Last.fm is brilliant but today I saw something scary.

I’ve been listening to www.last.fm a lot recently. I’ve discovered some great new bands and spent many hours reminiscing over the tracks that got me energetically through my teenage years. If you don’t know it already, last.fm is bascially a social networking site that revolves around listening to and discovering new music. You should check it out now. Type in the name of a band you like and find new music like it. last.fm

Anyway, the reason for the post is that last.fm scared the hell out of me today with some of it’s data…

I used to be in a band but I left the band when I was 20. By the time I left the band, we were musically pretty sound. We had recorded and gigged a lot and I was very proud of what we had done. However, we started this band when we were very young (about 13) and we were pretty forward thinking for 13 year olds. We managed to wrangle some recording time to produce a number of demos on various tapes and CDs that we sold for £1 a go with album covers printed in my bedroom. We were very proud at the time, but looking back, they must be pretty scary to listen to.

I had always assumed that these old recordings were safely swallowed up into the abyss of things that time forgot, but last.fm has proved me otherwise.

In the last 6 months people have listened to tracks from every one of our teenage releases! See the statistics here . I don’t even have copies of this stuff anymore but someone has it in their playlist, on their computer and actually listened to it recently. Too scary…

When I made those recordings the world was a different place. I would have loved last.fm when I was discovering music for the first time and I wonder how these sites will change music discovery for the future music makers of the world. My version of last.fm came in the form of a record shop wonderfully called “Heaven sent records”. If they stocked it, it must be cool. So it was safe to by anything from there; espeically if I had seen the band’s name written in tipex on the school bags of the cool kids 🙂

Heaven Sent Records is no longer there, but I’m happy with last.fm for now.

Pinning an idea to a page

The art of documenting an idea.

Ideas start in your head. Ideas are fluid, shape-shifting and often delicate things. If you nudge them the wrong way they can be lost forever. If you leave them in your head, they will grow, shrink, distort, morph and transform. Sometimes they will develop and evolve, sometimes they will get cloudy, sometimes they will shrink and whither.

When you document an idea, you pin-down (or pen down) that shape-shifting form. Every word that you write, takes a corner or strand of the idea and pins it to the page on which you are writing. As you work your way through your idea, word-by-word, you continue to fix that shape to the page until it becomes a solid form. You might move the pins around, you might adjust the shape slightly, but basically, it’s there, and now your idea wont be lost.

The skill is knowing when to let the ideas float around in your head, and when to say, “that’s it” and document your idea as quickly and as clearly as possible. If you can get to grips with this you can make the most of your ideas.

Redirection of mail

Wouldn’t it be confusing if you bought a house from someone who shared your name?

If John Smith setup a postal redirect for all his mail, then the other John Smith who is buying the house would lose his post to the redirect system. It could get very messy!

This must have happened to someone somewhere.

Google Trends – Birthday

If your birthday is near to Christmas, you probably always thought that people were forgetting your special day – but here is proof that it really is true. You’re not imagining it and it’s not in your head. People are less interested in birthdays as Christmas approaches.