Two canny pieces of code, Moodviews and Moodsignals, have been set to work taking the emotional temperature of LiveJournal.
'Views studies, and graphs, the use of emoticons in the roughly 150,000 LiveJournal posts that use them each day. 'Signals matches these trends to peaks in keywords used in the messages.
So, for example, on Valentine's Day, there were easily visible spikes in the use of "loved" and "flirty" emoticons, but also, of course, "lonely".
Unsurprisingly, the software proves that the release of a new Harry Potter book, or one would imagine, film, sends out waves of warm happiness across the blogosphere. "Excitement" labels were seen to peak in synchronicity with usage of the words Harry, Potter, shop and book.
Guaranteed to get me dropping smiley faces left right and centre would be search terms like Hot Fuzz, Spider-Man 3, Terry Gilliam or Zombies. Harry Potter barely merits an expression.
New Scientist have the full report. It left me feeling most :-)