What do you think of our recommendations right now? We're taking a different approach to the 2 most popular paradigms: collaborative filtering on your userbase (e.g. Last.fm) or expert hand labeling (e.g. Pandora).
Instead we consider any implicit or explicit relationship between two artists expressed on the web as a data point for our recommendation engine to analyse. This could for example be that Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem were mentioned in the same review. We also incorporate data from our users' listening histories. You can see the recommendations at work on artist pages and on our Band Manager.
Our goal is to generate recommendations that harness the wisdom of the biggest crowd possible: all music lovers anywhere on the web. We're not there yet but would love to hear what you think of the first results.
A couple of thoughts/ideas:
It'd be good to have more recommendations for bands who have dates coming up. As someone wanting to see shows, I'd generally like to see at least a couple of recommendations for specific tours, as long as they're fairly relevant. Though I imagine the main issue with this is tour data, rather than recommending. Also, If I'm looking for touring bands, it doesn't seem quite right to get several recommendations for bands I know I'll never see, like Nirvana and Biggie Smalls, so maybe you could provide separate result sets for bands that are touring and bands that aren't.
Another suggestion is to have a little more randomness, or a little more tolerance for less-close matches, or different types of closeness. The results tend toward big names/popular bands, but it may be good to throw in more that are more closely related by genre/style, and less by prominence. You may even consider randomly removing some of the biggest bands from results, otherwise you end with e.g. Metallica recommended for every band when browsing around any vaguely rocky bands.
There are a couple of cases where it seems maybe you've sucked in some related but irrelevant data, and end up giving word-concept recommendations, e.g. for Underworld I got [Gods, Hades, Orpheus, Doom, Demon, Witch, Terror, Curse, Warrior, Dawn]
Of course all this depends on the user and context. A disclaimer then: I'm a huge music fan, but my comments are probably coloured by my (generally, somewhat) less mainstream tastes. Sorry to go on so much, but I'm very interested in both music and recommendations, so I'm finding it hard to stop myself. But good job, it looks to be a very useful site that I would use. I'd very much like to hear more about it, and what you plan on doing with it when this meetup happens.
We're also going to make the recommendations much more tour focused as you suggest. The goal is to really separate the signal out from the noise so you know which of the hundreds of small gigs going on are most likely to interest you.
We're also going to have user preferences for the recommendations (particularly how obscure you want them to be and whether you only want to see artists on tour. RIP B.I.G.)
Really interested to talk more at the hacker meetup. I've got a ton of emails so should be a good group.
You'll like this;
I've been in talks with a London-based investor. At the end of one of our meetings, the investor was checking his emails and pulled-up the Songkick powerpoint via an angel network they'd signed-up to! Then the following week you guys hit TechCrunch! That was pretty exciting and inspirational for me!
I'm eager to meet some fellow founders & hackers - so I've got to make OCC London and these hacker meetups...
Look forward to meeting you soon.
Gordon from Project Playfair (now hypernumbers.com) - we met at Seedcamp...
We have an alpha SDK out at the moment - we should show it to you before I head back to Scotland in a couple of weeks...
Just used Songkick - stuck in an obscure artiste and it turns out he's playing in Edinburgh 2 weeks after I get home - you seem to be serving some tasty dogfood there son...
Drop us a line at gordon blah-blah hypernumbers.com
Visas are difficult but otherwise I'd recommend moving to the Valley, or at least visiting.
How about getting together at this?
Myself and Harjeet will be there.
I want to meet hackers. The best way to do that is probably over coffee. Not in the context of someone delivering a speech.
I recently started blogging about UK start-ups at
http://davidlanger.co.uk so am also keen to hear about more hackers, entrepreneurs etc. working on stuff this side of the pond.
If anyone has the leadership ability to organize a meetup - I would be very interested.
Join out network on Facebook if you are around:
Will be hopefully moving to Cambridge at some point (that is if I don't run out of money entirely).
Would be interested how other peoples experiences have been regarding getting funding though (I haven't got that far yet).
Not really a hacker, more of a computer security consultant.
BTW, my site is www.telltrains.com
Good to see what else is going on.
I'm on twitter at http://twitter.com/helptheworld.
Two of us working on a web service that should make blogging more 'two-way' and social, as opposed to the rather one-way broadcast activity than it is at present. Hopefully it will help web-surfing be a far richer reading experience and encourage higher quality Internet conversations.
I'm based in Southampton and interested in the meetup that the Songkick guys are mooting - you could always post the details on Hacker News ?
I'd be interested in hearing about your startup, feel free to get in touch newsycATdanshubDOTcom
gordon blah-blah hypernumbers dot com
Hypernumbers.com just gone into alpha...
echion - I'm doing some research in the healthcare area for a startup and am interested in speaking to anyone involved in a hedge fund and healthcare that works with firms like Gerson Lehman Group. Do you have any suggestions for appropriate individuals or organisation in London to contact?
I'm working on an online music startup in my spare time, based in Islington.
But I understand your skepticism about the id. I've just been lurking for a while and had no need to post.