Blip.fm DJs — What’s Your BLA?

Regarding my recent unplanned, unannounced hiatus:
I was gratified by the presidential election result, but in the aftermath of the election my interest in blogging suddenly decreased. After having been emotionally invested in the election for so many months, a letdown was inevitable I suppose. I haven’t a clue about my future posting frequency, but I’m happy this post gets me off the
schnide. I’ve recently been distracted from blogging by Blip.fm, the subject of this post.

Blip.fm is a music community site modeled after the ultra-popular microblogging site Twitter. Sign up for Blip.fm and you become a Blip.fm DJ. My DJ name is nitetalker. A blip is analogous to a Twitter tweet.

Like a song you just heard on your iPod or the radio or wherever? Search for it on Blip.fm and if you find it — and you probably will — blip it. That’s the essence of Blip.fm — everything flows from there. A blip consists of embedded streaming audio of the chosen song and an accompanying comment of 150 characters or less. Writing a comment is optional but it makes blipping a lot more fun.

search results, the most recent blip by one of my favorite DJs

Blip.fm: search results followed by the most recent blip by one of my Favorite DJs — Jeffie

As other DJs view and listen to your blips, some of them may favorite you, meaning they become one of your listeners. You may return the favor. Some DJs may give you props for what they feel are particularly inspired blips on your part. Here again, you may return the favor.

Each DJ gets a certain number of props to give. They start you with 15 I think. Each time another DJ gives you props, the number of props you have to give increases by one.

Blips are listed in reverse chronological order. Your default list of blips at blip.fm/home will contain both your blips and the blips of DJs to which you are a listener. This list is also called your Personal Radar. You can filter out other DJs’ blips by clicking your DJ name next to the Home button. In any case there are player controls — play/pause, prev(ious) (blip), next (blip) — at the bottom of the page.

You can also maintain a separate playlist of blips; the playlist can contain blips by any DJ including your own. There is also the option to reblip another DJ’s blip. It’s all very Twitter-like but with the added dimension of music. I’m having fun with it.

In my statistically-oriented mind I have developed a metric for comparing the quality of DJs’ blips. Actually, the computation of the metric came first and then it occurred to me how it could be useful. At first I thought of it as a metric for comparing DJ popularity but popularity is really more a function of a DJ’s raw number of listeners relative to the amount of time they’ve been a DJ — or something like that.

I’m calling my metric the “Blip.fm Love Average” or BLA for short — pronounced blah. I’m not crazy about the name — it is rather, um, blah — but it will have to do unless I come up with something with more flare — something like PECOTA maybe.

Computing a DJ’s BLA is simple. Take the number of props and divide by the number of blips. Round the result to three decimal places — like a baseball batting average — and drop the number to the left of the decimal point unless it’s greater than zero.

my statistics, including the inputs to the BLA computation

Blip.fm: my statistics, including the inputs to the BLA computation

For example, I have blipped 82 songs and have been awarded 31 props by other DJs. My BLA is therefore 31 divided by 82 — .378.

While .378 is a really good baseball batting average, I wanted to know how it stacks up as a BLA. So I computed the BLAs of what is probably a representative sample of other DJs — my favorites and listeners. This is a snapshot of data at mid-day EST November 20, 2008.

DJ Blips Props BLA
calamari 1951 2341 1.200
realestatezebra 74 45 .608
sylvia638 553 301 .544
purplesime 1215 657 .541
Lil_tigah 296 155 .524
barnasound 324 163 .503
johnpapa 221 106 .480
Aluciel 498 231 .464
IRON100 166 74 .446
washingtonson 815 337 .413
dyost 5 2 .400
nitetalker 82 31 .378
Ipowars 667 250 .375
DownLow 1319 479 .363
funksoulbrotha 412 134 .325
realtyman 453 146 .322
mikethebee 166 50 .301
leblu 151 45 .298
Hotrod 347 102 .294
ZachsMind 1396 394 .282
musecrossing 475 132 .278
PrinceJ 642 165 .257
SylvioMicelli 1090 270 .248
photogreg 26 6 .231
restless_cheese 35 8 .229
Jeffie 1161 248 .214
thebrownhornet 90 18 .200
johnlydon77 84 16 .190
docj 301 56 .186
EdOvett 900 166 .184
KKfm 11 2 .182
sikkdays 143 25 .175
oliboni 75 13 .173
twillow 108 17 .157
webb_art 319 46 .144
soulfree 88 12 .136
mLap 240 31 .129
DJDeadlyHeadly 17 2 .118
spark69 134 13 .097
CoachStrong 64 4 .063
snazzy 17 1 .059
kandihenry 4 0 .000
di_danger_jonas 3 0 .000
frankokun 2 0 .000
RobertSquires 0 0 .000
Total 17,140 7294 .426
Total less calamari 15,189 4953 .326

Some observations:

