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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!