One of the definitions of the word pulse is the underlying sentiment or opinion or an indication of it. Welcome to our latest experiment in the vast world of social information called, appropriately, The Pulse.
The Globe Lab, in partnership with Mullen Communications and Pointslocal, has developed a concept designed to gather existing social data and analyze its sentiment to determine the online world’s view of a particular topic. The pilot of this project, a site just released in beta, is focused on the mood of Red Sox nation.
The Pulse is a visual representation of a technology that analyzes social data (Tweets, Facebook status, etc.) with natural language processing to determine:
- Sentiment (negative, positive or neutral)
- Influence (user’s # of followers, as an example)
- Specific or general location where none is otherwise provided
- Other demographic information when provided
- Activity and trends
Our beta version allows a reader to view the overall sentiment of Red Sox fans, as well as the social rank of individual players and coaches. You will also find a state-by-state look at the social attitude toward the Red Sox, with functionality coming that will allow a reader to drill down to the county, city and even neighborhood level.
This is only the beginning, as we will follow shortly after this launch with a Patriots version, as well a more robust v2 of the Red Sox site with additional visualizations and filtering capabilities.
The site is built in HTML5 and optimized for mobile devices, but plans are in the works for mobile applications that provide a better user experience and opportunity to contribute. Readers will also find content provided by Boston.com, The Boston Globe as well as fan blogs aggregated from across the nation. Fans can also contribute photos through the ever-growing Instagram technology.
But that’s just part of our plan. As we add features and topics to The Pulse portfolio, it is essential the community participates and offers suggestions of how the experience can be improved. This is, after all, one of the main goals of the Boston.com Media Lab. Build it with us. It’s much more interesting that way.
So check out ThePulse/RedSox beta and let us know what you think. We’ll be asking your opinion soon enough on how to enhance the experience, what you like/don’t like, and what it needs. You can also send feedback to me directly at email@example.com.
Widgets will be appearing soon on the Boston.com pages. Until then, let’s hope the Red Sox can get the train rolling again and tip the scale back into the green territory.
Chris Rattey, @chrisrattey
Director of Product Development
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