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.
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.
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.
|Total less calamari||15,189||4953||.326|
- 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.