Can we Work Together to Keep Blip.fm Alive? (I think so!)

Team Blip,

I wanted to move this to a separate post.

I can’t thank you enough for your outpouring of support and kind words.  Quite honestly, it’s the community of wonderful and diverse diehard music fans that keeps me incurring the painful personal debt for server and bandwidth costs every month.  I have read every single one of your comments and I’m really impressed with the level of passion and excitement that you write and describe blip.fm… some of you are amazing writers btw!

Since I can’t help myself, here are some of my favorites:

All of us appreciate this site, as it has grown to have special meaning to many of us.” - @LindyLuv

There is nothing like Blip anywhere else.” - @Bob0

Many of the other music sites do a better job of streaming high quality music, but no one does a better job than Blip of connecting music lovers socially.” - @Foggieloaner

To us, the dj interaction at blip is the site’s primary advantage over any of the other music sites, and so this feature of blip.fm should be enhanced by whatever means possible in the future.” @webbedradio

Blip may be small compared to other online services but we are a close-knit community.” - @surreality

There were so many more great quotes that I want to include, but this one floored me!

I’m a musician. Music is my life. I’ve performed it and participated in it in many different ways but almost always with others. I’ve purchased tons of music, yet there’s something missing when I listen to it or perform it alone. This is why Blip.fm is so important to me. Psychologists agree that relationships are a basic human need and that humans seek “belongingness” defined by Wikipedia as the “human emotional need to be an accepted member of a group.” It also states, “This desire is so universal that the need to belong is found across all cultures and different types of people.” Blip.fm is more than just a music [site]. It’s a community of avid music lovers.

That said, Blip.fm is much more. It is unique. It is therapeutic. It is a support system. It is an outlet for creativity. It is entertainment. It is a vehicle for advertising/discovering new music and becoming educated/educating others. It is a place to make friends almost anywhere in the world and foster understanding/respect for diversity worldwide. It is a way to expand one’s foreign language skills. It is a musical “Twitter”. It is art. It can promote physical education, dance, studying a musical instrument, or music history. It is fun. And all of this in REAL TIME. You can’t get much more amazing than that!” - @GeorgeSand / Kathyrn

Thank you to @Scott-hn @8Oclockstart @playfulx and many others for the helpful brainstorm of ideas as well!

To summarize, here’s what I’m hearing from the group.  Please let me know if I missed anything.

Blippers would be open to:

1) periodic donations

AND/OR

2) a monthly subscription

In exchange, Blippers would like:

1) periodic maintenance of the site

2) better communication from me (sorry folks, I’ve been really bad about this admittedly)

3) fixing outstanding bugs (please help point these out)

4) a way to integrate more music content or partner with other streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, and/or SoundCloud (this one is harder than you think due to a whole host of issues)

5) Upgrade the totally outdated server infrastructure (this one will not be easy either)

6) I’m sure more - please keep adding them in the comment section

Also, I would like to address a few questions.

1) What are you going to do with the money if the Blip.fm community helps out?

First and foremost, I would likely need to hire engineering support to keep the site up and going.  Second, there are ongoing server and bandwidth costs.  Third, Blip.fm still resides on some completely outdated and brutally slow (and expensive) servers.  (This will be a PAINFUL cost and process, but let’s not get into detail here.)  Finally, I would like to slowly try to dig myself out of the massive debt of paying from these servers month after month.  I know that making a donation requires trust and I hope you can put that trust into me to help keep Blip.fm alive.

2) Where have you been and why have you neglected Blip.fm?

I’ve been focusing my efforts on building Feed.fm.  We also built Fuzz as many of you know as means to showcase the API behind Feed.fm.  As many of you acknowledged in your comments, I’m grateful that you understand that I do need to run a business to support my family.  Feed.fm is the latest endeavor that best meets that need.

Forgive the brief commercial, but for those of you that don’t know what it is, Feed.fm provides a legal way to add popular music (THINK: Deadmau5 to Zeppelin) to websites, apps, and games to drive engagement, retention, and revenues.  If any of you run a US business interested in adding popular music, please hit us up at support@feed.fm.  I’d love to work with you!

