Now this is a nice visualization. Using Flash, (as so many do) and a music relational database to offer a representation of similar artists to the one you type in. Clear, easy to use and quite useful, taking the mindmap concept, and merging it with search interaction and framed contextually in the realm of musical tastes. Why is it that music works so well in the social networking scene? Could it be the established and fairly understood genres? (categories). The explosive growth of the musical collections, their portability and capability to bring people together? The latest fad of podcasting, (everybody has one!) is going even a step further, freeing ones music from the confines of the harddrive. Musical tastes seem to be an excellent way to assess another person ‘relatedness’ and in social networking this is key.
It just seems like all the best YASNS (yet another social networking site) I have experienced in the past six months are all somehow related to music. (can you say last.fm?) I suppose it is not surprising as the grandaddy of online social networks was Napster. As for myself, I have to say I am more and more inclined to ditch my own collection of MP3’s altogether. A good 75% of my music listening these days is done through last.fm. Of course it is nice to have the files on your own hard drive for those days when the internet is wonky, but I am finding even the time it takes to CHOOSE what to listen to is enough to send me running back to my personalized online profile. Serendipty rules all.