Tracking emotional outpour in real-time and at granularity of the 8 basic / cross-cultural emotions on Twitter is something that emotive.systems (EMOTIVE) does pretty well - which is why we've decided to monitor real-time emotional opinions in the upcoming UK General Election, in the run up to May 7, and made it possible for anyone with a smartphone to join-in in the fun.
A smartphone app, based on EMOTIVE, and developed at Loughborough University in partnership with Encircle ltd. for Android and iPhone smartphones is now available for download. It analyses in (near) real-time how tweeters feel about the 7 main political parties, their leaders, partners and policies (NHS, Economy, Education, Welfare...), provides graphs, daily summaries over the last 7 days and much more.
The Emotive.Systems website explains how the EMOTIVE engine does it's analysis. We also get asked a lot about the data that is analysed and I'll try to shed some light on this here.
A selection of terms are tracked for each category, which were all very carefully hand-picked with every effort to minimise any bias and to be fair to the different parties. For instance tweeting activity around each party is tracked using their main (and only one) Twitter account handle:
This keeps things balanced and also simpler to interpret. For instance if say there are far less tweets being send using @Conservatives than @UKLabour that would likely imply there being less traction in general with tweeters around this parties main Twitter presence. The party leaders are tracked by monitoring the mentions of their names (Cameron, Milliband, Farrage...) and therefore again, this is very fair to each leader.