80sFriday Demystified

What is 80sFriday?

This is a post for all people that may have heard of 80sFriday but may not know what it is.

The 80sFriday idea was originally concieved by my good friend James Allen, a fellow ColdFusion professional. During a conversation one Friday sometime last year (possibly April/May 2009) we realised we both enjoyed 80s music, and thought up the idea of generating a shared playlist in Spotify that we could both add tracks into and listen to, primarily to have fun and compare each other's tastes.

80sFriday BoomBox We decided to experiment the following Friday by posting the link on twitter and opening up the playlist to anyone else that would like to join in. The success of that first week was surprising and we had about 10 listeners in total - a credit to the beauty of social networking.

Since that fateful day many months ago, the group of listeners has grown and grown, even extending to the US. We have many more people wanting to join in and listen, and are only hindered at the moment by the Spotify licence rules and restrictions in some countries. As soon as Spotify opens up around the world, the 80sFriday phenomenon will become global. :)

How does it work?

Simple. James and I are in control of the collaborative playlist we use to share and listen to the tracks. Typically, a notification tweet is sent out each Friday at roughly 13.30pm (UK time) to let people know the musical joy will commence shortly. This gives people enough time to grab a coffee, finish whatever work they have and 'down tools' ready to kick back and relax to some tunes.

The playlist will be locked until 13.45-13.50, at which point it will be opened up to allow listeners and users to start adding tracks. By rule of thumb, the 'norm' is to only add a few tracks at a time. This allows other listeners to add theirs to the playlist and have them played without waiting for 35 tracks that one person dumped in at the beginning - the whole purpose is to share the music and enjoy (or not on some occassions :) ) other peoples song choices. Some people prefer to listen at their own comfort and pace, some listen to the songs on shuffle or random, others enjoy listening in sync. To do this, we usually officially 'kick off' the playlist at 2pm. That's when you hit 'Play'. madeinthe80s

What do I need to join in?

You need Spotify installed on your machine/OS of choice, and some headphones or speakers. You can try joining in without those, but I dont think you'll have quite as much fun.

How can we follow the progress?

As the 80sFriday revolution (yes, I called it a revolution) was born on twitter, that is where we track any comments. Not all listeners follow each other, so we cunningly use the following hashtag: #80sFriday

Searching for the hashtag in your twitter client will let you see any/all posts relating to the 80sFriday sessions and song comments from fellow listeners.

Sounds good. Where's the playlist then?

Here it is: http://open.spotify.com/user/coldfumonkeh/playlist/7nUHInqvko3ohBBliaiOf4

Remember, you will be able to listen to any tracks currently within the playlist up to approximately 13.30 the following Friday, but will not be able to add any new songs to it. After 13.30, the playlist will be cleared, and made public at 13.45 to let users add songs.

Are there any rules?

No, not really. All we ask is that you dont fill up the playlist immediately with 500 songs and not let others get a look in early on in the playlist. It's all about adding/collaborating throughout the afternoon.

Occassionally we might select a theme for the day - movie songs, tv themes, Christmas tunes etc, but anything goes into the playlist regardless of a theme, as long as it's within the right decade. We also ask that any correspondence between fellow listeners is pleasant. We have a great bunch of people listening, and it's something that we all look forward to each Friday - the weekend starts with 80sFriday!

Oh, and the songs selected MUST be from the 80s!

To follow on twitter:

Have fun!

the operators of 80sFriday would like to point out that the 'kick back and relax' policy is a MUST. However, we also conveniently separate ourselves from any trouble you may come into with your line manager / peers for slacking off at work. :)

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