Recently, I was pointed to Typealyzer, a tool for analysing blog types or, actually, the personality types of the people behind the blog. The information is visualised in a spider chart with eight personality dimensions.
Typealyzer is the doing of Mattias Ostmar and Jon Kågström, the former being a (self-described) media and communication geek and Communication Analyst at Sweden-based PRfekt. Mattias specialises in psychological text analysis. Besides Typealyzer he has several other projects in that field. His website/blog is http://www.mattiasostmar.net and his Typealyzer profile looks like this:
How does it all work? Typealyzer is inspired by several psychological frameworks, the one by C. G. Jung of personality types being the most foundational one. The method works using a bayesian classifier trained on a collection of sample texts. The classifier looks at word frequencies in the blog analysed and connects these to different personality types. You can glean more information from Typealyzer’s About page.
Enough talking, let’s take Typealyzer for a spin (in italics are excerpts from Typealyzer’s analysis):
Engadget – the technology blog:
“The organizing and efficient type (…) They listen to hard facts and can have a hard time accepting new or innovative ways of doing things.”
Hmm, they show superb early adaptation of technology, though.
Xkcd – the web comic:
“(…) charming and trend savvy (…) They often have sophisticated language skills and come across as witty and social.”
Clients From Hell – a blog on creative industry’s beloved clients:
“They are especially good at looking at almost anything and figuring out a way of improving it – often with a highly creative and imaginative touch.”
Grammarphobia – a blog for the promotion of gud grammr:
“(…) are highly skilled at seeing and fixing what needs to be fixed (…) They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.”
Hmm, little known detail about grammar geeks.
Sexpertise – MIT’s sex advice columnist:
“(…) active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.”
“Physical out-door activities”: Little surprise here.
1000 Awesome Things – self-explanatory:
“The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty (…). They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead (…)”
At this point I must say I was rather disappointed that Typealyzer detected almost exclusively left-hemisphere-activity in the authors of above blogs. Could I find a blog which is mostly right-leaning, brain-activity-wise?
To the rescue come (more or less):
Stitchywitch – a blog on sewing and knitting:
“They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells.”
Well played, Sir, well played.
Candidates for the spirituality dimension encompassed: www.awakeblogger.com, www.spiritualityandpractice.com and the one-and-only www.spiritualblog.com. But, to no avail, all these resulted in “Scientist” or “Thinker” personality types :-/
What about the idealism dimension? www.idealist.org/blog yielded a “Mechanic” personality type. Though, a sure bet for intuition, spirituality and idealism dimension was the Vatican Information Service:
“The meaning-seeking and unconventional type. They are especially attuned to making sure their beliefs and actions are congruent. They often develop a passion for the arts or unusual forms of self-expression. They enjoy work that are aligned to their deeply felt values and tend to strongly dislike the more practical and mundane forms of tasks. (…)”
Wow. Wonder what the “unusual forms of self-expression” is a euphemism for ;-)
Conclusion: Typealyzer is definitely a fun tool, although it doesn’t give a very precise measure in all situations (but that’s also not claimed by anyone). Additionally to the web interface, Typealyzer also offers its functionality under a CC-BY-license through an API. A key can be obtained via uClassify.