Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Scrobble me, baby!

I have recently started using "Last.fm" - the music-based social networking site, or something like that... (I am at http://www.last.fm/user/manek43509 if you're interested...) Now, every piece of music that I listen to, either on my iPod, or on Spotify (the brilliant music-streaming service from those fabulous Scandinavian types) shows up on my Last.fm profile, for everyone to see - if they're so inclined...

This is known is "Scrobbling" - a word which ranks perhaps even above "Dongle" in a list of "Hilariously Stupid Technical Terms of the Internet Age"...

There are, of course, plenty of exciting advantages to this, which have no doubt been "blogged" (ooh, there's another for that list!) about already, far better, in all probability, than I could do... However, I'm beginning to find it slightly dangerous, also... "How?!" you ask, a look of incredulity etched upon your finely chiselled features... Well, I shall tell you - so sit up straight, and don't fidget!

It's quite simple, really - I'm at risk of becoming a total music poser... I have always had a philosophy that the only thing which should govern what songs you listen to should be whether you like them or not - if you like a band, listen to their music, if you don't like them, don't listen to them... Seems fairly straightforward, right?

I actually quite like "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley - so I do, from time-to-time, put it on, on my iPod... But now that I know everyone can see my Scrobbles - what songs I've been listening to, who my favourite artists are, etc - I've been more careful about choosing songs that will show me in a good light, in the eyes of others...

I will listen to an experimental jazz trio, for example, just so people will see the name on my Last.fm profile, and draw the conclusion that I'm an open-minded, intellectual free-thinker... (This, of course, only works with people who've never met me!)

I DO actually like experimental jazz - as much as I like big Rick A - but the point is that I'm picking this music for the wrong reasons... I'm putting what other people think of me, based on what bands I like, or seem to like, above my own, admittedly broad, music tastes... And this will never do!

And this is the social networking effect, from top-to-bottom... I make no bones about the fact that I'm a real social networking whore - with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Last.fm, 365project, and even Bebo, I'm all over that stuff like a bear on a bicycle...

And with every aspect of your life laid bare, for all to see, on the world wide web, you're naturally going to be thinking about trying to present a good image to all these people whom you assuming are scrutinising your every move, from behind their computers, at their desks in Toronto, or wherever... But you must not compromise yourself, for their sake! And neither must I...

2 comments:

Rory said...

If you want people to know what you're really like, then only listen to music you really like! But obviously you don't. It's no different from taking trouble to present yourself to the world in certain well-chosen outfits, accessories, etc. We care what people think about us, whether we think we should care or not. Mostly we think we shouldn't care at all - but we can't help ourselves. We caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaare!!

Kit Marsden said...

"We care a lot!"

How ironic...

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