Random Acts of Algorithms
[This is a repost of an article that originally appeared on my Svbtle blog in June 2012. I’m reposting here for posterity]
A little while back I built Fuck Yeah Spotify as an experiment in music discovery - it was designed to aggregate the top 20 tweeted Spotify albums each day.
The problem is that it doesn’t work. Well, rather it doesn’t work like I intended…
Instead, the site somehow finds a somewhat random collection of Spotify albums and posts them. It’s been doing this every day for a year and a half and I love the site dearly. It matches my intent perfectly - surfacing music I’d never otherwise have found.
This all came to a head on June 24th when the algorithms found this random collection of albums:
24th June on Fuck Yeah Spotify
Included on the list was Stuck between the devil and the blues in drop C by Kill Kasper
Jamie the front man of Kill Kasper reached out to me to ask how his album made it onto the list:
Yesterday (24th June 2012) our EP release (Stuck between the devil and the blues in drop C by Kill Kasper) ended up on your most shared list, along with the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins and Linkin park…
We only told a few mates about it, and none of us use twitter!!! We couldn’t find anything searching twitter either, so I thought I’d ask… How the fuck did we end up on your most shared list??? :))
Jamie K, confused (but very happy) front man!
In truth I had no idea but I’m glad that I was able to make him happy for one day at least. Our email exchange ended like this:
“Your broken algorithm, made my day, I’m glad you didn’t fix it :)” The least we can do is all go listen to the EP right? It’s kind of good. Check it on myspace here or on Spotify.
Celebrate the Broken, Obscure and Random Things In Life
I have no desire to “fix” my site. I like it just like it is - in the same way I loved my first radio as a kid. It didn’t work quite like I wanted but it was mine and that meant something.
I have an aversion to things that “just work” - I prefer things that I can relate to and sometimes I’m broken, obscure and irrational.
We should celebrate those things and this post is dedicated to everything that doesn’t quite work properly in this world but that we love dearly anyway.
Image credit to Matt Spangler who draws robots in human ways.
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This post was written by Tom Critchlow - blogger and independent consultant. Subscribe to join my occassional newsletter: