Thursday, April 28, 2005

Folksonomy and New Music

A few weeks ago I had a post about finding new music and I’ve mentioned Flickr several times in other posts. I found a connection between these items today.

A business site I was reading used the term “folksonomy” which I wasn’t familiar with. There is a good Wikipedia entry for the term. Folksonomy is an informal, spontaneous classification using keywords or tags. The entry immediately made me think of the Flickr site (which the article gave as an example) and how fast classification tags become popular and adopted. A couple examples include the Flickr tags of memorymap and whatsinmybag. I find both tags interesting and like browsing the related entries. My first attempt at a memory map got a surprising number of views!

The Wikipedia article on folksonomy also mentioned GenieLab as a tag example. I went to the site and found it is a music rating and recommendation service. A main function of the site is to record your ratings of music artists or groups (both good and bad), and use them to lead you to other music you might like. I did a quick test by rating about 30 groups (a mix of likes and dislikes) and then asking for recommendations. Some of the recommendations, e.g. Pere Ubu, were newer groups that I have heard (and in this case seen) and do like. That gives me confidence in the GenieLab recommendation feature. The site also makes it easy to explore these recommendations by linking to sites like Amazon, iTunes, or MSN Music that have sample recordings. If you feel lucky, you can also rely on the wisdom of crowds and find groups similar to your favorites that are liked by others. There are lots of other functions and the Genie Lab blog describes new developments and functionality.

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