I often get notifications from Facebook about songs that I posted to the now-defunct “This Is My Jam”.
For those too young to remember, This Is My Jam was a website where you posted a song that you were listening to a lot that week/month/day/whatever.
The beauty of this site, alongside its simplicity, was that you could see who else had posted the same song, and users were prompted to share why they had posted that particular song.
This allowed you to foster a sense of connection with other real people around a piece of pop culture that meant something to you. It was a place for memories and discovery and all the good things that the internet used to be for.
I often think about the demise of third spaces IRL and what this means for society, but we’ve also lost so many of the online third places. Due to algorithmic persuasion, we’re now spending most of our time just consuming content. There are fewer and fewer places we can go to connect with other folks who share our love of a particular part of pop culture online.
I know there are Reddit, Discord, and group chats, but none have the same charm and openness as the early 00s internet. (Letterboxd is the exception to this rule and I LOVE that it goes from strength to strength.)
Sharing interests was a big part of what social used to be for, and it was a better place because of it.
Here’s hoping that over the next year, we see the advent of more of these spaces (maybe Tumblr won’t die?) and more content curators emerging to actually help us find the stuff that makes our brains go zing.