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Users on the Grid can set their mood to “happy” or “sad”, or a range of about 20 other emotions. Using this data alongside users’ geographical locations, the Grid and e.tv are able to create a “Mood Map” of the country, similar to that of the weather map.
The partnership, which sees a news broadcaster relying on a social networking platform for statistics, is thought to be the first of its kind worldwide.
The Grid claims it has around 1,5-million registered users, which include both its South African and Nigerian presence. The mood sample for TV is based on about 150 000 users who actively set their mood on the application on a daily basis.
From 7 April 2010 e.tv will feature the Mood Map every morning after the weather report on Sunrise (weekdays from 6AM to 8AM), breaking the mood percentages for each of the nine provinces down into “happy” and “sad”, for instance, “Gauteng is 73% happy today, but KZN is 64% sad”. Only mood updates made in the preceding 24 hours will be used to make the provincial and overall country calculations.
Video of the mood map being presented on national TV.
e.tv will use their weather software to automatically collect the data from the Grid on a daily basis to compile the Mood Map animation for broadcast.
e.tv’s executive producer, Nicholas Maphopha says: “Sunrise is always looking at being innovative by introducing new technologies that will make the show more interactive. The mood maps can potentially gauge viewers’ moods on topics covered in the show, the weather or issues happening in their daily lives.”
Says Vincent Maher, Portfolio Manager Social Media, Vodacom South Africa: “As things progress we want to move from general to specific in terms of what these maps show. You can see how this can very quickly become an instant mass polling tool that is greatly aided by the fact that we have location attached to our users.”
“The partnership with e.tv is a great interactive way for users of a social network like the Grid to see how their actions influence the general mood of the country. We are using the data from a social network in an innovative way by showing users how their mood updates contribute to the overall mood of the country or province.”
The Grid is a product of Vodacom, the country’s largest mobile operator. The social network is available on web and wap, as well as via J2me, iPhone, Android applications.
To access the Grid, SMS ‘MOOD’ to 33313 (50c/SMS) or visit http://onthegrid.mobi/