Muito pertinente o comentário da Fernanda Bruno sobre o texto Music Scrobbling as Panopticism of Taste que tenta analisar o scrobbling do last.fm enquanto uma tecnologia de vigilância. Inclusive eu já havia apontado bem de leve uma suposta acusão de monitoramento no post Last.fm, o delator? em que discuti brevemente a polêmica entre o TechCrunch e o Last acerca de entrega de dados dos usuários. Mas realmente, como apontou Fernanda, o argumento do autor do texto é bem fraco e não dá conta da complexidades de práticas culturais dos sistemas de recomendação estabelecendo uma metáfora superficial. Ainda mais no que diz respeito à constituição do “gosto musical” através das noções de gênero (fatores discutidos no artigo que a Simone de Sá apresentou na Compós desse ano) e suas implicações sociais e subculturais (que debati em um artigo lá de 2007).
Para maiores discussões sobre esse assunto, em breve participarei do painel Last.fm – Friendship, Recommendation and Consumption on a Music-Based Social Network Site organizado por mim e com as ilustres presenças de Simone Sá (BRA), Nancy Baym (EUA) e Marjorie Kibbie (AUS) promete várias discussões e será apresentado dia 8 de Outubro na IR 10.0 Internet Critical em Milwaukee. Abaixo segue o abstract do que abordaremos no painel.
Panel on Last.fm
The constant observation on the intermeshing of online and offline exchanges have redefined the discussions and critical theories about many aspects of everyday practices in terms of participation, politics, consumption , lifestyles and so on. “Scholars from disparate fields have examined SNSs in order to understand the practices, implications, culture, and meaning of the sites, as well as users’ engagement with them” (Boyd & Ellison, 2007).
Due to the intense popularization of the Social Network Sites from the 1990s up to now, we have different trends of uses such as the segmentation in terms of niches of “taste” and lifestyles, targeting specic groups of users or subcultures like plataforms for fashion, professional interests, domestic animals, movies, music among many others.
This panel proposal is focused on uses, critics and interactions of users in one of the biggest Music-Based Social Networks Site, Last.fm, proposed by 3 researchers and a respondent. Last.fm was founded in 2002 in England, even though their official launch have been only in 2003. In 2007, it was bought by CBS Corporation for US$280 million. The site is available in 12 languages and according to recent numbers released by the company, it streams music from a licensed catalog of more than 65 million songs with 21 million users. It has emerged as one of the major players on the business of music multi-plataforms on the web.
Last.fm is based on music sharing and recommendation and it features lots of applications such as personal radio stations, charts, social tagging and indexation of music files by its users that create a wide database about artists and music genres. “Each registered user has a profile which displays the most recent songs they have played, and regularly updated charts of their top artists and songs. Users have limited ability to personalize their profiles beyond this – they can select their user picture, write their own content for the “about me” section, create a playlist for others, and create radio stations by tagging music”. (Baym & Ledbetter, 2008).
The main purpose of this panel is to discuss different kinds of investigations about Last.fm in a broader context that considers the theories about Social Network Sites as also the role of the music experience in its online and offline interactions. The panel also addresses to multiple aspects like demographic datas, national contexts, perspectives, theoretical frameworks (communication, sociological and cultural studies) and methodologies that intersect the critical studies of technological and cultural artifacts. In this proposal we address our criticals basically to three emerging aspects of this specific SNS:
1)the variety of ties, friendships and the role of music in each of these relationship types. The term “friendship” covers a variety of motivations from simply collecting people in order to enlarge one’s list to intimate relationships conducted through multiple media. The combination of quantitative data with the qualitative analysis of the users’ voices provides a typology of of kinds of relationships on Last.fm;
2) the relations between genre, taste and symbolic capital on the musical experience that happens through the interactions between users of this kind of recommendation system, considering them as a class of mediators. From Bourdieu’s theory of Taste and Latour’s discussion on delegation and distributed activities, a set of implicated issues will be considered about Last.fm’s classification logic;
3) the consumption practices and uses of musical user-generated content and its cultural appropriations by brazilian users at Last.fm. The relation between folksonomy and social tagging practices as visualization modes of consumption. Collecting and organizing music information through tags are considered as a kind of knowledge legitimization in the creative process of tagging tunes.