The Thommy's Happiness Index

The Thommy’s is an end-of-year music survey run by my friend Thom Gibbs that’s being going since 2001. It consists of 40 questions, primarily on the topic of music which anyone on the email thread can ‘reply all’ to and have their opinions known.

As well as being a great way to find out about new music, the Thommy’s gives its readers a chance to score their year ‘personally’ and ‘musically’ out of ten, a kind of personal year in review but summarised as you might an album .

Having some time on my hands I decided to got back as far as I could (Thommy’s VII - 2007) and extract all the data from the 262 responses submitted by 111 contributors and produce The Thommy’s Happiness Index so that we can plot our collective mood over the past seven years and way into the future.

There’s some great trends you can pick out from just this simple line graph:

  • As we’ve got older we’ve got less interested in music
  • Like the global economy we had a little dip in 08/09 but we’re getting back on track
  • Music now has less impact on our general happiness - see the big divergence

But we can also dig a little deeper and reveal:

  • Who is the happiest member of the group
  • Which year has the most perfect tens
  • Plot individual happiness, and many other things I’ve yet to think up

I’m going to make the whole data set available to anyone who participates in the Thommy’s as I’m sure there is more that can be done with it. If you’re interested, contact me via one of the old threads or get my email address off Thom.

Daniel Bower

Blogging about platform regulation: algorithms, interoperability, kill zones as well as other bits and bobs. Read about my research, or read more about me.