Last.fm 

Just to get in the mindset of choosing a direction for our group project, and to begin thinking about the individual project, I thought I would flesh out the concept of platform for myself once more.

Essentially, the platform is the way your project works, kind of the backbone of your relationship building, as far as I understand from our conversations in class and from Groundswell. Taking a look at Last.fm, a social networking site that focuses on music, I just want to point out some key things that the site does for users.

1. You create a profile with information that you provide, including photo, your favorite music, where you are, etc.

2. When you listen to music on your computer it is synched to the site and it uploads what you’re listening to in real time (it does this with your mp3 player as well, and updates when you plug it into your computer). This is called “scrobbling” and is the focus of the site. These songs become part of the users “radio” and can be listened to by other users.

3. You can have friends and search for strangers who have compatible taste to you, which you can see from their recent music queue and their listed favorites. You can see what they are listening to and find new music from them.

4. You can also search for band profiles, much like myspace pages, where you can listen to their latest hits.  But for the most part, only songs that are scrobbled can be listened to by other users, which means that bands don’t just upload all of their music, i.e. they must have fans who want to share their music with others.

5. Lastly, you can search for live performances in your area (or anywhere) for all bands or just those you list as favorites.

Last.fm is focused around music and finding other people and artists with similar tastes. It is a community that needs joiners to create profiles, collectors to share what they already like and find new music, and spectators to watch it all happen. The activities are working online and in real life, creating a personalized, customizable space for visitors to list their music and share it with others, and allowing users to take control in suggesting music to each other. Hopefully I can stay focused when thinking about creating individual and group social media projects.