Music: Do you “blip?”

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blipfmPlease welcome guest blogger and co-creator of Queer Louisville Adam (aka Atom), who shares his insights on Blip.fm, a new social networking site that connects users through music. If you’re a Twitter user or a Last.fm regular, Blip.fm may be your next addiction.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I am like most Americans and only speak English. It’s even more of a poor excuse when my father was born in Honduras and Spanish was his first language. But, to my defense, I grew up in Ohio where in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the world-community climate had yet to boom and the need didn’t seem so obvious. Also, my mother didn’t speak Spanish and probably would have felt left out with her five children running around the house talking in a language she didn’t know anything about. These days, my nephews and nieces in Miami come home from school speaking “Spanglish” and the oldest of them hasn’t even reached 10. Different times.

Despite my lack of linguistic knowledge, I was lucky to be given the love of music, which stereotypically is “the universal language”. In my house on Sundays, we were forbidden to watch any television until the chores were done. My father would play classical music and we would vacuum, wash and listen to his vast collection of vinyl masterpieces while he cooked a large dinner. We would eat early, and then have our TV privileges returned after supper. To this day, I still get a joy listening to Dvorak’s 8th Symphony and can hum each sections part, the woodwinds, the low brass or the strings. I may have hated it then, but I feel lucky now.

Fast forward to the 21st century and the whole universe of “Web 2.0” and it’s easy to find ourselves overwhelmed by the many platforms for social networking. Each one boasts its own particular features, much like following one’s own fetishes. But, despite having a hundred friends I went to school with on Facebook or having a bunch of bands that I like as friends on Myspace, no particular site seemed to create a live interactive experience with people, communicating and sharing and getting to know each other on a basic level. That is, until I discovered Blip.fm.

I may have seen the blips come across on someone’s Twitter feed and was curious what it was, so I took the leap, typed in the URL and found myself immersed into a world where there where hundreds, if not thousands of people all chatting and sharing the same passion I have always had: the love of music.

Blip.fm in action.

Blip.fm in action.

Beyond the chatting, giving props to people for songs you like, and finding yourself addicted just searching for that one song, I was finding myself forming friendships with people all over the world. I’m usually up quite early and I found that’s the perfect time to talk to “Oxy” from Australia. Mid morning and early afternoon, I find myself sharing disco hits with “HerrKirsch” in Germany. But my favorite discovery has been the relationships I’ve made with the “blipsters” or “blipstars” in Brazil, partially sharing the same time zone and introducing me to music I would have never heard before. There is nothing like finding out that someone in Portugal shares the same love of the song you loved growing up and having them call you out on it. Also, there is nothing like logging in and having “Diordan” in Brazil say he thought of you last night when he heard this song and was waiting to see you online so he could play it for you. Most of the time the characters going across the screen are in their own native tongue, and you do not know what they are saying, but all you have to do is listen to the music to know how they feel. And that, is the simple beauty of Blip.fm.

On Christmas Day I found out Eartha Kitt passed away on blip before it hit the news wires – people were blipping her songs like mad. On New Years eve each hour of the day someone from some far corner of the world would play some song to ring in the new year. And, I have discovered there are two universal favorites across the world: The Beatles and ABBA.

The best part about Blip.fm is that you can tie it into your other applications even your Twitter feed, or even here. It’s easy to embed into your blog, website or favorite micro-blogging feed. Since I’ve discovered Blip.fm, I’ve moved away from the awkward “tweets” on Twitter because they didn’t express enough for me. But all it takes is one song to express to anyone how I’m feeling that day, or it’s so easy to play some Sylvester for “HerrKirsch” before he goes out dancing on Saturday nights.

Give it a try, give it a few minutes, and I’m sure you’ll find yourself hooked. Blip works best when you follow or “listen” to more DJs. Look for me on Blip, my DJ handle is “Atomik”. Until then, you know where to find me.

Cheers,
Atom

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