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AU$ 26.00 pledged of AU$ 500 goal
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By Jeremy
AU$ 26.00 pledged of AU$ 500 goal
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About this project

Have you ever sent an email and regretted it? I've sent many in my time - one even got me fired from a job! The purpose of email is to communicate the facts not discuss emotionally laden topics like performance issues. What I find though is that when I'm angry, I forget about all the advice from business communication gurus. I hit the send button and ignore that little voice telling me 'Maybe you should have another think about that'.

Sleep On It is designed to turn that little voice into a foghorn. It will use sentiment analysis technology to quickly scan your email when you press send. If it detects excessive levels of emotion, it will block the sending process and pop up a dialog: "Are you sure you want to send this? You sound pretty annoyed. Maybe a phone call would be better."

My goal with this project is to reduce workplace conflict. There's nothing worse than getting an angry email. Unlike a phone call or face to face, the other person doesn't get the opportunity to see your reaction. I would never say the things I have written via email in a face to face meeting but something about the Gmail interface shuts down my empathy sensors. The recipient becomes an isolated object rather than a human with emotions. 

If you've ever sent an email you regret, sign up for Sleep On It and stop your angry self from saying things your logical self would regret.

Sleep On It is a gmail extension that starts work when you press send. It quickly scans the email body for tone and if it detects any anger, it will immediately stop the email send process and ask you to confirm you really want to proceed.

I'm a web developer and will be building this tool out because I really want it for myself. I thought I'd put it on KickStarter to see if anyone else would use it too. 

The funds raised will help make the app solid. I've done a bit of work with text analysis (did honours in data mining) and the KickStarter funds will allow me to hire sentiment analysis experts. If you fit into that category, feel free to drop me a line at work@jeremynagel.info Would be great to have people join the team.

Risks and challenges

Sentiment analysis could be flaky and only detect certain snarky words
- We'd compile an extensive database of angry emails (users could send them through) to help us tune the engine. If we can get all those test cases passing, we can probably rely on the engine.

Sentiment analysis server might get innundated with requests and be unable to cope with the load
- MeaningCloud can handle >15 requests per second. As we scale, this might not be enough. If we start getting a lot of traffic, we'd have to look at building our own sentiment analysis engine. This would be a solvable challenge that would just require a bit of dev ops support.

Might be tricky to override the send functionality for non Google Apps accounts
- A browser plugin could help with this. It would override the behaviour of the send button.

What if I often send angry emails on my phone when I'm drunk?
We might need to offer another service that would act as an SMTP server. This would work with any email client including your phone.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1 or more About $0.71

    Potty Mouth Reward: Early access to the very ugly version of the sentiment analysis engine using Afinn 111. UI will not be polished at all but it will tell you if an email is angry or not.

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    Pledge AU$ 5 or more About $4

    Profane Sailor award: Super basic email scanner that detects swear words and exclamation marks but doesn't do any real sentiment analysis.

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    Pledge AU$ 10 or more About $7

    12 month 'Petulant Toddler' subscription: review 200 emails per month

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    Pledge AU$ 20 or more About $14

    12 month 'Grumpy' subscription: review 500 emails per month

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    Pledge AU$ 50 or more About $36

    12 month 'Rageful' subscription: review 1500 emails per month

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    Pledge AU$ 100 or more About $71

    12 month 'I need anger management' subscription: review 5000 emails per month

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Funding period

- (30 days)