September has come to an end and it is once again time to tally poll results. In September, I asked what people thought of Apple’s new Ping Social network for Music. Apple calls it a great new way for people to discover new music on the iTunes music store. Reader of The Nifty Tech Blog called it a snoozer and a loser. Here is the breakdown.
A total of seven folks voted in the poll, casting votes in four separate voting categories. Two people said that they weren’t sure about Ping because most of the music that they liked wasn’t available on iTunes. I can see how it would be difficult to recommend music that isn’t even available in the system.
Another pair of folks declared that Ping was just a bad idea all around. While I don’t share their pessimism to that extent, Ping doesn’t seem to allow users to do a lot of interacting. You can comment on a song or album, but the service doesn’t seem to allow any kind of lengthy discussion of music. Most other social networks let the users determine the subject matter. Ping doesn’t appear to offer that kind of freedom.
One voter kept an open mind, stating that he (or she) would have to try Ping out and find out what they thought. I’d love to see some commentary from this voter and get their opinion on Ping.
The last two respondents said that they wouldn’t use Ping because none of their friends are using it. This is the rub with social networks. The quality, or lack thereof, of the tools doesn’t matter that much. We go where our friends are and use the tools they use because they are our friends and this is how they’ve chosen to communicate. While Ping may have artists such as Thomas Dolby, Jonothan Coulton, and Lady Gaga participating on Ping, the much stronger draw comes from the body of one’s friends. It may be interesting to peek in from time to time to see what celebrities are listening to, but they won’t be looking at your musical tastes and commenting on your tracks. Your friends will. And that is the sort of interaction that makes a social network work.
And finally, Sinspired commented that she was already using Last.FM and loving it. She figured that Pings tools couldn’t be much better, so she gave them a pass. While I haven’t tried Last.FM and cannot vouch for it, I’m surprised that I didn’t hear from more people who already had some kind of other service that they preferred to Ping. I really expected someone to mention Pandora, or Rhapsody, or some of the other services that will let you peruse a large body of music for a relatively low cost.
As it is, it seems like we’d all be pretty surprised if Ping caught on.
Poll responses in the last few months hasn’t really grown, despite the fact that readership over those same few months has grown. While I’m happy to have more folks looking at The Nifty Tech Blog, it does look like I’ve missed the mark myself with regard to user polls. So for the month of October, I’m asking this question: Should I continue with the monthly polls, or just end them now and move on? As always you have between now and the end of the moth to vote on the poll. And you’re always welcome to share any other feedback you like with me. I’d love to hear from you.