Emotate: The world's first emotional social network
Emotate: The world's first emotional social network
Expressing emotions benefits your mental health. Share how you feel, be understood and receive emotional feedback.
Expressing emotions benefits your mental health. Share how you feel, be understood and receive emotional feedback. Read more
“Decades of research have shown that writing down your emotions has concrete health benefits - even helping wounds heal. In 1986, long before the ubiquity of blogs and social media, Prof James W. Pennebaker published seminal research showing expressive writing could make people healthier.”
“A diary makes you happier and helps brain cope with emotional upsets, psychologists say”
“Why does putting our feelings into words — talking with a therapist or friend, writing in a journal — help us to feel better? A new brain imaging study by UCLA psychologists reveals why verbalizing our feelings makes our sadness, anger and pain less intense.”
Social network that's being developed around the idea of emotional expression
It enables you to share how you feel, be understood and receive emotional feedback unlike in any other online communication media. Every post, message or a paragraph can be enhanced with emotional notation. Using a novel interface of emotional notation users can browse 88 emotion terms in just two clicks. Emotions are color coded so it is very easy to gain a fast insight in how the post's author feels.
We lead busy lifestyles and often lean onto digital messaging to communicate every day. Emoticons became integral part of this way of communication as a tool of emotional expression. Messages without emoticons nowadays can be very easily misinterpreted and cause anxiety, because we miss a human face to receive emotional expression. Emoticons can vary from an online media to other and they are not standardized, although there are few that are omnipresent. But the main problem is that they are not complex unlike the emotions.
When it comes to feedback, “favs” and “likes” sometimes are not enough, they are not so descriptive. They don't have any deeper meaning than: “That's cool”, “It seems interesting”, “It's ok”, “I like it”, “I adore it”. But even then we can't know the intensity of a like. Also “dislike” can seem offensive...
Emotate is a try to improve how we communicate online
- Be better understood and better understand others
- Learn about emotions
- Accurate, deep and fast emotional expression
- Give and gain emotional feedback
- Read only posts connected to a certain emotion
- Track your emotions and emotions of others
- Benefits your mental health
- It can be used for micro blogging as well as regular blogging
- It can be used as a private diary
- Does not include features that make you anxious, nervous or pressed
- Enables you find posts by attached media type (website, video, sound, image)
Emotate was created as a communication media that offers a complex way for the users to express themselves emotionally. For the first time you can combine basic emotions, often represented by omnipresent emoticons, to create complex emotional expressions. It is being built with a strong desire to benefit it's users.
Even though it has all of the features of a social network it should be regarded as a social blogging platform that tasks it's users to express themselves. Posts can be completely private so it can be used as a private emotional diary.
This is your profile feed.
The main part of every profile is the “profile card” which contains all the options connected to the user's profile
Emotate can be used as micro blogging as well as regular blogging platform.
Every post can have a “status” and “details”. The status, topic or title is limited to 160 characters and emotional notation added to the post only refers to it. Pasting or typing a link into the topic field attaches desired remote media resource in a form of a picture, gif, sound, code, video or website to the post as a part of the status.
You are able to add tags into the status. @ tags for tagging people by their username, # for tagging topics and ~ for tagging Wikipedia articles. Example ~virtual_reality will tag a Virtual Reality page on English language Wikipedia. Adding a two letter language prefix and a dash will tag the same article in different language Wikipedia. Example: ~sr-virtual_reality will direct to a Serbian language Virtual Reality Wikipedia Page.
Details or a post's body, represent an infinite field for text to better describe the status, emotions and media attached to it. It is the only part of the post you can edit. You can add @ and # tags but they wont be relevant to the post, nor the users tagged wont be notified. Here you can tag $ emotion notation tags by the emotion name and intensity, which will be explained later on. Also you can use Wikipedia tags in this section.
To add the emotional notation just press the Emotate Button for the Emotate Wheel to appear around it.
Emotate Wheel is a unique interface allows you to browse 88 emotion terms in only two clicks
Emotate's emotional notation uses a unique interface called Emotate Wheel to add emotional tags. It was inspired by Plutchik's Theory of Basic and Complex Emotions and his Wheel of Emotions. The theory suggests that there are 8 basic emotions and many complex emotions that are the products of feeling more than one basic emotion at a time. As it is only a theory we saw fit to expand it and modify so we will examine the field more and offer more emotion terms.