Running a start-up is brutally hard and quite frankly, I need to focus my energies on efforts that show the most promise.  Blip.fm was once that glimmer of that promise and maybe with your help we can grow it again.  Maybe a mobile app?

3) What’s the timing of the changes if we decide to contribute our hard-earned dollars to the cause?

To be honest, I don’t know.  I still need to think this through and figure out what resources I would need.  I would also like to understand what in your mind is a reasonable monthly charge.  $5, $10, open for what you think it’s worth?

An initial donation might really help to get things started.  We would then possibly move to a monthly subscription.  I’m honestly not sure yet, but I just want to share some of my initial thinking here.

Also, some of you asked about the ads.  They barely provide any revenue.  If we can figure out a reasonable revenue model, I would be open to turning the ads off… again, I need to think all of this through but more on that later.

Anyway, thank you again for your efforts here and all of the great comments.  I’m going to periodically check back and I’d love to start the conversation if you are up for it.  Also, let’s all agree to be civil to each other as I’m sure you will have differing opinions.  Please also be patient with me as these things take time.

Looking forward to your comments!

Best,

@jeff

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71 Comments

greenfields47  on May 13th, 2015

tysm jeff ….let us get blip to ….. be better than what it is now

greenfields47  on May 13th, 2015

tks again jeff…question for jeff…….what is yearly cost, to maintain blip website?

love4me  on May 13th, 2015

Please consider @mark_till in your decisions. He is capable of helping and his sincere LOVE for our Blip Community could help. I believe his insights are worth a listen.

I know venture capital people in Financial District, if you are interested.

Thank you for your response.

Leia

irsocal  on May 14th, 2015

Yes, I’ve always wished Twitter could deliver like Blip.FM on the musical interaction end since ‘08 or so.

Anyway, I wouldn’t mind paying a monthly fee toward tipping the scale beyond server/bandwidth costs and into needed improvements. You may be able to quickly set up something like Patreon (patreon.com) for transparency toward monthly costs, although they do take a nominal cut for the service. It may be a decent gauge into how many people would be interested in paying over time. Just a thought.

Great post.

Charles

c3p0  on May 14th, 2015

Hi Jeff,

i would pay 50 bucks for starters for you to have a buffer so you can “repair” blip with all the recources you need, i do hope more people would or else it wouldn’t work of course. Maybe you could move the server(s) to a cheaper location or something like that. I’m glad the communication between us blippers and yours trully is better, i started to worry a little about it. You are and you always have done a great job by the way

greeting Vinnie

Linguistics  on May 14th, 2015

Many thanks for keeping us informed of your thoughts.

I use Last.fm and pay £3 per month for an ad-free service. I’ve used Last.fm more recently as the blip.fm search options have become so restricted and time consuming. I would gladly contribute £3 per month for an improved Blip.fm. This could be an initial annual fee of £36 up front (from those of us who can afford this) rather than monthly in order to generate some initial cash-flow.

There does need to be better moderation of the site, there have been some issues of racist, bullying, sexualised and aggressive messaging in the past that has not been tackled. This does drive away serious music lovers as that is not what we want to have to deal with.

surrealistic  on May 14th, 2015

I think a monthly fee $10.00 is reasonable-if that can do the job.interaction of social and music is priceless-but there is always a price.

8Ocloclstart  on May 14th, 2015

Dear Jeff,

I hope today finds you happy and more at ease.
The donation fund is a great idea!

We can contribute what ever is affordable on an individual basis for now to help the immediate issue.

Is there a P.O.Box to send this? Also, whom do we address the check to?

I will put “donation” in the memo at the bottom of the check as well.

I can send a money order via certified mail if this works,.. let me know.

I’m not sure how others outside the U.S. would go about this and, would possibly need a suggestion.

I also noticed it being said that some may not respond to the Blog due to language barriers.

Easy fix, let them know about ~>

https://translate.google.com/

“”Happy Thursday”"

Diana.

