I binge on music via Spotify and Last FM, binge view my way through TV Boxsets on NetFlix and Info binge from hundreds of websites via content discovery apps like Flipboard and Pulse so I guess it’s of no surprise that LastFM founders Felix Miller and Martin Stiksel have created Lumi which a content discovery app that feeds you interesting content that you probably would have never found based on your past browsing history.
Martin Stiksel advised that users are not interested in being bombarded with details of what their friends were doing but wanted recommendations based on their own interests, reflected in their past browsing.
Whilst every new start up continues the obsession of sharing content, it’s hard to believe that only now are people realising that most people really don’t care what everyone else is doing and have their own unique interests, and this is where Lumi really excels.
Martin told the Next Web “‘I’ve been browsing the Web for 15 years and I have no benefit from that. I have a few bookmarks and I’ve learnt how to write a good Google query but that’s it – all this knowledge I’ve produced, all these choices I’ve made, they all disappear into the ether”
“No one allows users to put their browsing history to work,” Stiksel told Mashable. “That idea just proved so strong that we came back from retirement.”
No filling in forms, subscribing to topics you might like, everything you see is based on content you have viewed in the past, and the more you browse the more Lumi understands what makes you tick. Lumi also lets you save interesting content in a similar way to Pinterest or Flipboards magazines feature.
Every song I have listened to on Spotify, iTunes and even You Tube is recorded onto my Last FM profile where over 57,000 listens have been recorded and stacked into my very own personal music chart. Based on my listening habits it can tell me exactly what kind of music I will like too but this reminds me of an Interview with Noel Gallagher last year where he warned that being spoon-fed what you like is not as good as it initially sounds.
Noel said “The rules of the game have changed. Albums are made by committee and focus groups. The consumer has become all more powerful now… the consumer is king. So, the consumer gets what he wants. But as I understand it, the consumer didn’t want fucking Jimmy Hendrix, but they got him. And it changed the world. And the consumers didn’t want ‘Sgt. Peppers’, but they got it… and they didn’t want the Sex Pistols but they got it. And now there’s an attitude in the music business that like ‘well, let’s keep the consumer happy because that’s what makes the music business go ’round.’ And who suffers is the artist, not me. We’ve been in it for a while. But new artists have to put up with all sorts of nonsense.”
It then occurred to me that everywhere I turn websites are giving me more of what I want, but is this really a good thing? Spotify and LastFM give me the music that I will like, NetFlix gives me more films, TV and documentaries that I will like based on my past viewing. Even Amazon will do its best to tell me to buy more similar things to what I have brought in the past.
Now Lumi will only show me websites that it thinks I will like which although it certainly cuts down on the noise of the internet, am I creating my own form of media isolation? A utopia where I am only ever given things that I will like may sound like heaven but am I really reinforcing my own current opinions and thoughts, whilst closing my mind from anything different from the norm?
With this is mind, I will continue to utilise these tools as a guideline for everything I love in life, but I will making a conscious effort to seek out alternative, new and exciting media that I wouldn’t normally do to avoid a future where everything is the same.
Maybe Damon put it best when he sang “Yes the universal’s here, here for everyone” and you know what? It really, really, really could happen.
Despite my initial concerns, Lumi is proving unique and interesting content to me without any effort required from myself and that can’t be all bad.