Music Plasmosis

Every so often there’s a little surprise out there on the Web, this time it being musicplasma, a superfine Flash-based interface that takes any band and maps out the most minor and most recognized relationships. I typed in “Trail of Dead” and it noted that The Postal Service, Interpol, and Broken Social Scene are in the mix (as they indeed are for me) but on the outskirts are Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, TV on the Radio and Deftones (who are not).
The interface is most likely based on Thinkmap‘s far more robust and supremely elegant Visual Thesaurus, a product which I was invited to work on in 2001 but turned down for a variety of reasons. (Thinkmap used to be Plumb Design, an innovative web development company located a few blocks from the World Trade Center). Long before Thinkmap was a fascinating “knowledge” interface called The Brain, which I used in one of the first sites I developed back in 1998. The Brain was started by Harlan Hugh, whom I also met; Harlan never sought to support his product on the Mac and he’s still true to form — the whole applet falls apart in Safari.
In any case, it’s good to see that the spirit of visual relationship mapping has a few feet and I’m sure that many government agencies are trying this technology to study terrorist subjects.

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