You know what the Internet needs? Another way to tell people what music you're listening to.
No, really. There may be more services competing for your music-sharing attention than there are thinkpieces about Lana Del Rey on the Internet today. (Right now, you can link one of those streaming services to your Facebook, you can Tweet about what you're now playing, or you could share your Last.fm info, just to name a few.) But nothing we've seen yet holds quite the charm of a very simple new site called This Is My Jam.
It's simple: You post a song you're into -- your "jam" -- and it stays up for as long as a week. You can write a brief comment about it if you want. People you know (or know of) post songs they're into, and you can listen to them, comment on them, like them. You can play all the songs posted by people you're following at once, like a playlist of what your music peeps are into.
And that's it. You post a song, you listen to a song, you like a song (or not). It's not intrusive, it's easy, and it's fun. In an interview with NME, This Is My Jam founder Matthew Ogle explained that the project "grew out of a desire to try something that was the exact opposite of conventional tech wisdom; hand-curated instead of automated, slow instead of fast":
Twitter has their 140 characters, and we have "one song per person," which leads to some interesting side-effects. The service is full of obscure gems, old favorites, guilty pleasures, and new earworms, and the way the service asks you to slow down and commit to something is a key part of that.
I also think there's tremendous value in creating a dedicated music graph (as opposed to a social network that also has music); it's in your best interest to follow (or unfollow!) someone regardless of whether you're strangers or best friends. It's all about the music you're going to get from that person in your playlist of jams.
Perhaps our favorite aspect of This Is My Jam is that it forces you to pick one song, just one, that you're into right now. While that means that while the feed may not change so often (depending on how often the people you follow find a new jam), the service also doesn't bombard you with stuff you don't have time to listen to. You pick one song as what Ogle calls a "musical 'current status,'" and that's it.
The project is
still in private beta -- you need an invite to join, now open to the public! (as of Feb. 9, 2012). We're not sure where This Is My Jam will go, but so far it seems like the Internet maybe actually did need another music-sharing service.