An App That Correlates News Feeds to Reader Moods

There is so much to ponder in The Guardian‘s summary of a recent weekend spent hacking journalism at MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, alongside various other print and digital teams.

BombPopperPicAmong the products developed over the event’s 48-hour span is Bomb Popper. The core idea belies the App’s clunky name:

The ratio of negative to positive news is roughly 17:1. But are you always in the mood for heavy news? The idea of Bomb Popper is it allows you to read news based on your current mood.

The hack used The Guardian‘s Content API as source of content and crowd-sourced the mood of each article (happy/sad classification). Given our rich tagging vocabulary, it wouldn’t be such a stretch for us to annotate our content at the source, although it may be more focused on “color” (dark, light) than mood, which is subjective.

If someone were to run with this App idea, it would be wise to go beyond the simplistic duality of “happy”/”sad” or “light”/”dark.”

The MIT Hacking Journalism event was held June 7-8. Among those helping lead the effort were MIT research scientist Matt Carroll and HarvardX fellow Zachary Davis.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.