I would break it down as follows - and these phases all bleed into each other:
1. first phase was ISP phase - content and distribution distributed thru the ISP on ramps. ISPs provided access and services 2. second phase was portals (AOL and the like) - characterized by the idea that all your services and content are under one roof 3. third phase = search (characterized by the idea “you dont need to remember anything just need to know where to find it” - that’s why the Google UI was so much more radical than given credit for) 4. fourth phase - just beginning now - “real time social distribution” (“if something is important it will find me”) - characterized by the final breakdown of the traditional media content producer/distributor/consumer buckets, which now blend into one (and indeed there are no more consumers, there are “users”).
When I came across their new album this week, I’ll admit that I didn’t even know The Black Crowes were still making original music. I was always a fan, so I figured I’d give it a shot. Glad I did because this record is damn good - maybe even their best.
I’ve always thought this was the most interesting thing about Pandora - especially now, when most web services seem to thrive on the so-called wisdom of the crowds.
Pandora’s approach more or less ignores the crowd. It is indifferent to the possibility that any given piece of music in its system might become a hit. The idea is to figure out what you like, not what a market might like. More interesting, the idea is that the taste of your cool friends, your peers, the traditional music critics, big-label talent scouts and the latest influential music blog are all equally irrelevant. That’s all cultural information, not musical information. And theoretically at least, Pandora’s approach distances music-liking from the cultural information that generally attaches to it.