Sharing musical tastes online to construct identity

“. . . kickstarter users can create profile pages that list all  the campaigns they’ve contributed to.

isn’t it weird that no other web platforms that allow you to pay real world money for music allow you to do this? people voluntarily spend so much of their time trying to broadcast their taste in music via technology, and bandcamp doesn’t give you the opportunity to build a profile or let you put a widget on your facebook page listing what releases you’ve bought. and i mean that’s just like, the most basic level of functionality you could add in that area – almost all gaming platforms that i’m aware of now encourage you to create profiles/accounts that track your “achievements” within the games you play, giving you trophies or badges that “tell your story” as a gamer to anyone who cares to look. is it not clear that music fans already spend inordinate amounts of time and effort trying to figure out ways to do this? was myspace and by extension all of modern social networking not launched behind the boundless enthusiasm people seem to have for listing off bands they like on public profiles?” – Dead Girlfriends Tumblr post

I’ve been meaning to comment on this since it was posted a few weeks ago. He outlines some interesting thoughts here, especially the fact that music sites such as bandcamp don’t provide an outlet for users to display their purchases. People used to build vinyl collections in part to create their own stories—to display on shelves all the music they know about, listen to and enjoy.

In an essay published by The New Inquiry, Rob Horning writes, “Consumerism encouraged the idea that we were born unique individuals and that we could display that uniqueness to the world by buying things. This became the basis of the modern notion of authenticity, one of consumerism’s most successful and desirable products.”

Replace “consumerism” with “social media” and “buying” with “posting.”

The Internet offers so many ways to show off your musical taste. “Like” a song on Facebook. Tweet a track with the hashtag #np. Subscribe to This is My Jam. Integrate your Spotify listening habits with Facebook. Record concerts on your phone for online publication. The list goes on.

In light of our ever-growing need to assert our own stories on the Internet, it really is surprising to know there are web platforms where sharing is not so easy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: