I’m being freakishly prolific tonight. Insomnia will do that to you. The theme today seems to be pop culture. I apologize for the lame post title– I just couldn’t resist.

According to tech blog GigaOM, Stanley Burrell, aka MC Hammer, is launching tech startup DanceJam.com, a dance-centered social networking site.

DanceJam aims to bring together various dancing communities. The site will include videos from aspiring dancers everywhere as well as Hammer and his celebrity pals. It will be driven by contests that include offline regional meetups, and be monetized through ads and contest sponsorship. The company — which is based out of a few offices in the Bay Area — hasn’t given us a firm launch date. The latest word is “mid-January” — but last week it opened up part of its site to the public so as to solicit videos to have ready for the launch.

GigaOM interviewed Mr. Burrell/Hammer for its video podcast. One term that he constantly threw around was “dance culture,” as in “Dance Jam is a place where the dance culture can hang out.” From what I can tell by exploring the pilot of the site and watching the interview is that dance culture for the purposes of Dance Jam is dancers who want to win money and fame in show business through competition and casting deals. This does not appear to be a venue for exalting the art of dance, but rather to advance the business of dance as entertainment– sort of a lovechild of HotOrNot and So You Think You Can Dance– and to monetize the technology in the process through related advertisements for instructors, competitions, and the like.

While its implications for the world of dance as art are limited, I think we need to view things like this for what they are and use that as a starting point for our appreciation (something I have said many times about SYTYCD). As with any social networking site, its success and quality will depend on a critical number and activity level of the users. One valuable role that I think that Dance Jam does have the potential to play is to sift out the videos that are worth watching [from an entertainment perspective]. There is lots of dance video footage on YouTube, but you certainly have to sift through a lot of crap to find the good stuff.