Mood microformats – helping people tell it like it is

Scenario 1: You are angry. You decide to blog, while under the influence of rage. The next day you wish you had never written the entry at all. If only you could let people know that you wrote this post when you were angry and upset.

Scenario 2: You write a flippant blog post. You think you are wise and clever. Everyone else reads your post and treats it seriously. Suddenly you don’t feel wise and clever. You want to curse everyone who doesn’t understand irony. Do I really need to spell it out for you all – I was being ironic!

Imagine if you could include specific markup with your blog post – let’s just call them mood microformats – that would allow people to quickly determine the tone or emotion of your post.

Suddenly, blog posts could be viewed with some perspective – instead of being taken at face value.

Scenario 1: a solution

<a href="/journal/1241/" title="Permanent hyperlink for Angry outburst" rel="bookmark" class="angry">Angry outburst</a>

Scenario 2: a solution

<a href="/journal/1241/" title="Permanent hyperlink for Ironic post" rel="bookmark" class="ironic">Ironic post</a>

The list of moods that could be used to describe articles, blog posts, poems, and comments is endless. They could include happy, depressed, angry, suicidal, joyous, flippant, flatulent, peaceful, calm, relaxed, horny, hyped, hung-over…

Now imagine the future…

Tools could be built to scour the web for blog posts that were written in specific moods. Worldwide trends could be followed as moods were mapped across the blogosphere.

Mood microformats could be made ‘highlightable’, much like Hicks “Highlight Microformats with CSS“. This would allow readers to quickly see the authors mood. Great. He’s depressed again. I’ll come back tomorrow.

Authors could also track their moods over periods of time and be able to produce personal mood charts. What? 75% of my posts have been angry? I refuse to believe it!

There is no doubt that the world would be a much better place if mood microformats were introduced tomorrow. We would not have to guess what others are thinking or feeling as they write for the web. Our lives would become richer, fuller, complete.

Date: 26 January 2007
Author: Russ Weakley
Category: HTML, Microformats, Web, Web standards

Comments so far

  1. Nathanael says:

    Before CSSReboot 2006 I used mood tag my posts, using Keith’s “Moody” plugin for WordPress.

    During the Reboot redesign I decided to scrap the use of that plugin on my blog as it seemed too many of my posts were being tagged “tired” :-)

  2. Russ says:

    @Nathanael: I hadn’t seen this plugin. My posts are often done last thing at night too so I’d have many tired moods.

    @Cameron: as we are seeking feeback from the public about our proposed presentation title, i suppose my mood could have been “questioning”, “probing”, “examining”, “investigating”, “inviting”, “inquisitive”, “diagnostic”.

    However, it was late at night after a WSG meeting, so my mood could also have been burnt-out, bored, tired, sleepy, flagged, haggard, fatigued, spent.

  3. Ben Buchanan says:

    There’s a site which track Livejournal mood settings:

    My guess is that it either screen scrapes (or possibly there’s an API), LJ adds class=”meta” to the elements containing mood and music info. It’s not a microformat by any means since the same class is added to relatively unrelated information; but it’s there.