Building mood into social platforms – Get Satisfaction asks how you feel

Posted on: August 10, 2011

Mood affects our benevolence and patience – how we create and consume media. So taking account of others’ moods is valuable when we communicate: on an individual, institutional and commercial level.

Claudio Ciborra once put it like this: “moods capture the situatedness of the actor as opposed to the situation of the action only.”

In addition to many factors that affect how we see and listen, what we say and how we say it (professional and friendship networks, personal interests, cultural positionality, prior experience and location) – mood always matters.

Yet it’s hard to tell mood online… where we usually cannot see other people’s faces. The slight raise of the eyebrow, roll of the eyes, gentle smirk. Irony, anger, sarcasm, humour can be completely missed as we send messages across cyberspace in the form of flat text. So the consideration of mood is important in social technology.. but is still a rarity.

WWF are using the Get Satisfaction platform to help capture ideas from web users – in the spirit of similar successful online crowdsourcing initiatives such as MyStarbucks Idea. WWF website visitors are presented with this pop-up as they browse the site:

A user can directly submit ideas through this – and also specify how the idea makes them feel. Each contribution then lives on the Get Satisfaction site – where others can vote and comment on it, and WWF can respond too. Interestingly you can also see, overall, collective users’ mood in relation to the idea.

In this case we have a fairly uncontroversial suggestion – about extending the annual Earth Hour event to happen more often. But we can imagine how this type of mood aggregation can, in the future, start to enable proactive, prosocial prioritization of responses by organisations and brands…

From understanding how upset people are about the imminent destruction of a particular rainforest, to how delighted they would be at the introduction of a new handbag shade, to how frustrated they are about socio-economic conditions – perhaps even if they are angry enough to riot

Moods cartoon by Candy Gourlay

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