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.
But I have 60 musical neighbors on last.fm and I pay a lot of attention to what they are listening to. Because last.fm 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 last.fm 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 last.fm 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 last.fm more useful.
In any case, I hope that more social nets start adding other ways to categorize friends and ideally automatically the way last.fm does with neighbors. It would make the services a lot more useful.