Thursday, December 15, 2011

The perfect social network

...is not Google+. Har Har. ;P

Years after the party ended, and everybody had left, I joined Last.fm back in March. It's pretty neat. It stores records of all the music that you listen to quietly in the background and gives a running commentary on your profile page. Everything is neatly categorized, and every artist (even the more obscure ones) have an artist page. It's kinda a wiki, in that it allows users to tag artists and put up descriptions. And for old time music fans, it's a place for you to discover that the kid with a nice voice you're listening to from back in '66 just died a few months ago. :/ (I personally found of about Gerry Rafferty and Alex Chilton through Last.fm comments)

But seriously, for such a small time social network, the programmers have paid enormous attention to detail. Every little stat or arrangement you can imagine is available. It's a geek's dream. For someone who's trying to build a social network of sorts, it's an eye-opener about how creative you can get with a few more lines of code. For example, you can look at someone's library, go to an artist, and go to a particular album by that artist and look at their listening trends on that, like so:

The title track is amazing. And too short. :/

And Last.fm doesn't pretend to be something it's not. It's not Facebook pretending to be Twitter, or Google pretending to be social (don't kick me off G+, Sergey and Larry!). It's always been about the music. And they say the best way to discover good music is to look through someone else's library, and Last.fm allows you to do that in every way you can think of, without being an annoying babysitter. Power to the people, yo! :)