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Gauging MLB fan sentiment

The University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Innovation Lab and IBM are conducting a social media analysis project in connection with Major League Baseball (MLB) during the World Series.

The USC Annenberg Social Sentiment Index, which is being compiled by students and involves IBM social analytics technology, measures the sentiment expressed in millions of tweets. The aim of the project, according to IBM, is to find insights from Twitter followers that reveal player and team sentiment, while providing students with experience working with advanced analytics.

USC and IBM mined an initial test of more than 1.5 million public baseball-related tweets during the National League Championship Series, weighing positive and negative nuances and establishing overall sentiment rankings among a sampling of the players. The index was then broadened to follow the World Series games to determine "social media MVPs."

Professor Jonathan Taplin, director of the Annenberg Innovation Lab, says,  "We've known for some time how important statistics are in baseball, and today they're an even bigger part of understanding not only player performance but also the views of loyal fans. The fans understand that the highest paid player is not necessarily the MVP. The Social Sentiment Index enables our students a unique opportunity to gain valuable knowledge in the use of advanced analytics technologies and apply it to real-world settings to understand how this new information can benefit a variety of industries."

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