As the Occupy Wall Street movement gains more and more momentum, it is highlighting how social media can be used to talk about the economy. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York now wants to monitor social media as a way to measure public perception of the economy.
The Federal Reserve Bank filed a Request for Proposals (RFP) with Fed vendors, requesting the creation of a “Sentiment Analysis and Social Media Monitoring Solution.” A spokesperson for the Federal Reserve told Fast Company that “The reason for contemplating such an effort is to get a better sense of the relevant concerns and discussions that are taking place in the public domain in order to improve our communications and engagement with the public.”
The Federal Reserve is now evaluating bids for a social media analysis system and the service is planned to start in early December. The system will mine data from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and online forums worldwide. The Fed also intends to use the solution to perform in-depth content analysis of content from sources such as the Associated Press and Wall Street Journal. The project will also identify key bloggers and influencers to target with outreach efforts.
One of the goals of this project is to determine if there is “an ongoing trend of negative sentiment in the financial industry.”
This news is a huge deal, if not for the Federal Reserve, for all users of social media. How do you feel about the possibility of the Federal Reserve monitoring what you say about the economy?