April 10, 2008

New for 6.3, Sentiment “analysis”

Filed under: BlogBridge — Pito Salas on 7:48 pm

Continuing my introduction of features that are new for 6.3 (and I acknowledge right up front, require a Publisher level subscription) is Sentiment Analysis.

Now in my title I put the word Analysis in “quotes” because true analysis requires a level of language dependent natural language processing which so far is beyond our grasp. But we think what we have is a good, powerful, practical and understandable capability.

The point is simple: we classify all articles as having either positive or negative sentiment. In other words are they saying nice positive encouraging happy things, or evil sucky, mean spirited and depressing things? 

[To have a sense of why this is not something you can do with perfection, even if you are an intelligent human, tell me whether this sentence is positive or negative: "The King is dead! Long live the king!" See, it's not obvious :) ]

Articles are marked with a pretty little colored red dot if they are deemed negative and an pretty little green dot if they are positive.

Also there is a filter for showing only positive or only negative articles.

And finally, and most useful, you can write SmartFeeds to pick out positive and negative articles, meaning there’s a new condition that you can include, combining with other conditions, to select for positive or negative sentiment.

So how does all this work? Well you just turn it on, of course, and you are in business. The command can be found on the Tools menu, Settings submenu, Sentiment Analysis. Just click the checkbox and press OK.

If you are not reading English language blogs then you most certainly will have to tune it, and you might want to anyway, by choosing Advanced… from the Sentiments dialog box.

You will see a list of words that we have chosen to correspond to positivity and a set of words that we have chosen to mean negativity. You are welcome of course to change those around to include your own sense of what words are most useful there.

So there you have it. BlogBridge Sentiment Analysis. We hope you like it. Please let us know what you think. We are very proud of it!

As mentioned above, it is one of the various power features that are offered to our Publisher level subscribers. I know everyone would rather have it as part of the basic product, but please understand that we also need to make some money on this project and the best way we know how to do that is to keep on adding value so our users are glad to support our work.

N.B: First you have to be running the latest ‘weekly’ development release. You can get it by clicking on this link, on Mac, Windows and Linux. Read here about the two different release types.

Second, sign up for a trial account. All subscriptions have an automatic 30 day trial period during which you can get your subscription cost refunded. To see this new feature in action, you need ‘publisher’ level which costs $25/3 months.

If you are new to BlogBridge, you should know that the majority of our functionality is in fact free of charge. You can sign up for a free account. For $5/3 months you get major increases in capacity - we call this the ‘basic’ edition, and for $25/3 months you can get a ‘publisher’ edition.


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1 Comment »

  1. [...] There are many, many different feed readers that do many different things. BlogBridge, for example, just released a feature that lets you filter between “positive” and “negative” articles by [...]

    Pingback by Seven Tips for Making the Most of Your RSS Reader — April 29, 2008 @ 9:36 pm

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