I Feel Fine, Thank You

Written on 8 September 2007

“Since August 2005, We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from a large number of weblogs. Every few minutes, the system searches the world’s newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling”. When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the “feeling” expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.)…”
[ Source: wefeelfine.org/mission.html ]

Visit We Feel Fine

Reading the opening passage of the project mission statement, one can’t help but think that one or both of the project authors have been the subject of an alien abduction earlier in their life.

We Feel Fine is one of Jonathan Harris’s masterpieces brought to being with the help of Sepandar Kamvar.

The website represents the above-mentioned harvested data in a range of nifty visualisation modes. Viewers can easily switch between modes and observe the feelings represented as particles, colour shapes and text snippets to name a few. It was intriguing to observe that the most common feeling expressed by people is when they feel BETTER, followed by BAD and that GOOD came in third. But bearing in mind that people are less expressive when they feel fine, these results are less surprising.

We Feel Fine is not just a passive observation experience – users can play with the represented data. Each feeling can be clicked to bring up the originating blog or internet page and an intuitive user interface makes it easy to extract specific statistics by segmenting the results based on age, gender, date, geographical location and other characteristics. If by chance you feel like seeing how your feelings compare with your peer, We Feel Fine can help you find out. You may find that people in your hometown are happier than the world average, or that like you, many more people prefer living in that other city.

Visual wonders on the net are a great way to tune out and get distracted.
Whether you’ve just spent too many hours on Halo 3, or you are actually interested in statistics about how people feel, We Feel Fine ranks high on my list of things to do in times of procrastination.

Spare a moment to view Jonathan Harris’s presentation at TED 2007 or check out some of his other projects

What others think:

  1. Jonathan says:

    Update: We Feel Fine the book, has now been published

    16 December 2009

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