Amplify Anything: Sentiment analysis for the web

September 02 21 Comments Category: Projects, Words

I’ve been pretty excited about the possibilities presented by OpenAmplify – I wrote a bit about it in my previous post. So I got thinking… Twitter is a good obvious place to start with text analysis, but wouldn’t it be cool to see the top topics and sentiment for any website you’re looking at?

For example, say I’m thinking about buying a Kindle. I can go to Amazon.com and read through the 5000+ reviews. But what if I just want a summary? Amazon provides ratings, but that doesn’t tell me what I really want to know. In particular, what are the key things people are talking about? And how do they feel about them? Sure, I could copy/paste the URL into some tool and get the analysis, but that’s way too much work and I’ll probably forget about the tool when I need it anyway.

This is where Ubiquity comes in. Ubiquity is an add-on for Firefox that gives you the power to do more within your browser. For instance, you can select an address and immediately see a map. You can quickly shorten the URL you’re looking at so you can post it to Twitter. You can even tweet directly within the context of what you are reading. The beauty of Ubiquity is that it doesn’t interrupt your workflow to accomplish related tasks. You can read more about it here: http://labs.mozilla.com/ubiquity.

It’s easy to see that Ubiquity provides the perfect platform to incorporate the kind of analysis provided by OpenAmplify. It can expose the hidden information in a website that you otherwise could spend hours hunting down. This is where my Ubiquity command, “amplify”, comes in.

Here is how it works:

  1. Go to any website, like the Kindle reviews page on Amazon.com.

    Kindle reviews on Amazon.com
    Kindle reviews on Amazon.com

  2. Activate Ubiquity (Alt+Space) and execute the “amplify” command.

    Results of the "amplify" command
    Results of the “amplify” Ubiquity command

That’s it. You don’t need to open a new window, launch an external tool, or do any keyword searching. You get the sentiment analysis right in context, and that can reveal interesting insights.

So, how do you get this set up on your computer? It’s easy:

  1. Install Firefox.
  2. Install the Ubiquity add-on for Firefox.
  3. Subscribe to my “amplify” command feed.

Here are some ideas (besides my Kindle example above) to try out once you have the command installed:

Any other ideas for this type of sentiment analysis? Please share in the comments.

21 Responses

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