Social Mood Conference | Socionomics Foundation

What do 20 million blogging posts say about stocks?

By Robert Folsom

How does a scholar uncover a great research idea?

If you like stereotypes, the answer is easy to picture: A brilliant young scholar is cloistered away amongst stacks of dusty books in an ivory tower. Suddenly, a light bulb goes off in his head. He gets a faraway look…

When Eric Gilbert (Assistant Professor of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech) described his innovation to the audience at the 2011 Socionomics Summit, he said he wished the story were more like the old stereotype. But it wasn’t — in truth, the idea cropped up in a context many of us know well (certainly better than an ivory tower).

Click the frame below to watch a 2-minute clip of Dr. Gilbert describing the origin of his research.


As you can see, the light bulb most certainly “went off” — and in turn, his research into 20 million blogging posts shed a bright light on how quantifiable shifts in collective emotion precede shifts in stock market prices.

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