Let me jump right in, it sure has taken long enough … So, ‘Last.fm,’ my chosen media platform. Having only heard about this source a few weeks ago, I thought it appropriate to do my research and create an account before I began droning endlessly about how it works and what it aims to provide. It is now more or less the equivalent of ‘Facebook’ for musicians and those who fan them, however, its excessive variety of genre and substantial social networking properties were not always so, and it is this additive that serviced Last.fm’s most recent “claim to fame.” http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2341738,00.asp
There were over 51 million users in 2012, up from 45 million in 2011 and 26 million in 2010. Numbers are soaring, and will certainly continue to do so as the platform now provides access through mobile phone apps and Xbox connection, syncs to any media player and follows a number of popular and unheard of radio stations. Last.fm also allows for users to completely personalise their own profiles, even providing an ‘about me’ segment, something ‘Spotify’ is often criticised for lacking. It also incorporates collective intelligence through the ‘unclaimed artists’ pages – set up almost like a wiki – aiming to promote a user involved, online community as a means of gathering information.
The feature of ‘mutual bands’ is, in my opinion, one of platform’s cleverest collaborations. Acting in a similar manner to ‘Facebook’s’ ‘mutual friends’ format, recommending people with similar tastes in music to that of your own, to become friends. This is integrated with a ‘recommended artists’ section, which draws upon artists with similarities to those you have previously, and are currently listening to, and deems them compatible to your personal library. Referenced in Mark Federman’s article ‘What is the meaning of The Medium is the Message’ Marshall McLuhan stated that “the person and social consequences of any medium – that is any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.” (McLuhan, 1964, p.7) In terms of Last.fm, it acts as a medium endorsing popularity for any and every type of musician/s, extending its intended message (which in this case are musical compilations) as far and as wide as the social network will take them. Acting as a technological extension of the artists themselves, which is excellent considering this is a free source of exceptionally widespread and ongoing advertising and marketing, not to mention a constant generation of harmonious variety. You go Last.fm.
Yes! I am actually making sense of all this, hopefully your attention span dwindled slowly enough to make it to the end, but if it didn’t don’t worry; my next post will be a tad more lively!