Muxtape as a model for an anti-recommendation engine

Muxtape has my attention.

It’s not terribly social. It’s not much of a network.

In fact, it’s so devoid of features, there’s little to distract you from listening to music, which is what you showed up to do.

The front page of the site is dead simple: A colorful list of mixtapes to listen to, with relatively opaque usernames that offer only hints of what might be behind the link.

The front page of muxtape.com.

So, at the start, if no one sent you a link to a particular mix, you’re just free to browse the tapes, listen to anything you want, find one with a familiar band’s name in it somewhere, and you’re off.

Talk about serendipity.

So, because I’m obsessed with thinking about how to present “news” online in unconventional ways that might hold a reader’s interest a little bit longer and keep them around your site long enough to find that enterprise/investigative/database piece you worked so hard at, it occurs to me that this could work for a news site.

Yeah, a news site.  What did you think I was going to say?

So, instead of the recommendation-engine driven approach of a Digg or an Amazon or Netflix, or even network-based link firehoses like Delicious, Facebook, or Twitter, this would take a purely serendipitous approach:

A user shows up, adds 10 links to a mix, gives it a clever name, and moves on.  No bulky profiles, no following, no activity feeds; just 10 good stories, as if they were a mixtape.

Sounds like a serious timesink to me…

The good stuff is over there –>

If you prefer my tweets and shared reader bits and delicious links to the infrequent and sometimes long-winded content here at what passes for a blog, click on through from that reader of yours and take a look at the right side of your screen. (Actually, let me check that in a few browsers first… OK, we’re cool.)

You’ll find a stream of links, and some other stuff that was buried a bit lower until a few minutes ago.

Enjoy.

(Thanks to the folks at SimplePie, especially for the WordPress plugin. It. Is. Rather. Simple.)

Digg the New York Times

A few familiar social bookmarking icons can now be spotted on stories at NYTimes.com. Just look for the Share heading in the Article Tools box. Click on it, and Digg, Facebook, and Newsvine buttons drop down, along with an all-important Permalink option that issues a linkrot-proof way to blog about the story in question, no trip to the RSS feed or old Link Generator page necessary.

NYTimes.com sharing options

via TechCrunch

How would you create an online community at SJSU?

Daniel Sato, online editor of the Spartan Daily student newspaper at San Jose State University, is trying to come up with a way to let readers vote their own stories up the charts, to tackle the twin problems of there being little sense of community at SJSU (online OR off, in my opinion) and organizations constantly complaining that the school paper ignores them.

He’s talking about using Pligg to build a site where clubs and teams can essentially submit links to their own stories, and then the readers can vote on them as they please, a la Digg.

Will it work?

I’m skeptical, but then again, the first time Daniel pointed me to Digg, I wrote the site off as a bunch of losers who didn’t know anything about the stories they were voting on.

What do you think? Would you give your readers a “Submit This” button and then let them vote stories up and down a user-generated-content page?

Go tell Daniel.