Friends and Neighbors

We are all used to the idea of friends in social nets. It’s not entirely clear to me what a "friend" in the context of a social net is and it’s getting more confusing all the time.

But neighbors is something I can get my head around. I know what a neighbor is.

I’ve been loving the newly redesigned lately. I have 178 "friends" on and rarely, if ever, look at them.

But I have 60 musical neighbors on and I pay a lot of attention to what they are listening to. Because is about music and I care about what people who share my taste in music are listening to.

This guy whitnorris lives in Japan but has basically identical music taste to mine. So when I see that he’s been listening to a lot of the Silversun Pickups, I’ll head over to hype machine and do the same.

One thing that doesn’t do (that I know of) is give me the intersection of my friends and neighbors. Here’s a screen shot of my top six musical neighbors.


Two of my close friends (suesol and bijan) are among my top six musical neighbors. That is both amazing and cool.

If had a page where I could see my top neighborhood friends and either listen or check out what they are listening to, that might be make friending someone on more useful.

In any case, I hope that more social nets start adding other ways to categorize friends and ideally automatically the way does with neighbors. It would make the services a lot more useful.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Dhru Purohit

    Bijan always has great music uploads on his tumblr blog.

    1. fredwilson

      He sure doesI have a musical group on tumblr that I listen to and bijan is in it…

      1. bijan

        Thanks guys. Right back at ya

  2. ryankuder

    Fred, I love neighbors. You have things in common with your neighbors even if you don’t know them directly. This is true with musical neighbors as well as the people who live in your neighborhood. By finding the people you don’t know who you have some key thing in common with–be it music or main street–you are able to tap a lot of knowledge and shared wisdom. Friends are good, but when you put friends and neighbors together, you get something really valuable. I think this extends to music, restaurant recommendations, news, and most other categories of shared content or information. Thanks for the post on music as I hadn’t thought about it in that way, but it’s the same exact idea.

  3. regexp

    We are all used to the idea of friends in social nets. It’s not entirely clear to me what a “friend” in the context of a social net is and it’s getting more confusing all the time.I was always annoyed with the use of ‘friend’ as a label on social networks. The word “friend” to me has a deeper meaning in real life. If you are tagged as a ‘friend’ on social networks its really only an acquaintance with (maybe) a common interest. But since its socially unacceptable or at least awkward to categorize the people you know (or even turned down a ‘friend’ request – something I personally have no issue doing) – everyone is labeled the same. This awkwardness is being played out with facebooks new features that allow you to allow different accesses to your profile to different groups of your ‘friends’ – something I’ve observed is causing some friction in some social groups i know.

  4. kidmercury

    i think alternative classification systems of both friends and all sorts of metadata is going to be a part of how social nets compete in the future, especially as we move towards more niche social nets.

  5. bijan

    That is very cool.I haven’t listened to neighborhood radio lately on this post reminded me to do that.That’s also why I listen to your “song circle” on Tumblr.

  6. andrew

    I feel an USV investment coming on….

  7. gregorylent

    i go for an online radio station .. .. nothing social about it, but it has a couple of channels that knock me out, one is called the drone zone, perfect for working in the bugs me because if i click on a song link it only gives me 30 seconds, and that has sent me away more times than i can count.

  8. Blacknox

    Off topic, but I am very curious. I follow you on, but I was just composing an email in Gmail replying to a Disqus comment I made and that the guys at CircleDog replied back too and there was an Adwords ad for your weblog? I am just curious as to why you advertise it. Are you driving enough ad revenue to make it worth it or are you seeking traffic to publicize your firm? In addition, its always interesting to see how well gmail targets ads in some cases and how poorly in others. Here are all the ads against which you were competing. I have no idea why the Pugs are there.Dynatorch CNCHigh value low cost servo-drive CNC plasma/oxy cutting machineswww.dynatorch.comAVCA blog about venture capital, music and life in New York Cityavc.blogs.comLike Goths?Join To Create A Profile & Meet Others. Totally Freewww.GothScene.comYour Well Behaved PugLearn How To Make Your Pug Dog Happy, Healthy & Obedient!www.PugSavvy.comPersonalized Pug Tote BagPugs and Kisses Tote Bag Wide Selection of Unique Gift

    1. fredwilson

      I keep a campaign running as a way to use our portfolio company Clickable.I keep it to less than $100/month, but even so I get a huge amount ofimpressions of that adClickable is a great tool for buying and managing keyword campaigns and I’velearned a lot by using it

      1. Blacknox

        Nice. Thanks for the reply. Cool to know. I’ve never tried clickable, butwill now.Brad

  9. leafar

    Neighbors have indeed a lot more value when it comes to content. None of my friends is currently found of contemporary music or has a deeper knowledge of photography history. I can rely on neighbors to make me discover new stuff and help me digg deeper. But we need to extend that approach to all type of content.The best is indeed when friends mix with neighbors but it’s not very common.Coming back to i do have some problem with my neighbors due to a very broad range of music I am listening to and my neighbors are manly based on my rock listening. But i do love their new design. easier to browse.

  10. suesol

    strangely neither you or bijan are listed as my neighbors, but both are in the “super” compatible category.

  11. philip jacob

    We have the same concept (albeit with different terminology) on StyleFeeder. We call them StyleTwins. The principle is similar to neighbors on, but the application is different in our case (shopping vs. music). We have a truckload of younger women using the site, so it’s refreshing to be able to navigate the cool new users who are coming on board who are actually similar to me rather than constantly seeing people (and the products that they find) who are not relevant to me. One interesting thing that we learned in building this feature was that it made sense to default our search for neighbors to a three month span (rather than all time, the last year, etc.) because the narrower window has some more volatility, so you can get an idea of who’s both new and active.

  12. jobol

    Neighbors, kind of generated, automatic “friends”, seems like an interesting idea with lots of possibilities for sites with a community of people. Highlighted here. [TrackBack]