There was a time when surveying the public on a matter of national interest meant conducting man-on-the-street interviews or reading the angry letters to the editor of a local paper. But thanks to this fancy Internet and the wonders of social media those antiquated methods are as dated as, well, mood rings.
Leave it to London, then, to yoke the dated and the modern together as part of these Olympic Games by turning its landmark Eye into — get this — a social media-fueled mood ring.
(For those of you too young to remember mood rings, a primer: They were a '70s relic, little thermometers embedded within stones which allegedly changed color based on whatever mood you happened to be in at the moment. No weirder than Silly Bandz or Swatches, but just as dead and gone now.)
Here's the story, per Mashable: British utility EDF Energy has contracted a social media analytics expert named Mike Thelwall and a linguistics team known as Sosolimited to survey UK-based Twitter sentiment on the Games. An algorithm will translate the sentiment into a prevailing mood: happy, sad, indifferent, what have you. During every night's 30-minute light show, the Eye will glow yellow if England is in a positive mood, purple if negative, and green if indifferent.
The country's mood will surely follow the success of its athletes and its operations. We'd be willing to bet that you'll be able to lay a bet or two in the UK on exactly how many days will come up in each of the three moods.
Even if you're not in the United Kingdom for the Games, be sure to follow Yahoo! Sports on Twitter at @yahoosports for up-to-the-second info. We may string a few old Christmas lights in our windows depending on your response.
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