Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Start The New Year

New Year's Eve is upon us and with it comes renewal. After years and years of social media on the Internet, we all have accounts on many spaces, and I am getting the vibe that getting rid of that cruft is part of renewal too. People are telling me about "friends" they want to chuck off their facebook page for only contributing white noise, blogs they want to close, accounts and services they want out of their lives.

Especially the diarists seem to be quitting. Not the people with blogs about a specific subject that have created a following over time, but the ones chronicling their lives, the regular family newsletters, that often live in extensive blog networks like LiveJournal. Turns out Facebook with its short blips and easy upload of multi-media content is filling the gap just fine, and less censorship due to Harry Potter fanfic or sales to shady Russian outfits. It's just easier to commit a short update to a one-line text box than to face the large entry field crying for a multi-line piece of writing most blogs use.

I myself have the rule that for every new account I must close an old one, and coming up is last.fm. After years of connecting it with almost every way I listen to music (iTunes, Spotify, my iPods) and thus having built up years of recommendations and a taste profile on that site, it still doesn't give me any useful recommendations except a bucket load of "similar artists" to the last 5 I listened to. Except I do not select my music primarily on artist, because 80% of everything is garbage, including the catalog of most groups, conceived as they were as album fillers to go with the two hit singles. So telling me I need to explore 80% based on liking 20% just doesn't work. And why just focus on similar artists since every modern product is a combination of artist, composer, producer, and remixer? I vastly prefer Pandora that tries to recommend by finding similar songs, not artists or groups. Alas you can't get that in the UK.

So with last.fm simply not giving me use, it has to go. I need the mental space for whatever will replace facebook. Because since every Web property lives and dies, we can be sure something will.

You closing out anything?