February 8, 2006

Pandora vs. Last FM: extensions of man & the order of things ...

... the discussion, best starting points (for me) on techcrunch, including the comments, and here on mashable.

via preoccupations, again, as nearly always nowadays. since i have subscribed to the whole feed, including del.icio.us, i wonder if this really feels like an extension of my mind (web 2.0 mysticism ...) or if i have become something like an appendix of this blog. David is covering such an incredible range of my corner of the blogosphere ...

not completely off topic, because this is somehow the way it feels like hearing Pandora, or Last FM, "radio":
media as extension of man.

Pandora vs. Last FM? instinctively, i'd always say Pandora. and thinking of it, i find this significant. Steve Krause calls this "nature vs nurture":

"Taking the nature side, Pandora's recommendations are based on the inherent qualities of the music. ... Pandora likes to call these musical attributes "genes" and its database of songs, classified against hundreds of such attributes, the 'Music Genome Project.' On the nurture side (as in, it's all about the people around you), Last.fm is a social recommender." by the way, here is the blog of Pandora's CTO.

i'd call this: semantic vs. social. and instinctively i'm always for the semantic side, which is invariably the minority position. the social romanticists see Pandora as a inhuman machine (= Web 1.0), in opposition to the warm feeling of a community of taste (= Web 2.0). ok, i always look first at the records of my friends, but at the end i'm interested in taste patterns (semantic patterns). i see social software as a powerful way of creating meaning, and not so much as a way of making friends (though nothing is wrong with that). in practice, the borders between both approaches are obviously blurred, but the rhetorics surely are not.

what the "Pandora is Orwell" fraction does not seem to see, ist the fascination of tuning yourself to something like "abstract taste structures". it's not like struggling with a despotic HAL, for me it is more like a permanent research in, well, not the "genom" ( i don't like biologism at all), but in culture's seme-structure. i don't want recommendations. i want abstract adventures. (and making friends is a by-product of being on the same mission.)

by the way, i can't see why Pandora couldn't integrate abstract "social" data - as far as i know, the interaction of users could well be fed back into the taste machine. not like an Amazon recommendation, but more like Matthew Chalmers' path model: looking for "the order of things".

blogging soundtrack: bayerischer rundfunk live stream, New Orleans music in exile (Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Irma Thomas ... insanely great stuff.)

Posted by martin at February 8, 2006 11:25 PM | TrackBack
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