It consists out of 8 sections representing 8 basic emotions:
Instead of 3 we use 5 levels of intensity of each basic emotion.
Combining two or more basic emotions we can create complex emotions.
There is at least one complex emotion for every combination of two basic emotions. Complex emotions created from pairing neighboring basic emotions have three levels of intensity unlike in Plutchik's model.
The expanded set uses 88 emotion terms. For the list of all the possible combinations refer to the following image. The number is not fixed and might be subjected to future modifications by the suggestions of it's users. Always feel free to suggest a complex emotional pair.
Emotions can be entered manually in each paragraph of the "details" section of the post. Manual emotional notation is performed by entering textual tags (which will be replaced by Emotate Wheel in future development). Example for creating emotional notation containing high level of joy and high level of acceptance:
$joy5 $acceptance4 $love $+
or using full emotion terms:
$ecstasy $trust $love $pleasant
There are three dimensions of each emotional notation: intensity, dominance and pleasantness.
Each of the emotions can have it's intensity, which is related to the strength we feel an emotion and is directly connected to emotional term of the same meaning. As we said before each of these 8 basic emotions has 5 levels of intensity. Derived complex emotions can also have an intensity which is related by the intensity of the basic emotions it's derived from, as explained above.
Dominance is a connected only to the basic emotions, it can, but doesn't necessarily have to be related to the intensity. User selects the dominant basic emotion by clicking on it. Dominant emotion has the main focus in the notation and therefore summarizes it. it changes the emoticon of the Emotate Button, makes the post browsable by that emotion and influences the change of the heading background to correspond to it.
Pleasantness (optional) describes if the notation causes the pleasant feeling or unpleasant. We can feel anger or disgust but feel positive about it, it might cause a pleasant feeling.
What is the difference between emotions and feelings?
You might ask. All emotions manifest themselves as feelings (we internally feel them as a state), but not all feelings are emotions.
Being hungry, sleepy, tired, in pain are feelings.
Feeling fear because you saw a dog is feeling an emotion.
We see a dog and we feel, for instance, the emotions of surprise and fear. First we need to have bad experiences with dogs in the past. Then when we understand that it is a dog, we first get surprised because we didn't expect it and then scared because we anticipate our early experiences to repeat.
Emotions are mechanisms of eight behavioral patterns concerning preserving our existential integrity. Most emotional reactions, basic and especially complex, are learned and, in a degree, conscious.
Without emotions we wouldn't have the ability to learn or be intelligent because we wouldn't have with to prioritize thoughts.
You can say I'm feeling hungry and attach the emotion of anticipation and sadness to that feeling.
Once you add a post your "heading background" changes to correspond to the dominant emotion of the post.
You can therefore add 9 different heading 1024x512 JPEG or PNG (transparency supported) backgrounds. Each background can depict you with a different expression on your face to match the emotion and give visitors a fast insight how you feel these days. Heading backgrounds can be transparent with side borders removed so you can upload your drawing to blend in with the background.
A post can contain only emotional notation!
Because sometimes there are no words to explain how we feel and emotate is all about expression! When posting, each dominant basic emotion gets stored for your emotional statistics.
Leaving emotional feedback is performed the same way as adding the emotional notation to the post.
Clicking on the post's emotate button the emotional notation creation interface similar to one when you add a post appears. Submitting the notation again changes your last notation into the new one. Also submitting empty emotional feedback deletes your last feedback if any.
Clicking on one of the feedback counters opens the relevant information listing the authors of the feedback. The emotional feedback list displays statistical view of dominant emotions submitted in a form of a chart
"Like" or "Fav" is preserved in a form of "Empathize" for expressing empathy with the post author's emotions.
It was important to preserve the fast way of saying we agree to something as an alternative or to go with the emotional notation, thus making the system flexible to suit it's users needs.
Other post's functions work as you might expect. Repost enables you to post the desired post as your own with the little flag pointing to the real author. Comments can have emotional notation and are limited to 160 characters. Adding emotional feedback on a comment or empathizing it will come in the future. Also replying to comments will follow.
All of the crucial features of a social blog are developed. The project is currently in a closed alpha phase.
Emotate contains many features not mentioned in the previous chapter. It would take much more text to describe them all so we will leave you something to discover for yourself. We tried to innovate almost every possible segment of this system.
Here is a short list of current features with the dates implemented:
May-June 2012. Intensive research, First software design of the system defined, Logo designed, First profile graphical desing, Emotion wheel functionalyty, simple profile and posting.
