I have begun working as a strategist and partnership developer for Affect Labs, a start-up based in Scotland with a London office (mine).
Jennie Lees, a tremendously smart entrepreneur, has designed some software that crawls the web - social networks, blogs, you name it -- and comes back not only with positive and negative phrases aggregated around key words but also with star ratings. Phrases are given values, and the algorithms automatically update the stars as opinions change or as positive or negative opinions arrive to weight the star differently.
It's an amazing tool for companies that want to know what people are saying. And it's an important thing, this Emma Gilding, just for example, would say it could be the most important conversation a business can hold with its stakeholders.
This Time, With Feeling
I've also begun blogging for them -- in the spirit of how the Learning Lab began, in fact. Isn't what people feel -- and how they express it -- the same as what they think? Or close enough for rock and roll?
Keep your eye on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year where we'll test out the software to help theatre-goers figure out which shows they'd like.
When I brought shows up in the 90s, our casts always made sure to be there the second week of the Festival to get random people's opinions of what was worth seeing.
Now the random people can be heard on the first day. Good for the audience, good for the shows, good for the festival.
How wonderful is that?