My @sawomentech blog prompt response: Current Trend-“Social Music”.

Blog Prompt Monday Response

What current trend is most relevant and why? I’ll tackle that part of today’s prompt.

As a Campus Activities person, this is an easy question for me. Current Trend – we noticed this summer that dance parties were back. We had Late Nite programs (Yes, we spell it wrong on purpose) during Orientation and we saw that students left in a room with some snacks, loud music and “Po-Po lighting” broke out into spontaneous dancing, creating a party on the spot. This was a shocker to me, because I had not seen the like since I was in college. I couldn’t believe it.

Fast forward to the beginning of the semester when our programming board decided to bring “Big Gigantic” and “Pretty Lights” to campus. Who? They’re just DJs? So a dance party on a massive scale.

About the same time, I was given a chance to download a Zinio app which allows me to read magazines on my iPad. I got a free credit for trying it out. As I was browsing, I noticed Spin magazine had as it’s main article “The New Rave Generation”. I shouted (literally) “That’s it!” Meaning, “Raves are back, legit, and I’m not crazy!” I read through the article to find that yes, when I first got out of grad school and entered the world of Campus Activities (approx. 1999/2000) is when it was decided that dance parties weren’t as cool. This makes a lot of sense now.

Back to my point.

The music scene has some really great online resources right now. These are all fun places to hang out and learn about music, and they’ve all really just become popular recently. They all mirror this renewed trend in enjoying music together and new generation of students who “just want to dance!” – They believe that music is better with friends.

“Listening to music has always been one of those experiences that’s better together, whether at a concert or hanging out with friends. But the digital music revolution so far has been defined by a solitary experience. is bringing the social value of music to the the digital music experience by letting people experience and discover music together — live — online.”

If you didn’t know – there are eight different #sachat rooms that you can join, so you always have a room to feel like you can hang in. I’ve discovered some great new music based on what others have played, and I’ve also had some fun Fridays with colleagues around the country listening to 80′s music.

If I see a song that I like and know I’d like to listen to it again soon, I can mouse over the name of the song currently playing to find buttons that add the song to my queue, take you to the song on Amazon or iTunes, at, or in Spotify. There is also a “BUY” button next to the song name in your queue. Which brings me to Spotify.

Spotify – A world of music awaits.

Think of Spotify as your new music collection. Your library. Only this time your collection is vast: over 15 million tracks and counting. Spotify comes in all shapes and size, available for your PC, Mac, home audio system and cell phone. Wherever you go, your music follows you.

And because the music plays live, there’s no need to wait for downloads and no big dent in your hard drive.

Sharing music made easy

Thanks to Spotify, it’s now easier than ever to share music. You’re free to share everything you listen to on Spotify with your friends – tracks, playlists, the lot. Connect Spotify to Facebook and you’ll be sharing your favourites with friends in seconds.

Just send them a link to a track or playlist and they can listen instantly. If you like, you can also collaborate on shared playlists. Social music made simple.

I like that. “Social Music”. Again, following that trend that we had noticed on our campus. “Social Music” online and on campus is definitely ‘in’. I can basically listen to any song I can come up with in my head with Spotify. I don’t personally pay for the “take it with you” extras – but it’s tempting sometimes.

Paste M Player

Paste magazine went online-only in September 2010, much to the chagrin of folks who grew up with the mixtape-toting mag. Now Paste has launched a new, interactive version of the print product, called mPlayer.

The beta version of mPlayer will be available for free until September of this year (after that date, the product will cost $36 for a yearly subscription). A new issue will hit the web every week, and previous issues will exist in an archive within the product.

“The mPlayer lets us do more than what we could do with print,” says Nick Purdy, Paste‘s publisher. Given the choice between print and this newest version, he says, the magazine would go with mPlayer.

Paste 2.0, at first glance, looks a lot like iTunes. You have a navigation bar on the side with the cover of that issue, along with a table of contents. To the right, you’ll find the stories, designed to look like album art. At the top of the page, you’ll find a music player that streams a selection of seven MP3s per week, which you can also download (Paste suspended its famous music sampler last year). Either link the song to the article (so that it only plays when you’re reading about the band in question), or unlink it, so that you can keep listening no matter where you roam.

I was a Paste magazine subscriber and loved the free music downloads that came with the subscription. This new way of discovering music is even more awesome ’cause now its in my browser and I can download the music if I like it.

These programs all follow this trend that we’ve noticed on our campus. “Social music”, a social dance ‘scene’, DJs.

One thought on “My @sawomentech blog prompt response: Current Trend-“Social Music”.

  1. Niki Rudolph says:

    Very interesting to think about the shifts in the student populations. Completely agree that “social” seems to be the key to it, and these new tools allow music to be much more engaging. Still haven’t got the swing of Spotify, though. ;/


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