Jeff  on May 15th, 2015

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. These are all incredibly helpful as I think this through. Stay tuned.

juanitamoose  on May 15th, 2015

I would love a Blip.fm app for my tablet. I know a young company who funds & designs apps, if you are interested.

smaclaren  on May 15th, 2015

I would be open to paying a contribution every month as long as the search mechanisms were made less tedious and the music wasn’t so restricted. The social aspect of Blip is very important but in the last year I’ve sometimes felt like giving it up because finding music I wanted to play was getting so difficult. However, I would be very sad to see Blip die so get thinking about what contributions you need.

Huubvanoverveld1  on May 18th, 2015

Why don’t you use patreon to set up a donation pole for blip.fm?
Might help to get the money you need to upgrade blip.fm. If you advertise it on blip it might get some donations.

JoaniBeachMusic  on May 19th, 2015

Just one more item to add to your list: There is a lot of bullying going on at Blip. If we were to pay a monthly fee, would there be someone to police this? Some of these people are really vicious and say very hurtful things to others. It is another reason why many people have left Blip.

Thanks!

GeorgeSand  on May 29th, 2015

I agree that there is bullying going on at Blip and it really compromises the musical experience. I hope that we can have some rules and enforce them, in order to make this site safe and desirable for everyone. I came upon the following website and was impressed by their guidelines. Can Blip.fm have something similar? Thanks again for keeping my favorite music site open @Jeff. Please keep us posted as to how we can help! http://www.radioparadise.com/hd-content.php?name=Forum

~ @GeorgeSand (Kathryn)

c3p0  on June 8th, 2015

Hi jeff,

Since there hasn’t been a comment for quite a while her, i thought i would type something. The harrassing thingie and stuff is in a way in the eye of the beholder (no offense to anyone ofcourse) i have send a few blips to @jeff and @blipfm to try and make a point like that. People tend to always blame the guy/girl who is harrasing, but IF that happens and the “harrassed” side starts blaming people for talking to the harrasser or giving props, telling them, you are as evil as him when you do that (and spreading the rumour in mass blips) then i’m asking myself, “who gives him/her the right to do that, while there is 1 person attacking him, with only his/her name in the blip, and next t that, who gives him/her the right to make it a mass blip, trying to convince other blippers, who are new and don’t really know the person, but since it’s in a mass blip (then it must be true, new internet rules) probably will block the person(s) because of that. In other words and i said that before, “we can’t all be friends” but please leave it to the people and their own mind, instead of trying to get peoples attention because you are a “victim” and harrassing because of that

just my 2 cents

Vincent

DarkWillFollow  on June 9th, 2015

I love blip have been a big fan/dj for years now I would be happy to pay a monthly fee just to see blip stay alive. I think others would too. That would weed out losers weirdos and crazies also fuzz was not any fun because it’s not real time in the way blip is :)

TwizzyDizzy  on June 20th, 2015

Hi Jeff,

I’m a systems engineer and happen to be a music lover, too.

I’ve turned my back on blip.fm a while ago since it seemed, to me, to have been abandoned completely by its maker.

Maybe this is time to get back and help out. I could totally help you on the server side if help on that front is needed.

Just get in touch and tell me what’s the technical debt that is to be overcome.

Cheers
Thomas

dra_who  on June 26th, 2015

Hi Jeff,

Blip is one of my favorite Social networks. Although I don´t know anyone here, I love each one of my favorite DJ´s. Any solution to keep blip alive will make me happy and surely I´ll collaborate.

But I don´t think I like the idea of it becoming a paid service. I probably would donate some money but I still don´t think that´s the way.

Why don´t you open source it? Maybe I could help and many others too.

Waiting for good news!
dra_who

silpol  on June 28th, 2015

Hi Jeff,

what are traffic / storage needs of blip.fm, on average, even approx. ballpark could be something?

and what is current stack of software / technologies to help it transition to better place?

I could give in some help but these two questions need brief description

Regards, A.

Sunidhi  on July 13th, 2015

I have been using blip.fm from last 2-3 months. I think if you will improve your service then people will surely help you to keep blip.fm running.

juanitamoose  on July 14th, 2015

2 months have passed without any news. In the meantime, some of the regular blippers have migrated over to Undrtone. I don’t find that site better than Blip, but would love some sort of update about where this is heading.

