October 28th, 2011
Several months back, I made this project for fun called EmotionalBagCheck.com. It’s a site where you can leave your emotional “baggage”, and then someone else will reply to you with a song they think might be appropriate to your situation. The songs come in through the Grooveshark API, which is kind of fun. I shared the project with my friends, and they thought it was cool, but it didn’t get much traction until September of this year, by which time I’d almost forgotten about it. Suddenly it was getting tons and tons of visitors, largely through articles on All Things D, Wired UK, Marketplace and Good. I have to say, it feels really good to have one’s work acknowledged, especially when it’s a personal project and not something created to someone else’s specifications.
It’s interesting to watch how media attention turns something small into a perceived “legit” entity. I got a good bit of correspondence referring to “you guys” or “your company” — big press denotes a big entity, I guess. With one reporter, no matter how many times I said, “It’s not a company; it’s just me. There’s not a business model; it’s an art project” she’d shoot back something like “What is your position at the company?” Other people assumed it was built by Grooveshark as a marketing tool. Funny how hard it is to convince people that there’s not a catch.