The idea of social networking mixed with music is something I’ve been doing since before the Internet existed. In high school and college, I often made connections with people based solely on a shared love of music. And then we would start the process of sharing and educating and expanding. It goes on and on to this day and, hopefully, for the rest of my life.
So the idea of a computer-based social network platforms based around music is a no-brainer. But I’ve also been a bit slow on the uptake for how these platforms work. I never had a MySpace page and my troubles with Facebook are well-documented.
Things changed a bit when I got brave enough to start posting on the Progarchives forum. This was a great idea for (a) wasting time and (b) getting news about prog fast. I wasn’t looking to make friends and didn’t. Some of the other posters had a display at the bottom of their posts which showed what they were listening to. In order to do the same thing, I got an account with Last.fm. This looked a lot like Facebook, so i dodn’t get into the social aspect – no friending for me. But at least it cataloged all my listening habits, which I thought was pretty cool. But there was one more step getting that information integrated with the ‘signature’. Apparently, I had to join something called Twitter.
So, in March of 2008, I created a Twitter account, solely for the purpose of making images like this one. Between March of ’08 and June of ’09, I tweeted exactly ten times. Since then, it’s been about 560. Suffice to say, I like Twitter. It’s beautifully disorganized; the users make the rules; there are no ads; and it’s a good syndication tool for blog posts and other important pieces of information.
So this brings me to the recent discovery of Blip.fm. It’s not perfect. It has ads (ugh!), it runs slow, the musical selections are surprisingly limited, and the posting of track on my various websites (and Twitter) is not nearly as elegant as what I can do with Grooveshark. But where as Grooveshark is useful and more comprehensive, Blip.fm is downright fun.
It’s a game. You’re a DJ and you’re trying to get listeners. In that regard it’s a bit like Facebook and Twitter with ‘friends’ and ‘followers’, but there is an extra element of silliness at Blip – ‘credits’ and ‘props’. In addition to seeking listeners, I’m also seeking props. Other users (DJs) give me props if they like my selection. I can get credits by getting props (1 = 1) or by getting other DJs to reBlip my selections. So, I’m looking for artists with similar taste, or with taste I want to learn more about (I’ve discover Chali 2na!), and I’m bouncing around, blipping selections, re-blipping, giving out props, adding listeners to my favorite DJs list and hoping to get added to others.
So far, I’ve connected with some pretty impressive musical tastes and I’ve even accumulated a few props and listeners. It’s all good fun, and it’s built to look like Twitter, so the interface is pretty easy for me to get started. I still need to have continuous playing (listen while you search) and an iPhone app and more complete selections (like Grooveshark), but I’m still having a blast. Wanna see what I been blippin’?