Each week, we’ll poll employees here and readers out in the blogosphere about some of their recommendations for food, drink, music and/or entertainment to indulge in over the weekend. Blogger Dave Choate is your guide to all things relaxing—and today, philosophical—for this post.
We Feel Fine About We Feel Fine
As many of you probably know, it’s widely held that the stock market is driven by emotion. The beat of the emotional drum sets the cadence for many things in life. I’ve often heard people say that confidence closes, and that’s truly in the markets. When those working on Wall Street talk about bull and bear markets, they’re tapping into the emotions and archetypes we associated with those animals: The charging, confident bull and the surly bear.
The market collapse that began on September 16, 2008, was a manifestation of fear and perhaps overconfidence that eliminated nearly one trillion dollars in value in a single week from October 6 on. I don’t write this to be overly dramatic—though it’s probably too late for that—but to make the point that emotions are a big part of our businesses and our lives. It’s not easy to pry them apart.
That brings us to wefeelfine.org, the brainchild of a pair of college professors who wanted to track the emotions of online users by collecting relevant Tweets and bits of information. The interface is very cool—you can easily kill an hour on there, as I’ve done—but more interesting to me is the idea that this data can be mined to figure out business and market trends. After all, consumers purchase products and services for emotional reasons, whether they realize it or not. The better we can connect the dots of emotion on We Feel Fine to our audience’s behavior and our own, the better off we’ll be in the long run.
I was hoping to get you all thinking about this topic in advance of a series of articles in the coming weeks on the subject of emotion, built around the wefeelfine.org platform. If you have thoughts, please share them with us.
While you’re exploring We Feel Fine, why not kick back with a good beer?
My choice for this week is Trois Pistoles, a beer hailing from Unibroue in Quebec. It’s a dark, strong ale (over 9 percent ABV) with some lighter notes, but only a touch of hops. While this shouldn’t be a factor in your beer buying, it’s also one of the coolest-looking beers I’ve ever had, with spires, a rearing black horse and fire. If only I understood French, I’m sure I’d know what that was about.
A Good Grilling
Heck, now that you’ve looked through the site and had a beer, why not grill?
Everyone’s got their favorite recipes, but for me, nothing beats a steak and corn on the cob on the grill. Share your own, or if you’re searching for one, be sure to check out the laundry list at Food Network.
Photo credit to dropowwt at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/274841