I’m being followed. An army of algorithms is working silently behind the scenes to document my ever-changing moods.
It’s not paranoia, either: I signed up for it. The bots are my buds.
Every song I play on Spotify and Soundcloud shows up in my Facebook timeline; every MP3 or Bandcamp stream I play is listed on Last.fm.
These “scrobbles” broadcast my wide-ranging tastes to my friends and strangers alike. If I could add all my radio, LP and CD listening into the mix, I would, and my sonic portrait would be complete.
But why do I feel the need to share? It’s the same reason I became a music writer in the first place: When you hear something great, you feel the overwhelming urge to scream about it, to profess your love, to get people to listen to the things that make you feel alive.
Scrobbling is the digital equivalent of walking into a record store, producing a scroll and proceeding to read a long list of recommended jams.
Follow Christopher Porter on Last.fm: Last.fm/user/chrisporter.