We feel fine

Exploration of human emotion on a global scale


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Web http://www.wefeelfine.org/


About the project Edit

Started in 2005 by Sep Kamvar and Jonathan Harris, We Feel Fine project is described as an exploration of human emotion on a global scale. We Feel Fine harvests 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.). Because blogs are structured in largely standard ways, the age, gender, and geographical location of the author can often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written. All of this information is saved.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

This project, which bridges in an unique way the gap between technology and entertainement, has for a result a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 - 20,000 new feelings per day. What makes We feel fine creative is the way the founders used existing tools that allow individuals to tell their personal stories in a meaningful way (blogs) and on that built the appropriate tools to collect, curate, recombine, and edit these stories to form the stories of the collective in such a global scale.

Using a series of playful interfaces, the feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions like: do Europeans feel sad more often than Americans? Do women feel fat more often than men? Does rainy weather affect how we feel? The interface to this data is a self-organizing particle system, where each particle represents a single feeling posted by a single individual. The particles' properties – color, size, shape, opacity – indicate the nature of the feeling inside, and any particle can be clicked to reveal the full sentence or photograph it contains. The particles careen wildly around the screen until asked to self-organize along any number of axes, expressing various pictures of human emotion.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

We feel fine results in a story authored by millions of people who don’t know each other. The result is a coherent, authentic story authored by everyone. As the project founders state : «We hope it makes the world seem a little smaller, and we hope it helps people see beauty in the everyday ups and downs of life.»

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

We feel fine already has an international outreach since the raw material used (human feelings) comes from blogs and tweets around the world. The project has great potential to grow since the stories waiting to be told are just evolving and changing everyday.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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