  • Calamari somehow has more props than blips. Astounding! His BLA of 1.200 is in the stratosphere. Take calamari out of this sample of 45 DJs and the average BLA for the whole sample drops a full 100 points from .426 to .326.
  • My BLA of .378 ranks me #12 in this sample. Pretty good.
  • My BLA of .378 is below the average BLA for the whole sample but above the calamari-less average. I’ll take that.
  • The BLAs of 18 of the 45 DJs fall below baseball’s Mendoza Line of .200, which in that sport is the “boundary between extremely poor and merely below average” hitting. The Mendoza Line is about 60 points lower than the average batting average across baseball. Applying that to this sample of BLA data (with calamari discarded) would place the Blip.fm equivalent of the Mendoza Line (which also needs a name) at .266. Let’s call it an even .260. That puts another six DJs in the sample under the line and means 24 of the 45 DJs have extremely poor BLAs. That doesn’t seem right. I might have to rethink that. The problem is that 45 isn’t a large enough sized sample on which to base the line decision.
  • It may be possible to skew one’s BLA by blipping the same song multiple times. Jeffie, the DJ who has given me the vast majority of my props, does that. This tactic could either help or hurt one’s BLA I suppose. In Jeffie’s case it doesn’t seem to have helped; his BLA is a lackluster .214. I should note there is nothing wrong with blipping the same song multiple times. It’s standard practice for radio and club DJs. I’ve just chosen not to do it myself on Blip.fm.

Now all this plus two bucks, plus or minus, will get you a gallon of gas here in the US. But I thought I’d put it out there because it’s likely to be an original line of thought and those don’t come frequently to this blogger.

Maybe BLA will turn up in the statistics list on Blip.fm. That would be cool. A guy can dream … and divide.

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16 comments so far

  1. daretoeatapeach on

    There is a catch to your BLA. Because one can only get three props/day from any one DJ, your BLA score will be somewhat negatively affected by highly-frequent blipping. There are definitely IJs I would have given ten or more props on some days if I could have. If one wanted to max their BLAH, then, they would blip only three songs a day.

    Nice post, thanks!

    blip.fm/daretoeatapeach BLA of .77

  2. QC on

    @daretoeatapeach:
    Good point. One’s listener count is also a factor, though. As my listener count has increased, my BLA has gone up along with it. When I wrote the post November 20 I had about 26 listeners and my BLA was .378. Now with 70 listeners my BLA is up to .603.

    Of course, when Blip management hands out props-to-give for each blip like they did last week, that throws off the whole metric.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Downlow on

    Hey nitetalker, very interesting topic on BLA! In reviewing my BLA scores then and now, it has gone up as I expected, like any other active blip dj. Thanks for the post and adding my blip stats. As for blip adding more stats, it appears that they are still trying to get the bugs out. -Carl

    • QC on

      @Downlow/Carl:
      I have to agree that remaining active on Blip is a key to increasing one’s BLA. I do think the rate at which mine, currently .685, is increasing may have plateaued. We’ll see. I see your BLA has exploded since I wrote this post. Congrats. And I just bumped it upward a little bit more — if you know what I mean — to thank you for doing me the honor of stopping by here and leaving a comment.

  4. MeeJong on

    This was very interesting. Thanks @DownLow for turning me on to this post, I’m just geeky enough to want to calculate my BLA, lol.

  5. @Greenie on

    Interesting! ive often wondered my ‘ranking’ or whatever you want to call it.. I have seen some extreme variations… like over 1,000 listeners (though while not in your BLA) and only about 80 props… or a very low number of blips/listeners to a high # of props… also, many people practice the @enterDJname… thus getting many more props than the blip probably would have gotten w/o the shout outs… i agree that listener count is also a good thing to take into account.. keep it up!

    @Greenie bla-.617

  6. photogurrl on

    I also thought this was an interesting way of calculating the ranking. Thanks for sharing! I was very excited to learn that my bla is high.
    Cheers! Happy blip’ing ;)
    @photogurrl bla-1.75

  7. QC on

    @MeeJong, @Greenie, @photogurrl:
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments. If Carl/@DownLow had warned me to expect company, I’d have tidied up the place a bit. – @nitetalker .722

  8. mark_till on

    13,535/13,017=1.0397
    So I am stoked. At this point, I am very nearly 2 for 1 on the blip/prop ratio. This is because I have worked to generate a listener base that seems to really like my music.
    Compared to flying_roundhouse, I suck!
    27,500/9,373= 2.93

    http://blip.fm/flying_roundhouse

  9. Melle Johnson on

    Hey cool article. You mentioned this fellow Calamari? His BLA is currently 2.255! Also he has attracted almost 16,000 listeners on 4021 blips. I’m trying to figure that out. I have 100 listeners on 761 blips..

  10. QC on

    @mark_till:
    Thanks for the comment. And … nice going — your BLA is north of 1!

    @Melle_Johnson:
    Thank you. I think Calamari was an extra-early adopter of Blip. He may even be one of the founders …

  11. online stock trading advice on

    I usually don’t post on Blogs but ya forced me to, great info.. excellent! … I’ll add a backlink and bookmark your site.

    I’m Out! :)

  12. mark_till on

    Glad to see it. I have been incrementally improving my BLA it’s a good guide and it is independent of choice and taste in music. Should work for everybody.

  13. corts on

    Interesting, i think having more listeners seriously distorts the stats. Feeding it through a parabolic function might correct this, ouch! my head hurts :)! corts bla 1.42

    Cheers

  14. QC on

    @corts:
    I agree — that is a problem. Parabolic function?! Way outta my league …

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    I’m gone to say to my little brother, that he should also go to
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