Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New U.S. Gross National Happiness Index Implemented!

We've talked about Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Index before. Now we have a Gross National Happiness Index for the United States, updated on a daily basis, brought to us free ... by Facebook.

Here's how it works:

Every day, millions of people share how they feel with the people who matter the most in their lives through status updates on Facebook. These updates are tiny windows into how people are doing. They're brief, to the point and descriptive of what's going on this week, today or right now. Grouped together, these updates are indicative of how we are collectively feeling. Measuring how well-off, happy or satisfied with life the citizens of a nation are is part of the Gross National Happiness movement. When people in their status updates use more positive words--or fewer negative words--then that day as a whole is counted as happier than usual. (To protect your privacy, no one at Facebook actually reads the status updates in the process of doing this research; instead, our computers do the word counting after all personally identifiable information has been removed.)

The New York Times quotes Adam D. I. Kramer, the creator of the index, as saying: “When people in their status updates use more positive words — or fewer negative words — then that day as a whole is counted as happier than usual.”

Adam explains the methodology for the index in this Facebook blog post. Check it out and see what you think.

(Hat tip: ISQOLS)


Post a Comment