For IBM’s latest social-media sentiment analysis project, the company sifted through publicly available data from Twitter, Facebook and blogs to find the “Desire Ratio” – or the proportion of positive comments compared to negative comments about such topics as travel. It’s up five-fold this year over last year’s Memorial Day figures.
The Index also shows a large increase in social chatter about flying, with mentions jumping 65 percent compared to last year, while references to driving increased 13 percent. Surprisingly, sentiment on the topic of gas prices, which have only recently gone down from their highest prices of the year, is considerably more positive than last year, with a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative mentions in 2012 compared to a 1 to 1 ratio in 2011. These combined trends may indicate that people are feeling better this year about their finances going into the Memorial Day holiday.