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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Analysis Tools of the New World Disorder

Internet activity and social media now allow instant analysis of media events on public perception and reaction. Do you think this is a good thing?

Help Using the Carbon Capture Report

This guide introduces the major features of the Carbon Capture Report.


Several of the Carbon Capture Report displays integrate information on the tone of the underlying content. The following indicators are available:
  • Tone/Positivity/Negativity. Specially-tuned linguistic algorithms examine the text of each document and determine the overall "tone" of the wording it uses. This does not measure how positive or negative the underlying events being reported on are, but rather how positive or negative the writer is portraying them as. For example, an announcement of a new wind turbine plant might be viewed as an extremely positive event for wind energy proponents, while local townspeople might view it as an extremely negative development to be fought. Both sides will likely generate news coverage casting the turbine plant in either a positive or negative light, respectively. This measure therefore offers insight into local and global reaction to new developments. Positivity and Negativity measures indicate the raw intensities of positive and negative content, while Tone is a composite of the two, with a positive score indicating the text is more positive, and a negative score indicating a more negative text. Tone can range from -100 to +100, but in practice usually falls into the range -10 to +10.
  • Polarity. Polarity measures the overall "emotional charge" of a text, independent of its tone. An article with equal levels of positive and negative content will have a Tone score of neutral, but if it contained significant emotional wording on both sides, it will still have a high polarity score. Polarity therefore measures how "emotional" an article is, ranging from 0 to 100, with lower scores indicating more "clinical" texts that simply recount facts, and higher scores indicating more impassioned pleas and discussions.
  • Activity. Activity measures the intensity of "active language" in a text, indicating whether a text is more passive and scientific in nature, recounting a series of factual statements, or more active, encouraging the reader to take action and using intense language to discuss information. This indicator ranges from 0 to 100, with lower scores suggesting factual recollections and higher scores suggesting emotional calls to action.
  • Personalization. Personalization measures the degree to which the writer attempts to bring the reader into the fold as "part of the story" versus maintaining clinical detachment in describing events. For example, a blog post could simply criticize a new power plant and suggest its construction should be protested, or it could invoke the reader as a fellow activist, encouraging him or her to "join in" on the fight against the plant. Personalization ranges from 0 to 100, with higher personalization levels usually indicating calls to action and other more subtle mechanisms of encouraging the reader to be "one of the group."
  • Questions/Exclamations. Tweets have two further tone indicators: questions and exclamations. Given their 140-character size limit, Tweets make heavier use of punctuation as tone carriers, and these metrics reflect tone carried through non-word mechanisms.

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