Surfing for music before the big Facebook wave


The other day I've received one of those reminders called "anniversaries" on Facebook, and I've noticed that it's been 11 years since I created my Facebook account.
Driving back into memory lane I was thinking how my digital life was effectively different before the advent of the centralized social media networks we all have been using in the last decade.
At that period in time (around 2008) I was very much into music, I had quite a bit more free time, as I was still finishing my studies, and I can remember well how much I was obsessed with gathering info about new music on the internet. Trying to keep up with the various Pitchfork, Quietus or NME and also the myriad of little peculiar blogs that were populating the web was indeed a daunting task.

I was also obsessed (as always) with digital tools and with the best ways to get the most out of the exploding informational chaos that the internet had already become. My main tool at the time, likewise many people, was an RSS feeds aggregator. At first I've been using Mozilla Thunderbird which still has RSS reader functionalities nowadays but very soon I had to move to Google Reader, as it was so much better at the time and it didn't have many rivals.

I still have the .opml file (a list of websites) that I kept curating on an off for the last 12 years or more. It is now filled with a bunch of dead links that I'd probably have to remove but it is still there. It travelled from one RSS aggregator to the other to finally land into Feedly when Google closed its RSS reader for good.

Digital life was so much different. Then Facebook (and Twitter) arrived. Everybody was on there, even all the music labels and the news websites and a few of the (less obscure) blogs that I used to follow via RSS, landed on the major social media networks.

I remember that I thought at some point that it was so convenient. Finally all my interests and the things I've been chasing over the internet were all together (with my friends as well!) on the same feed.

My actual feeling about this in part may be deformed by the changes in my life's priorities, but I remember those times chasing the newest cool underground garage punk band on some blog with awkward CSS, as a much better time for my music fruition and enjoyment.

Now we've been using Spotify,Twitter and Facebook for a decade but everything feels so dull and unexciting.

What I'd like to do now that I barely use social media anymore (with the exception of Mastodon) is to get back into that musical research frenzy because the blogs are still there, new bands are always making music and the internet is still the most exciting tool to get in touch with a lot of diverse great stuff.

It looks like an age is finally closing. At least for me. And I can wake up from this long sleep that lasted 11 years and get back to were I was.

I will keep you posted.

Let's open that old RSS reader, let's rock and roll.

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