"The saddest tweeters live in Texas"

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That's not from the chorus of a postmodern country song — it's the title of a National Geographic piece discussing Morgan R. Frank, Kameron Decker Harris, Peter Sheridan Dodds, and Christopher M. Danforth, "The Geography of Happiness: Connecting Twitter Sentiment and Expression, Demographics, and Objective Characteristics of Place", PLoS ONE 5/29/2013.

I don't have time this morning to do anything more than point to the article, but my previous interactions with Peter Dodds and others at the Vermont Complex Systems Center have been positive.


  1. Jon Lennox said,

    May 30, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    It's not the chorus of a postmodern country song yet.

  2. Rod Johnson said,

    May 30, 2013 @ 8:55 am

    Workin' on it.

  3. Hening Makholm said,

    May 30, 2013 @ 8:56 am

    It desperately needs to become one. How bout something like

    The saddest tweeters live in Texas
    The richest bloggers are from Spain
    The funniest folks on Youtube are all Russians
    But I'll never learn to live without the pain

    This week's exercise will be to write some verses that will make this make sense.

  4. Y said,

    May 30, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    The saddest tweeters live in Texas
    Texas is where I'd hate to be – e – e
    'Cause the saddest tweeters live in Texas,
    That's why I'm tweetin' here from Tennessee.

  5. Aaron Toivo said,

    May 30, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

    I apologize for bandwagoning, but it's just far too much fun to resist this.

    Can't call up the Twitter corpus
    Jus' drunkposts from my Wiccan exes
    My tired dog is layin' on
    The laptop with my speech indexes
    No progress toward my thesis on
    The usage trends of all four sexes
    And all that I recall is that
    The saddest tweeters live in Texas

  6. J.W. Brewer said,

    May 30, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

    Thus far these drafts haven't "said anything at all about mama, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or getting drunk," to quote a famous theorist of the desiderata of country and western songwriting. But I don't think it should be all that hard to get those thematic elements into the post-modern mix.

  7. maidhc said,

    May 30, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

    J.W. Brewer: Perhaps a straightforward update like "I was drunk the night Ma tweeted me from prison"?

  8. Joe said,

    May 30, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

    Now the saddest tweeters they all live in Texas,
    And the richest bloggers they all come from Spain.
    The funniest folks on YouTube are all Russians,
    But I'll never learn to live without the pain.
    Cos I'm tweeting from this prison of my shame
    And I'll never learn to live without the pain
    Of all my memories you, and of Austin,
    And that March-week we shared there in vain.
    Wasted not on beer nor whiskey but on marketing,
    and technology pitches from "Creatives" in the main.
    But I'm tweeting from this prison of my shame
    And I'll never learn to live without the pain
    Of how I came to lose you to that young cowboy:
    All boots and beard, and pickup truck and trains,
    (though he lived with his mama back in Scotland),
    and made his living writing video games.
    As I'm tweeting from this prison of my shame
    I will never learn to live without the pain
    Of recalling the look of horror on your face,
    As you read my bitter, drunken tweets again.
    There was threats and libel, and there was slander,
    No wonder the Sherriff done led me away in chains.
    Now I'm tweeting from this prison of my shame
    And I'll never learn to live without the pain
    Now you are part of his new augmented reality,
    And all the hipsters have left for another nexus,
    While I'm stuck SXSW without you,
    Yes this saddest tweeter's servin' time in Texas…

  9. Mark Mandel said,

    May 30, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

    I have taken the (hopefully not too atrocious) liberty of reposting this, with the comments, in the LiveJournal filk* community.

    * (from the community profile) Filk, as a noun, may be loosely defined as the folk music of science-fiction and fantasy fandom. That said, asking any filker what filk is will likely get you a different answer, possibly several different answers. We don't generally want to limit ourselves.

  10. GeorgeW said,

    May 31, 2013 @ 5:21 am

    They say the saddest tweeters live in Texas, but it just ain't so. My woman left me in Waco, got drunk in San Anton. They say I shot a man in Austin and the judge says I’ll be doin’ a long time. There’s no reason to be sad in Texas when I'm here tweetin’ from behind these bars.

    (140 characters)

  11. richardelguru said,

    May 31, 2013 @ 5:42 am

    Of course:
    If you play a Texas Tweet backwards what do you get?

    You get your iPhone back, you get your woman back and you get your dog back.
    An' all in 140 characters.

  12. Joe said,

    May 31, 2013 @ 6:39 am


    Damn, I got boots and pickup-trucks, I got drink and prison, I got mama and I even got trains (though it’s my post-hoc reasoning that the trains in this video game developer’s life aren’t the ones in which he rides the rails, but the ones he buys at the model-train store), I didn’t however have a line about his faithful old dog, and no one died in a shooting. What was I thinking? Actually, we hear about guns and shootings too much – maybe in postmodern country music such things should be confined to the content of his video games (which is bad enough in itself, but still…) ?

  13. zythophile said,

    May 31, 2013 @ 7:41 am

    Don't ask me why, but initially I read the headline to this post as "The saddest tweeters live-rhymes-with-hive in Texas", rather than "The saddest tweeters live-rhymes-with-give in Texas".

  14. Corey B said,

    May 31, 2013 @ 10:16 am

    This is also why the saddest speakers are made in Texas… Sad tweeters and dead woofers.

  15. Neil Dolinger said,

    May 31, 2013 @ 11:39 am

    "This is also why the saddest speakers are made in Texas… Sad tweeters and dead woofers."

    And there is the dog reference (sorta), should anyone care to run with it.

  16. Cy said,

    June 1, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

    Was this done using sentiment analysis and pos tagging or just word frequency?

  17. Mark Mandel said,

    June 2, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

    Joe, did you have any particular tune in mind?

  18. Joe said,

    June 2, 2013 @ 6:41 pm

    Ha, ha, no Mark – I'm afraid I only do the words.

  19. Melody Kramer said,

    June 6, 2013 @ 11:40 am

    Thanks Mark! I wrote the headline and went to Penn! It's nice to see this! :)

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