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bLink 33

How do you feel in blog?

By Thom Wong 1 Jun 2006 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee. He has also been a teacher and contract specialist. With eight years of education and three bachelor degree, Thom focuses mostly on marketing writing.

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33rd of 40 bLinks.

Normally, I am loathe to send you, loyal reader, to a site that I've only recently discovered. Just loathe. But in the case of We Feel Fine, I'm going to make an exception. First, because it is way cool; second, because I am this close to missing a deadline.

Run by Jonathan Harris and Sepandar Kamvar, We Feel Fine is "an exploration of human emotion, in six movements." Don't let the Emily Carr graduate title fool you -- these boys are onto something interesting. The site is basically an application that collects every blog entry featuring the words "I feel" or "I am feeling." These are then represented as swirling dots that you can click on, and the entries can be displayed in different movements, or configurations of dots. The site further gathers information such as gender, age, and even local weather.

And what are people feeling? Some feel the Argonauts pass too much. Some feel that people should write less incendiary comments. And at least one blogger is feeling that the fish served for last night's dinner might not have been fresh. An amazing number of posts describe a general anxiety over people being able to peruse the lives of their authors: a strange sentiment, I would think, for someone keeping a blog.

According to the site, the application has gathered over three million feelings, mostly from Americans. Interestingly, while more distinct female bloggers have used those phrases, a smaller number of men have been posting more times about their feelings. And over 20,000 of those posts came from bloggers aged nine or under. The idea of a kindergarten tyke posting about his feelings online is both awe-inspiring and vaguely scary. Welcome to the new world order.

Thom Wong is a law student who spends an unreasonable amount of time online. His 40 bLinks column runs every Tuesday and Thursday on The Tyee.


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