July-Sept 2012. Development of media attachments in posts
Feb-March 2013. Emotate wheel functionality refactored
Sept-Nov 2013. Project orientation changes from social network to social blog and journal. Second and final definition of the software domain. New software design to meet the new orientation of the system. Old UI designs refactored, old still usable code polished. Reply and emotate user interfaces designed. Note edit functionality developed with tag recognition. Categorization UI developed.
Feb-April 2014. Settings designed and previously developed formality form automation framework refactored and polished. Alpha "take 1" being developed.
11. April 2014. Alpha "take 1" released to close circle of friends for heuristic evaluation. Profiles and public post's available to open public.
11. June 2014. Hashtags
- Global trending hashtags
- Personal trending hashtags
11. June 2014. Multimedia post embeds!
- Image uploading (JPEG, PNG, GIF)
- External image embeding
- Animated GIF support
- Website embeding
- Video: Youtube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Flickr
- Sound: Soundcloud
- Image: Flickr, Instagram
29. June 2014. Post comments
- User emotional statistics with graph
- User tagging
- Persistent session and advanced session management
13. October 2014. Following, Followers and user Groups
- Password reset
- Complete registration
- Persistent session and advanced session management
Missing features like Private Messages, simple tweaks and functionalities
- Emotate on comment
- Empathize on comment
- Facebook and twitter autopost
- Infinite scroll feeds
- Email notifications
- Change email
- Report a post
- Post bookmarks feed
- Feedback system
- Private single recipient Messages
- Realtime notifications
- Bugfixes and UI polishing
- Minor optimizations and refactors
Bold tasks are almost finished and will be delivered right after the Christmas holidays!
For iOS, Android and Windows Phone, and many others. First it will be designed as a mobile website then packed in PhoneGap. Considering the funds we receive on this kickstarter campaign we might make native apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Mobile application is already being designed as a paper prototype. Design differs of the one on the website and it is more adapted to mobile screens and use by one finger. Finalization of the design and start of development might be in May 2015. Don't hold my word for it, this is the most optimistic prognosis.
Other bigger improvements and features (from January 2016)
- Localization (French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Swedish Greek, Serbo-Croatian will be the few first languages introduced)
- Realtime Private multiple recipient Messages
- Location tagging
- Improved search
- Event posts
- Emotate button for websites
- Big data optimization and a big refactor
- Mobile application testing and optimization
- Other innovative features that will remain a secret for now
Wearable emotional device and/or a smart watch application.
More about it in the next dedicated kickstarter.
The dates may seem to distant and this is because we are a very small team of two, with occasional help from few others. Funds will help us speed the development and include more people in the process.
Emotate is a part of one bigger more complex idea that will remain a secret for now, because the time to develop that idea might be even 10 years or more. As much as I am passionate about it, it might just be science fiction.
Emotate is being developed since 15. April 2012. and it is a result of six years active thinking and designing projects that lead to it.
Here are few pictures from my notebooks dedicated to the design of emotate. During my first year of high school my biology prof. saw my notebook and said: "Omg, it's so confusing! That's how it is in your head!" She was right, sorry about that...
In 2011. I finally became an adult by realizing that life is not always as you wish it to be. I had a serious dream and a few complex projects that fell apart and reality slapped me in the face hard. For the first time in my life I really felt helpless and slowly drifted into depression. That summer everyone went for a holiday and I stayed alone in the apartment. I felt a strong need to express how I feel but I didn't know how, the words were just not enough. I used to post a sad song or a status and people were liking it. I could guess what it meant but it really didn't give me any valuable feedback that I was seeking. That summer, so I thought, was the hardest I ever experienced, and I believed that nothing can go more wrong. I was so wrong about that.
After dragging myself for months, laying in bed and staring at the ceiling, trying to write the final paper for my Software Engineering Bachelor's, I got the idea for Emotate. On April 15th 2012. I pitched the idea to my close friends and after getting a positive feedback my dear friend Maletic Marko (that I know since high school) and me went to his summerhouse to close ourselves and try to develop the prototype. He was to do the backend and I was doing the frontend, design and engineering. In May 2012 the first, very buggy, features were developed: authorization, user profile, the emotional wheel and the ability to post.
After May, we also needed to get our bachelor degrees (pressure from our families) and we started working on that, leaving Emotate behind. We graduated in the first quarter of 2013.
Very soon after Facebook declared feelings. I personally got so discouraged by it for several months. Back then I also started my Software Engineering Master's.
