Yesterday was the first (hopefully of many) SanFran Music Tech Summit.  This was a gathering of musicians, producers, lawyers, radio heads, and technologists.  The summit was held at the Kabuki Hotel in Japan Town.  Kudos to Brian Zisk and the rest of the organizers for putting this all together. 

I was lucky enough to get to moderate a panel on recommendation and discovery.  The panelists included two technologists that build automated recommendation systems (Michael Troiano - matchmine, CEO and Benjamin Masse - Double V3) and two human recommender systems:  Bill Goldsmith - Radio Paradise, Founder/Coder and Balance - Main Urban Buyer, Rasputin Music.  I thought this was a great mix of panelists.  The human recommenders have a real understanding of what it takes to engage their audience.  Those of us who are trying to build automated recommenders can learn a great deal from these guys.  The panel talked about the characteristics of a good music recommendation.  Some of the observations:

Building trust is extremely important - for human-based recommenders, this trust is built up over a long period of time.  Bill talked about how his listeners over a period of days and weeks grow to trust his taste in music - they know Bill won't lead them too far astray. Similarly, Balance interacts with his customers on a weekly basis, building a relationship over a many weeks and months.  Contrast that with automated systems, Benjamin suggests that they only have 30 seconds or so to gain some level of trust with a web user before the user is ready to click onto another page. 

Bill talked about the ''Tyranny of the Bored'' - where the opinion of people who have nothing to do all day but browse the web, digg stories, tag music, and write reviews have an inordinate amount influence on our taste.  The taste and opinions of busy people, those that don't have time to spend on the social webs is not counted.

They've recorded the panels and have put them online.  The recommendation  panel is here:



Colin took some good shots of the panelists. 






Thanks for the ink, Paul, and nice job on the panel.

See you soon -


Posted by Michael Troiano on February 27, 2008 at 11:28 PM EST #

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