The social network effect on music

Interesting post on Slashdot about how social network groups influence tastes of the members. The article’s by Bennett Haselton (the founder of The article cites a study showing that:

They also noted that in the “social influence” worlds where users could see each others’ downloads, increasing download numbers had a snowball effect that widened the difference between the successful songs and the unsuccessful.

So rather than the internet acting as a marketplace of ideas, it is a space for quickly-establishing hierarchies. But Haselton proposes an interesting (tech) solution:

For music listeners, the gist of the algorithm is: When an artist submits a new song in the alt-rock category for example, the song is distributed to a random sample of 20 users who have indicated an interest in that genre. If the average rating from those users is high enough, the song gets recommended to all of the site’s users who are interested in alt-rock. If the average rating is not high enough, then the artist receives a notification, perhaps with a list of comments from the listeners suggesting what to improve.

The entire article is dense and smart. And a nice antidote to this: The End of Music?


About Blog of the National Coalition Against Censorship

Blogging Censorship is where National Coalition Against Censorship staff weigh in on the censorship issues on their minds.
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One Response to The social network effect on music

  1. alex says:

    i disagree,censorship of music has become less common in western countries. However, the censorship of specific words considered as profanity is ordinary. Rock music
    is a common target of censors, especially because of its suggestion to sex, drugs, and booze, not to mention its impossible to read lyrics. Rock and roll has mainly been seen as a form of disloyal music for just about as long as it has existed. Because of the inference and unseen meanings linked with rock, some outdated beliefs continue to cause a difference among the residents. Rock Out Censorship, ROC is a group that strives to attain expressive freedom for all artists. But what about the bad language? I agree, it does involve in exposing your kids to bad language. But parents should teach their kid’s not to repeat what they hear in music, or TV.

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