Facebook is a friendly distraction for most of us, but that doesn't mean it can't also be a tool: Facebook's been exploring those billions of status updates as a social data source for example. The data on happiness indices around the world are fascinating.
Back in October 2009 Facebook began this experiment, using anonymized status updates from its U.S. users and correlating key words inside them with the Gross National Happiness Index (a movement dedicated to assessing how cheery or upset a nation's citizens are.) Essentially Facebook's data team picked key phrases that relate to positive or negative emotions, made a frequency count of their occurrence and look at how the resulting data trends over time.
Some of the data isn't all that surprising, but it does prove the validity of the experiment: For example the "happiness" count tends to go up towards the end of each week and peak at the weekend. Nobody, but nobody, prefers workdays and Mondays.
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“The Future of Self-Knowledge” research blog encompasses the techniques and methodologies used in corporate horizon scanning & forecasting, and their counterparts in ancient divination practices and the rise in personal genome services.
This research is used as a platform to develop personalised futures techniques for The FATE Institute (The Futures Association for Therapy & Entertainment), a think tank dedicated to developing personalised foresight services and products.
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