That summer of 2012. I met and started a relationship with a beautiful girl in Greece who is now my fiance.
I had to start freelancing hard to earn money to see her and keep the relationship alive, because she was still studying. Marko had to freelance also because his father's company wasn't doing well in that period and he was pressed to earn money. We teamed up for a several projects to earn the money and left Emotate frozen for almost a year.
Also that summer my grandfather's Alzheimer's started progressing fast. And since I live with my grandparents, my finances got reduced and I spent time helping around my grandfather whenever I could. I also suffer from a rare syndrome and I'm in need of “not so pricey” therapy, which is a constant bummer. So if my grandfather dies I will not be stable financially and I would need to find a job which would mean again leaving Emotate behind for several months.
Summer of 2013 Because of his health issues and financial instability Marko decided to find a job.
I couldn't stop feeling responsible for not finishing Emotate, it was bothering me all that time it was frozen. Every time I freelanced a site I had a feeling that money is not important, that this time could be dedicated to Emotate. I was starting to become seriously unhappy.
In September 2013. I decided to leave everything, stop caring about money and unfinished Master's, and dedicate myself completely to Emotate. I borrowed money to go to see my fiance and get my therapy, and worked every minute I could. My friend contributed as much as he could, with the time and money.
2014. was a harsh year of constant development, so will the 2015. Much like any other before, but this time only, and only of Emotate. I was getting interesting job offers from time to time which I refused.
My fiance moved to France to study for Master's for a year to leave me the space to work on Emotate.
In October 2014. we joined a startup hub in hope to slowly finish the first version of Emotate and display it to the world. .
It was a hard fight to get even this far. To tell you the truth it's not so hard as it seems, when you accept the circumstances nothing is. I really believe now that things can get worse so I don't hate my situation. I just hate the though that Emotate will be left behind. And after all this isn't about my friend or me.
This kickstarter is raised so Emotate can have a chance to shine.
Your generously donated money will be used to fund the development of Emotate!
As you can see, future development is a long way that spans into more than two years. To tell you the truth 10 000$ pledge is low for the project of this size and complexity, and will be enough only to cover completing only few development milestones. But we are in big need of all the funds we can get, and thankful for every dollar you can spare.
The biggest part of the pledge will be used for the needs of hosting.
Most of the funding should be directed to the optimizations for big data and development of the mobile application because they are the most complex and crucial.
The amount of the funds we receive here will influence the final product in the speed of delivery and quality of service.
Thank you for your attention! Donating or not please do us a big favor and share this project on your social media!
We are thankful for every donation, no matter how small it is we promise we will make good use of it.
All of the backers will be free of any advertisements system might include in the future.
We are sorry that we don't have much to offer for the rewards but it is just the nature of the product. We hope you find rewards interesting, they are from the heart dedicated to you!
Thanks to all of the friends who morally supported this idea and who believe in it!
Thanks to Natasha Ivanovic for being a cool friend and enabling us to open this kickstarter!
Thanks to Dimitrije Cvetkovic, a really hard working sound engineer, for taking the time to give advice for the video and for providing one of his wonderful compositions http://plavotkivo.bandcamp.com/
Risks and challenges
1 - Different cultures have different emotional expressions. It will be a serious study to adapt the emotion notation system to other languages, especially for Asian language families. It may result in different emotion wheels for different languages, like with reduced number of intensities and complex emotions. Now it is adapted only to English, which means that it wont be a problem to adapting it to other Germanic languages, as well as Italic, Hellenic and Balto-Slavic language groups. Luckily we happen to know few extremely good linguists and personally I have a big interest in language history. We hope that this project will bring the classification and grounding of the theory of emotions worldwide. It will be a scientific delight.
2 - Big data! If emotate gains a lot of users it will have a big impact on the backed infrastructure and might result in temporal removal of some parts of the sidebar that enable filtering the posts. There are several strategies that are applicable to this situation. You'll have to trust me, I'm an engineer! To put the joke on the side, my colleague on this project Maletic Marko is Information System Engineer, I am a Software Engineer, and we happen to know and hang out with a great guy, a master in esoteric programming techniques, Nemanja Stojanovic.
This project is finished to a certain functional degree, so this is really not a concern. There is 100% certainty that it will be published in one shape or the other. The desire to finish this project, in the way I envisioned it, goes to extremes. I am extremely passionate about it, and I hope we share the same passion!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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