Happy New Year Update

We wanted to wish everyone a happy new year and thank you for sticking with us through thick and thin.  A number of people have asked for specific updates so here goes:

What about those !#$@ bugs? We are still tracking down bugs and stomping them out as best we can. Often we are unable to reproduce the reported issues, so when you email us at support@blip.fm, please be as specific as possible (and send a screen shot if you can).  Usually if we can reproduce the bug we can fix it.

What about Jeff? Sadly Jeff is no longer involved in the operations of Blip.fm - we don’t think he is bored though as he has his hands full with other projects :-)

Blip needs new tires and a paint job, are you gonna raise some money to do something or what? In the spirit of candor, we have to emphasize there is zero certainty here, but we are exploring.

What did we learn from the Rockethub experience? (1) Its a lot easier to get 50 users to contribute than 5,000.  (2) We are not great at running a crowdfunding campaign.  (3) Even a failure can accomplish much (missed our target by a mile but your contributions saved Blip).

What did you do with those gazillion dollars from Rockethub? Spent every last cent on locking in our servers at a much lower price for the next couple years.

Wishing you an amazing 2016 filled with music and joy!

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Rockethub Funds: The Bottom Line

As promised, here are the details on how the funds will be spent:

1.  Rockethub keeps 12% of the funds.

2.  ALL of the remaining funds will be spent on Blip server costs (mostly in the form of a prepayment towards servers for at least 12 months - we are trying for longer).

3.  Prepaying reduces the cost in two ways: we get a better rate and we are prepaying part of the bill. Blip’s modest revenues are sufficient to pay the (reduced) server bill.

4.  These funds are not sufficient to achieve the other objectives outlined in the Rockethub campaign.

5.  Although we anticipate being able to pay for operating costs through 2016, unforeseen circumstances could arise that cause the site to shut down temporarily or permanently.

A special thanks to everyone who contributed their hard earned money to help keep Blip alive.  While we did not achieve our campaign goals, thanks to you Blip will live on and have time to dream up a better future.

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Crowdfunding update

To everyone who has supported Blip financially or with their words and well wishes, we appreciate it all!  And to those users going all out to spread the word, our sincerest thanks!

We wanted to answer the latest round of questions/topics that have come up regarding the campaign (see previous posts for additional information or go to http://rkthb.co/63049:

1.  To contribute or not:  We understand that not everyone is able to contribute financially, and some may not feel comfortable with doing so even if they have the means - we get that and respect those situations.  We ask that folks with differing opinions on this also be respectful of each other.

2.  Can I just give a small contribution, or do I have give at least $59?  You can give ANY amount you want by selecting the big red FUND THIS PROJECT button, and then scrolling down to the bottom of the table - here you will find a field where you can enter any amount.

3.  Can I change my mind about what I want after I have already contributed?  Lets say you gave $59 (Funder level) three times, and then gave $99 (Power Block level), but now you wish you had just done it all at once to reach the Founding Member level.  We will accommodate this, just make sure your total contribution is at least the amount required for the level you want, and be sure to send us an email after the campaign ends with CROWDFUNDING in the subject line requesting the change.  If you need to add funds to reach the target level, select the big red FUND THIS PROJECT button, and then scroll down to the bottom of the table - here you will find a field where you can enter the desired amount.

4.  Can I upgrade once I have contributed?  Lets say you gave $59, but now want to contribute more up to $249 (the Founding Member level).  We will accommodate this, just make sure your total contribution is at least the amount required for the level you want, and be sure to send us an email after the campaign ends with CROWDFUNDING in the subject line requesting the change.  If you need to add funds to reach the target level, select the big red FUND THIS PROJECT button, and then scroll down to the bottom of the table - here you will find a field where you can enter the desired amount.

5.  Will you still build a Mostly Ad Free service level if you do not reach your goal?  We would like to, but it may not be possible depending on how much funding we get.

6.  Will you still give the badges if you do not reach your goal?  This will be doable even if we raise substantially less than the target.

7.  What are your initial spending priorities for the funds?

-servers

-bug fixes

-badges

-Mostly Ad Free level of service / improved block feature

8.  So what is the deal?  This has been asked in these exact words by several users.  The deal is this: At a bare minimum, Blip needs servers and bug fixes to keep going, and these cost more than the ads generate in revenue.  We have closed most of the gap by reconfiguring and reducing server costs dramatically (and our users have suffered through the ups and downs of this process) - as a result we are much more efficient and now handling more traffic with less cost.  But there is still a gap, and this campaign is how we close it and give Blip a path through 2016.

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Contributing via paypal…

Well, we all stand corrected, apparently you can contribute via PayPal, but its a bit fiddly (copied directly from their customer service email response):

We would be happy to accept your payment via these alternate methods:

PayPal:
Please feel free to send your payment in USD via PayPal to: paypal@rockethub.com

Check / Money Order:
Your check / money order in USD should be made payable to: RocketHub Inc.

Please send your contribution to:
RocketHub
ATTN: Jed Cohen
340 West 42nd Street, #880
New York, NY 10108

If you choose either of these payment methods, along with your payment, please include a note with the following information:
1. Your name (so we can credit you for the contribution)
2. Your email address (so we can confirm receipt)
3. The name of the project (so we can assign the funds correctly)
4. The reward of your choice (so we can inform the project leader)

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Campaign Q&A

Update - we have moved all the Q&A to this separate post, and we will add answers to questions as we generate them (same info is available on Rockethub as well):

1.  What happens if we don’t hit the target?  Are funds given back to contributors?  Rockethub does not refund contributors if the target is not met - Blip will still get the funds contributed.  We will use the funds to pay for servers and coders, with the goal of keeping Blip alive and mostly bug free for as many months as possible.  Under these circumstances we would likely not be able to fulfill the basic objectives mentioned on Rockethub; we would try to give users some advanced warning about the site shutting down, so we could all fire off a farewell blip (or 100).  The servers and software development are outsourced resources not in-house.

2.  Will we be adding any content or doing more artist sessions?  Sadly not very likely, unless we raise 50 or 100 times what we are asking (of course we are not expecting that).

3.  Why does Rockethub display contributor user names?  This is not in our control as far as we are aware - sorry.

4.  If you reach your goal what will you spend the money on?  Servers and software development, including delivering on the badges which will require a small amount of graphic design work.

5.  Will you send a massive email blast?  Maybe (not a very helpful answer right?).  We would like to but there are some hurdles.

6.  Will any of the music that used to be on Blip reappear?  Very unlikely, again unless we are at 50x or 100x our target, then all bets are off.

7.  What account is the money going into?  A business banking account (not any individual’s account); if the account bears any interest it would be tiny.

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