Vodacom’s the Grid, South Africa’s only location-based mobile social network, has partnered with e.tv to show the mood of the country daily, based on the Grid user data.
Users on the Grid can set their mood to happy or sad. Using this data alongside users’ geographical locations, the Grid and e.tv are able to create a Mood Map of the country, similar to that of the weather map.
From 7 April 2010 e.tv will feature the Mood Map every morning after the weather report on Sunrise (weekdays from 6AM to 8AM), breaking the mood percentages for each of the nine provinces down into “happy” and “sad”, for instance, “Gauteng is 73% happy today, but KZN is 64% sad”. Only mood updates made in the preceding 24 hours will be used to make the provincial and overall country calculations.
e.tv will use their weather software to automatically collect the data from the Grid on a daily basis to compile the Mood Map animation for broadcast.
The partnership is a first of its kind and sees a news channel using data from a social networking platform for statistical purposes.
e.tv’s executive producer, Nicholas Maphopha says, “Sunrise is always looking at being innovative by introducing new technologies that will make the show more interactive. The mood maps can potentially gauge viewers’ moods on topics covered in the show, the weather or issues happening in their daily lives.”
Says Vincent Maher, Portfolio Manager Social Media, Vodacom South Africa: “The partnership with e.tv is a great interactive way for users of a social network like the Grid to see how their actions influence the general mood of the country. We are using the data from a social network in an innovative way by showing users how their mood updates contribute to the overall mood of the country or province.”