If you are a scientist and you haven't heard of scrobbling, then it may be well worth your while to head on over to mendeley.com and find out how it can help you.
Scrobbling is used in the music industry to log played tracks and then use meta data to select future tracks. What Jan Reichelt and Victor Henning have done is take the technology developed by the music experts at Last.fm and create a service for scientists which extracts meta data (Titles, authors, keywords and the titles the paper itself cites) from scientific papers and creates a searchable database of a specific area of research.
But the real genius of Mendeley is that it learns about what you are interested in each time you upload a paper. It then can recommend different papers and authors around the world working on similar research and put you in touch with them to form collaborations. The service runs in real time, so you can even see who is the most popular scientist on a specific subject that morning.
As with all social networks, it's rapidly gaining popularity. By the end of 2009 they were approaching 8 million scholarly articles.
We are often checking in with Google scholar to find references to our hotstages, maybe it's time to give Mendeley a try. It's free of charge at the moment so there's nothing to lose.