Blip.fm is a music micro-blogging platform that works in a similar way to Twitter, except the content focuses completely on the sharing of music. Users search for and ‘blip’ their favourite tunes to their listeners, adding comments and lyrics, and give each other props for quality submissions.
The service also integrates directly with Twitter: if you link Blip.fm to your Twitter account (in the settings), each blip you make will automatically submit a Tweet to your Twitter timeline, including a link back to the song (via Blip.fm). This feature adds a neat little music note icon, too.
I use Blip.fm and like it a lot. There’s lots of great content on there and most of the time the service runs well. Like Twitter, they have periods of downtime, too, but they’re only a small operation (and relatively new start-up) and hopefully they’ll continue to get funding and grow.
The dilemma I’m having is whether linking Blip.fm to your Twitter account is a smart move. I’m actually wondering if it’s kinda rude.
Here’s the thing: when at home, I tend to listen to music (via my laptop) predominately on a Friday and/or Saturday night. From time to time, this may coincide with the consumption of one or more alcoholic beverages, and fairly heavy Twitter usage.
The problem is, at least for me, is that the frequency of blips tends to rise exponentially with the number of alcoholic beverages consumed. What this means is that whereas early in the night I might only blip 2-3 songs per hour, by the end of the night my Twitter contributions are generally all blips. And, to be honest, it doesn’t matter if alcohol is involved or not. If you’re listening to music, you’re listening to music. You tend to listen to a lot of it in a row.
I’m undecided whether this is something my followers like to see.
Put it this way: when I am privy to nothing but a string of blip Tweets from somebody I’m following, it can get a little irritating after a while.
So, this weekend I made the decision to unlink my Twitter account from Blip.fm. While I will still use the service, now all of my blips will focus on the community on Blip.fm, and not my Twitter connections. They’re two different animals and while I have some crossover it’s mostly limited to people I know offline.
(You can prevent Blip.fm from sending updates to Twitter by inserting an exclamation mark in front of your blip, but who remembers that after half a bottle of wine?)
I’m not convinced that anybody really cares about my blips, to be honest. Nor do I think that anyone apart from maybe a couple of people ever click on them. So, why link it to Twitter at all?
Maybe I’m looking at this cock-eyed, but I don’t think so. One thing that Twitter desperately needs is an easy way to filter out Tweets containing certain content. That way, we could all blip away to our heart’s content and if some of our followers didn’t want to see any of that stuff, they could chose not to. As it is now, you either have to put up or shut up.
(Note: You can use the filter option in TweetDeck to remove content. See the edit to this article below.)
And it’s not just Blip.fm; it would be nice to have this filter option for anything. And of course it won’t be long before all manner of external services give you the option to link up to Twitter: Friday nights could get pretty hellish. You don’t want to unfollow somebody just because they’re relaxing with a few tunes, but at the same time you shouldn’t have to be on the receiving end of all those blips, either.
One important thing to always be mindful about on Twitter is everybody on there is not on the same time zone. Happy hour in England could well be lunch hour in California.
Let me know in the comments how you feel about services like Blip.fm. Are you a member? Do you have your account linked to Twitter? Does it bother you when your followers submit lots of blips (to Twitter) in a row (or anything similar)?
EDIT: As mentioned above, it’s fairly easy to use the filter feature in TweetDeck to edit out any tweets contain references to blip.fm (or anything else, for that matter). Simply click on the ‘filter the tweets in this column’ button at the bottom of each pane, change the + tag to a -, and enter ‘blip.fm’ (minus the quotes) in the query box. Problem solved. You may have to repeat this for all your other panes, too, and naturally this will override any other filters you’d like to run.