I am nobody's little snowflake lets you see your 'neighbours,' people whose music tastes are similar to yours. I've been fascinated by this list for a long time, and have taken to reading through the favored artists of each 'neighbour' to see if they already knew of artists or groups that I should be listening to.

It's actually worked. I first encountered Snow Patrol through a neighbour, and Adam's recommendation clinched it. (Though that's perhaps a misleading statement, because Adam and I trade music recommendations so often that he's been a regular on my neighbours list for some time now.)

It hit me, though: for the most part, neighbours were always slice-of-life snapshots of similarity. Single notes, if you will. If you picture a person's music taste as a chord of notes, then can we all agree to beat this metaphor into the ground and say that most of the people on the neighbours list had musical tastes that matched only a note or two in my chord.

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love is an open data format

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, and by that I mean "this doesn't have anything to do with Valentine's Day," I present something I love:

Open data formats.

Most of you know I've been logging my listening habits over at for several years now. Some time ago, a nifty gentleman wrote a set of scripts (available at to generate a visual representation of a single user's listening habits over time.

My ears, circa 2005.  Steady listening throughout the year with a major spike in late summer as I prepared a big code release for tech staff.

(Next year -- see graph for 2006)

(Stats recorded at and generated through the nifty service at lastgraph)2005: listening

My ears, circa 2006.  Large code projects in the spring, followed by trips in the early summer, a new job in the fall, and an enormous spike in the winter as the enormity of my task hit me.

(Before and after -- see graphs for 2005 and 2007)

(Stats recorded at and generated through the nifty service at lastgraph)2006: listening

My ears, circa 2007.  Follow along:  big project early in the year, lots of meetings in the summer, vacations in October and December, followed by a sharp spike in workload in January 2008.

(Before and after -- see graphs for 2006 and 2008)

(Stats recorded at and generated through the nifty service at lastgraph)2007: listening

I think I have earlier data saved on files at home, but I'll have to check. Clicking on the files will take you to the larger versions archived on flickr.