Every new beta web program is obviously about sharing, and sharing everything you can. Mostly pictures and videos, but the creators think, the more options the more members. Which is not neccessarily true. The more options, the more intimidating. Cause not everyone blogs, makes videos and takes pictures. And, we already have sites that let us share videos, blogs, and at least one track - our trusty existing online communities. And these communities have the added benefit of housing all of our friends. So why would we care to join another online group giving us the same options. We want to specialize. We want an online space where, if we are going to branch away from our friend networks and share with strangers, we can share with those we know care.
Surprisingly, few of the numerous sharing beta's poping up concentrate on music sharing. Well, not surprisingly, everyone is scared of the big bad music industry. A few counter culture content sharing sites, Bolt.com and Buzznet.com have chosen to give their members the option of music sharing, but the music tabs are hidden and used only by die-hard fans (which these sites have few) and the music is all record label sponsored big name bands. HypeMachine gives us the music of our peers, but not the access to them or the community aspect.
Along comes - uplayme.com. You log on, and your Itunes list is shared. (sounds suspiciously like our old dear friend Napster) but the added benefit is that the program links you to other people listening to the same music - shows you their myspace pages, and lets you chat. So it gets to that focused sharing idea, hitting a cord with kids who think they're experts.
How much people want to talk to strangers on online communities anymore remains to be seen. But music is a good sharing topic between strangers. There are also some privacy issues- Do I want everyone else listening to Justin Timberlake to see my MySpace profile? Maybe not. And then there is an interesting little unexplained tidbit on the site. Says that when you talk - you can share music. How exactly does this happen? Are they letting us in on a new illegal method? Just talk to people, email mp3's and it's not file sharing - it's sharing among friends? If your 'friends' then everything is ok? Online communities have totally shattered our idea of what a 'friend' is anyway. So if you connect us through our music, get us to have conversations, and then share, it's more about buzz marketing than just stealing? It's an interesting idea. As long as there's a marketing benefit - then stealing is sharing. and we've decided that sharing online is good because it leads to groups - who can, of course, be target markets.