Twitter, Facebook, and just about every other social network in existence has experimented with some sort of sentiment analysis.
They track the behavior of their users and compare the content discussed and shared on the different social networks. This presents different charts in different scenarios: community mood, reaction to current events, some have even used this analysis to predict events or behavior based on the community's mentality.
As different firehoses of data are made available to the public - Twitter recently announced they were availing their entire database to researchers - I wonder if there are other ways to use the information.
Blogs, like this one, are presented chronologically. New visitors only see the newest content on the site, not necessarily the best or most interesting. I wonder how difficult it would be to present different content under different circumstances.
Say there's a debate on net neutrality in Congress on the floor today - my site could automatically tweet articles about similar content and surface some of that content in the "river" on the homepage of the site.
The bulk of the content presented on the homepage would still be chronological. A few pieces of timeless legacy content relevant to current affairs, however, could pop into the feed and continue to contribute to the conversation.
Would such a malleable presentation help or hinder content on an otherwise chronological site?
Oh how I hate that Google and the like strip of search terms when they refer traffic to a site. If not for the fact that Google encrypts search terms, we could very easily determine topics most searched for and surface relevant content more readily in the homepage's river of content.
I am aware that tools like Google AdWords and Webmaster Tools make more of this content available. Since many sites are already integrated with Analytics, this would require tightly integrating with even more Google properties. I'm not so much a fan of that, but it would be an interesting experiment.
In all, the ability to surface content that might be more relevant to the community's interests at the moment might increase readership (or at least time-on-site). Considering single-author blogs that only change their front page layout daily (or less frequently), I doubt it would be more disruptive than, say, higher-volume publications that shift their homepage several times per day.
Would you be more or less likely to read a site that interspersed timeless legacy yet still-relevant content amongst it's "latest posts" feed?