The Ferguson protests: Quantifying state-level sentiment on Twitter

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.08.14 PM

Reporting on the August 9, 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown, David Carr concluded his August 17 piece for the New York Times by observing that "nothing much good was happening in Ferguson until it became a hashtag”. Following the story's rise and spread on Twitter, the protests in Missouri swiftly captured the news cycle in the U.S., and brought into focus the consequences … [Read more...]

Moose on the Loose!

Note: a version of this post was given by the author for Invocation at the UVM College of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences graduation ceremony, Flynn Theatre, May 18, 2014. A few weeks ago—on one of those beautiful spring mornings that makes the long winter seem like it happened elsewhere—something quite remarkable took place here at the University of Vermont. At the … [Read more...]

How does movement influence your daily happiness?

Imagine commuting an hour to work, one way, grinding through miles of traffic to get from your suburban home to a desk job in the big city. Excited yet? Ok, now imagine that you lead a life of leisure traveling the world. You fly coast-to-coast to see a concert, soak in some culture, and drink fine wine. Does this lifestyle seem more appealing? Lets try to quantify the … [Read more...]

Now Published: The Geography of Happiness

Today we're pleased to announce that our article "The Geography of Happiness: Connecting Twitter sentiment and expression, demographics, and objective characteristics of place" has been officially published by PLoS ONE.  We wanted to tell you about one key piece we've added to the paper and an unusual new Twitter account we've created. After our three blog posts (which … [Read more...]

Where is the happiest city in the USA?

(Update: this work is now published at PLoS ONE) Is Disneyland really the happiest place on Earth?* How happy is the city you live in? We have already seen how the hedonometer can be used to find the happiest street corner in New York City, now it's time to let it loose on the entire United States. We plotted over 10 million geotagged tweets from 2011 (all our results are in … [Read more...]