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    Friday, December 29, 2006

    It's all about the social networking, meng

    A few weeks ago I attended a web conference in Boston. It's an annual thing, and this year focused on the emergence of the whole web 2.0 shamomo. Some of the speakers summarized the web 2.0 concept by talking about user-generated content, web services, improved interfaces and social networking. They gave numerous examples of successful sites that are participating in all of these things; Flickr,, and Google Maps, to name a few.

    When it comes to social networking, I'm surprised they didn't mention They've been doing some very interesting things lately. I've been using for about a year now and I generally thought it was neat when it first came out. Through the use of audio player plug-ins, your listening habits get sent to via a method that the company calls "scrobbling" so that others can peek at your playlists.

    I've always liked their website. It's clean, very functional and fairly customizable as it lets you rearrange parts of your dashboard just how you like it. But last night I discovered that has released a more dynamic application aptly called They say "with on your computer you can scrobble your tracks, share your music taste, listen to personalized radio streams, and discover new music and people." Sure, it does all of this but the interface it has is quite ingenious.

    I'm taken by its online radio features and the ability to share preferences with your friends. Through the use of tag clouds you can hone in on a particular station by artist or genre. If you're not interested in streaming radio, there's a tab that renders information about what you're currently listening to using Winamp, iTunes, Windows Media Player, or whatever your weapon of choice. then takes things the next step by allowing you to tag music you're listening to, recommend a song to another user, mark songs if you love them or want to ban them, and more.

    All of these features let you dig into the music further. The application connects your current song with tags, similar artists, and top listeners on So from there you can dive into the site deeper for more music. It's a great way to discover new artists and new songs from the artists you love.

    I know there's similar stuff out there like Pandora and Musicovery, but I'm just impressed with the route that has taken with their application. They went from a neat concept to something much more. It'll be interesting to see where they go next.

    [UPDATE: And of course, like every other website, has a badge you can stick on your site.]

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