Ankit  on July 23rd, 2015

Spotify has been charging a fee of $10 for it’s premium service, maybe a little lower than that. But yeah, Blip community has been great for serious music lovers like me, wouldn’t want it to go away.

translucent  on July 28th, 2015

I would definitely pay membership dues if it would keep Blip.FM around. I haven’t been around much the last 6 months, but I would be very, very dismayed if Blip were to disappear. That would be unthinkable. Anything within reason and I’ll pay, and with a smile. — Translucent

SubAquatic  on July 29th, 2015

I’ve always loved the spirit of what Blip.fm (ie. Jeff) was trying to achieve. This service absolutely fills an unmet need. Properly supported and marketed, I am certain that it would be a household name.

I used to blip pretty regularly beginning in 2009, but started to drift by 2012 when the support (understandably) faded. (I still faithfully wear my Blip.fm t-shirt though.)

I would definitely pay a monthly fee similar to what I currently pay to Google Play or eMusic. And if there is a gameplan, I am willing to make a donation to kickstart the reboot. (Speaking of which, would a Kickstarter campaign be worthwhile here?)

Thanks Jeff for both your initial effort to bring this service up - and the commitment that you’ve made to sustain it.

Ian

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daretoeatapeach  on August 26th, 2015

Wow! On a lark today I clicked on the blog, expecting no updates in years, only to find this post from May.

Jeff, I think there are a few things that would be worth donating for:

1. SOUNDCLOUD SUPPORT! YouTube simply doesn’t have enough high-quality songs. Soundcloud is only going to continue to grown in popularity, and so many bands use it to share their tracks. They don’t have unlicensed music, so they’re not likely to get sued out of existence soon.

2. Fix Twitter support. This initially started as a Twitter-related tool, so the fact that we can no longer tweet with it is a bit ridiculous.

3. Create a system for dealing with YouTube ads. It seems that any video with a YouTube ad doesn’t work on Blip. I’m not saying you should filter those ads out, because in some cases that is taking the profit away from the artist. But there should at least be an option to blip the songs that have ads in front of them, because it cuts out a huge quantity of YouTube links. It’s demoralizing to find a song on YouTube only to find the link won’t work on Blip. Listeners could have the option to Mute songs that come with ads attached, if they don’t want them.

I know 3. would take a lot of development, but it’s only going to get worse as YouTube is actively trying to force musicians to signing on for their advertising model. It makes Blip look broken when perfectly good YouTube links don’t work on Blip. It’s so frustrating to search for a song and find ten “good” links, none of which actually work.

If you don’t get Soundcloud support, I’d suggest making Blip more YouTube focused. Make the video screen bigger, so there’s no added value in going to YouTube to watch the video. Since Grooveshark doesn’t exist any more (and let’s be honest, their selection was paltry—how many of you skipped over Grooveshark links assuming so many would be broken it wasn’t worth the time to check?), and blips no longer go to Twitter, Blip has become a YouTube playlist service. I think adding more music sources is the way to go, but if that’s not possible then at least play up the benefits of video.

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claire_  on September 25th, 2015

Most of all the above is fake. If any of you are for real you were played. There’s only 1 user..and I do mean user on blip. Same user with various names. She did it all for her own drama. That’s all she wrote.

Sylak  on September 27th, 2015

I’m happy to see that Blip.fm is still alive and there are possible plans to continue it and grow it.

I don’t know why Blip can’t be advertised as the “Twitter” of music social media!

Good to see you around Jeff!
\m/

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People tend to always blame the guy/girl who is harrasing, but IF that happens and the “harrassed” side starts blaming people for talking to the harrasser or giving props, telling them, you are as evil as him when you do that (and spreading the rumour in mass blips) then i’m asking myself, “who gives him/her the right to do that, while there is 1 person attacking him, with only his/her name in the blip, and next t that, who gives him/her the right to make it a mass blip, trying to convince other blippers, who are new and don’t really know the person, but since it’s in a mass blip (then it must be true, new internet rules) probably will block the person(s) because of that.

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