Awareness of the social self on Last.fm

I was reading the ACM TechNews newsletter and ran into this article http://gtresearchnews.gatech.edu/newsrelease/playlist.htm and realized that deeply permeating my www.last.fm experience is the regular pressure of awareness of the possibility that my profile is being scrutinized by friends and strangers.

I also had been thinking lately about last.fm making evident and explicit what is normally an invisible and ephemeral activity: listening to music. Yeah, so someone could always check out your record/CD collection, but they didn’t know what you actually listened to (they could guess, as the most listened to are probably on the top of any stack). So, here is this evidence saying, yes, Dan really did listen to this Flaming Lips song 7 times since January. It’s more proof that I exist. Like this blog.

I wonder how much of this social software craze is driven by people that need more proof that they exist…