[Air-l] last.fm group

Bruce Mason mason.bruce at gmail.com
Tue May 29 07:08:08 PDT 2007

On 28/05/07, Nancy Baym <nbaym at ku.edu> wrote:
> >For now though, I'm on a quest to scrobble lots of Queens of the Stone
> Age.
> Which leads to the point that many people seem to game the system,
> either playing lots of things they want to be seen as listening to
> whether they're listening or not, or making sure scrobbling is off
> when they listen to things that don't fit the image they want to
> project.
> Nancy
Thanks for the reference. I did once check into the "top players" of
particular groups and they seem to be playing those tracks an infeasible
number of times. As you say, there's definitely an element of gaming the
system going on. Relatedly, I wonder if we'll get a story of "so and so"
sacked/disciplined for playing unsuitable music during working hours with
their scrobbler record being used as evidence.

I think your comment about groups being used as identity badges in social
network sites might well be interesting from a folkloristic perspective. I'm
used to thinking of groups being crucibles of culture but the relationship
between identity, individual and the group seems quite complex in social
network sites. For example the playful groups on Facebook ("When this group
gets a 1000 members, Tony Blair will dance the Macarena") seem to thrive if
they look good on an individual profile. Such groups might, actually, be
thought of as artistic expression, as a sort of collaborative joke. The key
to this appears to be embedding and badges. Using badges to show membership
in groups as an aspect of identity is nothing new but it seems as though
embedding has created a new method of doing this via social software and web


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