feelin’ it

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How do you feel today? Artist and computer scientist Jonathon Harris, along with Stanford math whiz Sep Kamvar, launched a unique project in 2005 called We Feel Fine . We Feel Fine is a database that harvests human feelings from weblogs. From their mission statement: 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.)… At its core, We Feel Fine is an artwork authored by everyone. It will grow and change as we grow and change, reflecting what’s on our blogs, what’s in our hearts, what’s in our minds. 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.

Click on the We Feel Fine logo above. When you open the program the first screen you see is a starry field of flying colored shapes, each one is a feeling being expressed somewhere on a blog. Click on one and it gives you a sentence, click on the sentence and it takes you to the blog. You can sort the feelings by gender, age, weather, location, etc. In the lower left hand corner you can change how you see the field, for instance montage gives you the photographs blogged with the feelings. It’s very cool.