A recent NYT article about the rising field of sentiment analysis - translating human emotion into hard data - underscores the importance of sophisticated algorithms to analyze and understand the growing amount of information created by individuals online. Whether these new services and applications are tracking emotions or quantifying behavior, the consumer is taking center stage. I thought I'd list some that have captured my attention:
Sense Networks, recognizes patterns in behavior by tracking the path of mobile phone users and analyzes what those behaviors reveal about the user.
Wakoopa, a downloadable service that tracks the programs and applications running on a user's computer, and other pertinent information such as the frequency and duration of use. From this, Wakoopa distills user habits about when and how they use certain programs and web services.
We Feel Fine, pictured above, explores human emotions by scouring blogs for the phrases 'I feel' or 'I am feeling' and presents these feelings as an online collaborative art project. While it's not really quantifying its findings, it's so beautiful.
Jodange, a service that filters traditional and social media to gauge the influences on consumer thought and opinion.
Newssift, a project by the Financial Times Group, that incorporates meaning, relationships, and sentiment into news with a business slant.