For those of you that have never heard of Blip.fm, and for those of you that have, but never bothered to come check it out, it’s basically Twitter with music.
When I joined Blip back in April of 2009 it was still relatively new, and getting more popular everyday, in fact I saw promise that it could be as big as Twitter one day. At the time, back in 2009, it had everything Twitter had, but Twitter didn’t have everything Blip had, because Blip had music, the problem with Blip was the people running it, quite simply they obviously lacked the vision of what Blip could have been with the right promotion.
Well..any promotion would have helped.
Blip could have been a vehicle for new artists coming onto the scene to promote themselves, and a vehicle for old artists to reacquaint people with their music and sell some albums. What better place to do this than on a site that attracts people who love music. And having these artists on the site playing their music would have the star power to generate interest, promotion, and create an even larger base of followers.
Did this happen? No.
Did the people running Blip realize that the reason Twitter became so popular was that it attracted stars and those stars brought their fan base, increasing it’s popularity? No.
Is Blip, like Twitter, a household name? No.
It could have been. But now, it’s a never was, never will be.
Despite this lack of promotion, and a seemingly indifferent attitude of the people running Blip, it did, for about 3 years gain very modest popularity among us music lovers. Then…
the bottom fell out. And people started leaving in droves. Including myself. Although I still go on it from time-to-time to spin a few tunes, and reacquaint myself with old friends, well the few that are still around that haven’t moved on, I will never be the die-hard fan that I was back in 2009 when it showed so much promise.
Well a series of things happened, but the one I think lead to the exodus was mostly driven by site glitches. People would come onto the site to spin some tunes and their account would be completely gone, and not just smaller more obscure accounts with a few followers but accounts with 10,000 followers or more as well. Some did manage to get their accounts back, but others had to start all over with a new account. Some had this happen to them on multiple occasions.
Then there was the mystery of the missing followers. Occasionally followers would just randomly disappear. And we are not talking about the regular and expected exchange of followers, where a few leave and others join your ranks. No. We are talking about logging in and finding hundreds of your followers gone in just a few hours. Like they suddenly were abducted by aliens, sucked into a black hole, or fell into the Bermuda triangle.
But…as bad as that was…
even worse was when you came onto the site and found that you magically unfollowed 10’s or even 100’s of people, without actually doing it. Like poltergeists were mischievously unfollowing people for you while you slept. Then comes the messages, the emails, ” why did you unfollow me? Did I do something wrong?”…and having to explain that it wasn’t you, it was poltergeists.
Blip is an internet tragedy. A Greek comedy. The punchline to a bad joke. It reminds me of the line in the old movie On the Waterfront `You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. `
UPDATE: Well I guess I couldn’t have timed this article any better….yesterday I went on Blip and found that the site would only let you play songs from your playlist, if you searched a song it populated a link to YouTube support. The link said the apps on Blip are no longer supported by YouTube. Awhile ago Blip lost access to Grooveshark too, which cut the songs you could play by at least a third.
The next step would be a complete shutdown. What a waste if that happens, as I said at the start of this article Blip had so much promise, promise that was wasted by poor management and a lack of vision.
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me, a few years back they tried to get us to move to a new site they were developing called Fuzz, which turned out to be a complete waste of time and still , years later, hasn’t even come close to the traffic Blip has, if Fuzz had taken off they would have closed down Blip a long time ago, but instead, they just let it continue on to it’s own eventual demise.
UPDATE: Well, it appears Blip is no longer affected by the YouTube API fiasco…again nothing on the Blip Blog, that hasn’t been updated since 2012, to advise anyone of of any update. But let’s not get too side-tracked here because I wrote this article prior to the YouTube fiasco, as per ” Well I guess I couldn’t have timed this article any better “…so it appears we’re back to where I started. My opinion hasn’t changed, left in the hands of those running the place Blip will slowly wither and die, Blip needs fresh blood, a fresh perspective, and people in charge who sincerely care about it’s direction, and see the promise in the vision of what Blip could be.
Otherwise, eventually it will either die off, be closed down, or wither down to nothing more than a few hard core music lovers. As it is now, of the followers I have, maybe a couple dozen Blip regularly, and maybe a couple more dozen periodically, most you don’t see at all, or only on rare occasions….and I don’t think that this is unique to me and my followers. A lot has changed in the last 6 years, and not for the better.
NEW UPDATE: ( finalized ) Nov 11th 2015 : Well it seems now Blip is asking for money to avoid closing down the site. Not really a big surprise. But lets take a look at what they have to say…
” Way back in 2006, a Blip engineer creatively interpreted (i.e. completely disregarded) specific instructions from his product manager and built Blip.fm. ” and they’re looking for cash to, among other things, ” stomp out the backlog of bugs ” well who knew lol .
” Nearly a decade later, even though Blip has not been actively maintained for many years ” really? yer kiddin’ me right? ( can you feel the sarcasm just dripping from my veins ).
” Blip refuses to surrender. Thousands of users continue to find joy in using the service every day. ” No…Blip surrendered years ago, the only reason it’s still here is because of the users.
So now…you want cash, users to pony up dough to save a site that you ‘ finally ‘ admit was created buggy and that you’ve neglected it for, what was it again you said, oh that’s right ” many years “.
Now pay very close attention Absentee Owners of Blip.fm….every time we use Blip we contribute to the sites equity/value and advertising stream in views or clicks. Our very presence there is either increasing it’s equity or generating a revenue stream, and in most cases both. Our usage, and the resulting ranking, creates advertising interest, I know how many requests for advertising I get here at TAZ, so I can easily estimate how many requests you must get for Blip, and the revenue we’re generating for you through our participation..
So you want us to give you more money than the income we’re already generating for you. And what guarantee do we have that you’ll use it in a positive fashion? That you won’t just take the money and continue to neglect the site like you have been?
You don’t create a site that’s buggy, fail miserably at promoting it, neglect it for several years. try to abandon it twice by trying to convince blippers to join a sub-par site called Fuzz, then ask people to pony up cash to fix you own dumbass mistakes.
” If we reach $500,000, we are confident we can: “…make a couple updates, sink the largest portion into Fuzz, or some other White Elephant, pay off your mortgage, buy the cat a rolex, get yourself a Benz, increase your investment portfolio?
Exactly what guarantee do we have you wont just pocket the cash and do what you’ve always done…NOTHING.
After all that is your track record, isn’t it…doing nothing…sure it is.
This isn’t a case where you created a great site, that’s been well promoted and maintained, that you’ve sunk your heart n’ soul into, and you’re hurting for cash to keep it going…NO…you created a buggy site, that hasn’t been promoted or maintained, you have a track record of not caring about the site…and now you want us to bail you out.
OH, that’s right, I’m sorry, you care now…you’re not just trying to take advantage of people who love the site by threatening closure so they’ll pony up some cash…no….you had an epiphany and you now suddenly care.
Hey I got an idea…why don’t you try the government if you want a bail out…it worked for GM.