggregate analysis of such opinions can provide an interesting glimpse into the collective mind of a community. For example, we collected a number of blog posts from LiveJournal and indexed all the N-grams for the content of the post. Looking at the phrases starting with words like ‘love’, ‘hate’ and ‘want’ shows that most LiveJournal users “Love life, their friends… but hate people and going to school”.
MoodViews is another great example of a tool that analyzes LiveJournal data and provides interesting features for trend-spotting and searching moods. They also extract a tag cloud of top keywords associated with a given mood. Many such tools are likely to play a major role in future advertising and business intelligence. Afterall would’nt advertising dollars be better spent pitching a book to someone who “wants to read”?