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Taste Tribes

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  Messages 14-13 deleted by author between 07-22-2006 09:26 AM and 07-21-2006 08:57 AM
03:30 PM ET (US)
re>>And wouldn't it ultimately be better if the producers of pop culture were able to work with their consumers, rather than against them?

A friend was telling me yesterday about the novelist James Patterson, I think (I don't read fiction at all, so I'm pretty undependable about the facts on this) doing focus-group-style testing to discover what his readers wanted in a novel, & then giving it to them, all the way up the NYT best sellers list.

Hmm, uh. I can't help but think this would have to be a lousy way to write a book, and an awful life to live, shilling it. But maybe I'm just hung up on the specialness of the art object or something.

But I don't think making something can be a for-or-against proposition. The online taste tribes, or offline tribes for that matter, may be great at finding cool stuff. But predicting coolness? I have my doubts.

The practical and ethical untenability of predicting future cool is part of what Gibson is working in his latest book.
06:08 PM ET (US)
Saw this article via www.reason.com which has a link to it from a writer whose tastes I know and trust -- sound familiar...? Article hit home, put words to what I have found both in politics and culture -- thanks, and thanks for all the cool links, I think we are at least partially in the same taste tribe or something
01:16 AM ET (US)
The quote (both in the movie and in Nick Hornby's novel) was, more or less,"what really matters is not what you're like, but what you like," and it struck a chord with me as well. Good essay!
I recently found a website, listsofbests.com, that asks you to check off books, movies, and albums you have enjoyed, and compare your lists with those of other posters. Fun, but it made me wonder whose tastes were most like mine and whose were most different. It wouldn't be that hard to collate any two persons' lists and come up with a number that expresses how closely their tastes match, say on a scale of -1 (How can you stand that crap?) to +1 (Where have you been all my life?). Much more useful than trying to read a stranger's T-shirt, which she may be wearing ironically anyway.
08:10 PM ET (US)
I wrote a perl script to determine your "taste compatibility" with another person. It's pretty obvious, straightforward stuff, but might be pertinent.

info: http://stevenf.com/mt/archives/000285.php
08:36 AM ET (US)

One more. The best tastetribe I know is http://ilx.wh3rd.net/newanswers.php?board=1 .

All taste is knowledge, knowledge is culture.

08:28 AM ET (US)
Hi Josh,

I found your taste piece via Uffish.

Very well put. The internet, as the first truly global medium, opens up possibilities for international tastemakers.

Ideally, taste tribes should find themselves on- and offline.

Currently, Gilles Peterson is billed as an international tastemaker (DJ, compiler of cds, radio programme broadcast over air and onto the net).

Another likely candidate is Radio Nova (http://www.novaplanet.com) an airwave radiostation in five french cities, who publish their taste in music onto cd and who broadcast online too.

Taste is a big upcoming theme.

06:03 PM ET (US)
Good article, Josh. I'm a musician and writer, too, and you should check out Of Montreal if you like psychedelic, fractured, beatle-based pop.
06:01 PM ET (US)
I think it all started (taste tribes, that is) when we were looking for new things to eat after the large, migratory herds of animals kind of died off. Do you like fish? Me too. You might like this berry, too. Mmmm. Have you tried the ant? I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with the tribe thing and Reinhold's theories about the internet connecting people in such a way. What I'm also saying is that it is basic need to identify with someone else and perhaps share a meal of fish, berries, and ants with them so you don't have to sit under the stars alone munching on something you used to like but that you've had too much of lately.
05:23 AM ET (US)
Er, 25. High school dropout with a GED. Half-semester of college before I dropped out to write for MONDO 2000.

But thanks, Jeff. You certainly brightened my day. :-)
Edited 05-29-2003 05:23 AM
JS Rodriguez
06:04 PM ET (US)
So you're saying Peter Gabriel ISN'T a "suburban white guy with a Spock haircut"?? Have you SEEN Peter Gabriel since he quit playing "Rael" in Genesis? Just curious...
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
01:48 PM ET (US)
Very eloqently put. This fits perfectly with something I've proposed over at http://mediagora.com - a way to build a new marketplace in digital media to ensure that taste tribes can easily fund Creators of works like this.
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