Webometric Thoughts

April 22, 2008

BBC’s Sound Index: The latest and greatest

Filed under: BBC,Sound Index — admin @ 8:00 am

Despite all the information technology at our finger tips, I am still amazed at how long it takes for stories to spread around the web. The BBC has launched a Sound Index, a social media music chart that is updated every hour. Despite being mentioned in the Radio 1 blog on the 11th April, and in the Guardian on the Friday, it suddenly seems to be talked about everywhere since blogged about in the ReadWriteWeb. The way we access news has changed, and despite what we may think, it is not always faster…

Anyway, the Sound Index:

Every six hours the Sound Index crawls some of the biggest music sites on the internet – Bebo, MySpace, Last.FM, iTunes, Google and YouTube – to find out what people are writing about, listening to, watching, downloading and logging on to. It then counts and analyses this data to make an instant list of the most popular 1000 artists and tracks on the web. The more blog mentions, comments, plays, downloads and profile views an artist or track has, the higher up the Sound Index they are. So, the Sound Index is a music buzz index controlled entirely by the public.

It is an interesting twist on the traditional charts, potentially making a person’s actions as important as their songs as they attempt to create an internet buzz.

The top of the Sound Index is unsurprisingly full of the usual suspects, although as it is a top 1000 there is plenty of room for the lesser known acts, and the classic pop canon.

Whilst it is an easy and enjoyable way to waste time, I must admit that I was shocked to find that Cliff Richard has yet to make it into the index….obviously something wrong with the algorithm.

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