[Update: It is possible the end is near for the fun on blip.fm.]
My Personal Soundtrack
holy crap. i get it now! this whole social media thing. the stuff with the updates and the tweets and the blips (“They’re *blinking* and *beeping* and *flashing*! Why doesn’t somebody pull the plug” Shatner from airplane ii). It was fun to broadcast what i’m eating and what i am toasting or overhearing. But combine that tweet-ability with music and you’ve got social media gold! I think (and hope really) that blip.fm is going to be a success… i also think certain forces will surely muck it up to some degree. But mostly I am rooting for this site to figure out what no one else has yet – How to make a music sharing experience with flow that doesn’t suddenly suck or get people arrested.
What I Like
- The nostalgia is addictive: Our lives have a soundtrack. Hearing songs from the past turns out to be a great way to dredge up touch-base with the associated memories. add 140 characters of stuff and you’ve got a cool personal soundtrack building.
- The community rocks: you instantly get 30 or so favorites so your stream is instantly filled. The props system is a terrific way to encourage connecting with others. Sure, Twitter has a star you can click for tweets, but on blip you are saying you like a song in addition to the pithy quip or reminiscent remark.
- The music is largely there to discover: You are encouraged to upload stuff, but most searches return a series of results. The combination of search results and favorite djs creates a really rich and real-time feeling music discovery channel.
- Know your friends tastes better than if you took a facebook quiz: favorite your friends or follow their updates in twitter and you may see a whole new side emerge. That or confirm what you already believed.
- It’s free (shhhh. don’t wreck it.): I will click through and buy stuff. i won’t complain a peep if/when they splash it with advertising. Attend concerts and buy concessions. Whatever needs to be done to not wreck a fun and good thing. At least the team running the show is thinking business model early on.
- It gave Twitter a purpose for me: You can follow everyone’s updates within the blip.fm site. But seeing what my friends post via Twitter provides an instant filter, allowing me to follow a crap load of interesting djs on blip while bubbling up the ones i am most interested in following on Twitter.
- i’m hooked: while my initial excitement will surely wane, for the moment i am hooked.
- It’s a semantic smorgasbord: Music has never had such rich contextual information. on a song-by-song basis people are sharing associated thoughts, comments, memories, feelings, etc. Some sites allow you to star or favorite a song and maybe even comment on it. But none have drawn the basic song-to-comment association so simply and clearly.
- It’s created for an international audience: It feels more than an American sharing site. The little flag beneath each user’s name lends to the feeling that blip is addressing the needs of a global audience (or faking it well).
what could be better
- The listening experience is not up to par with last.fm or pandora
- volume control and normalization
- continuous play from page to page
- can’t pause the river
- It could hook up with more sites – last.fm to import favorites (they do scrobble now), other purchasing channels, nostalgic merch to go along with the 80’s tune you add, etc.
- better on-boarding and explanation: I honestly didn’t get it at first and ignored it after i registered. then i realized you could search for songs as well as upload. that opened a whole new door.
- It’s at a good size now, but may eventually clog up twitter and even blip itself.
Thankfully the folks at blip appear to be listening and open to suggestions too. I look forward to seeing how the site evolves and the many sites that spawn off of it based on the data and semantic potential through the APIs (which are still in private beta as of this post).