Blip.me broadcast needs some more organization before it’s truly useful

Mar 25, 2012
Tech

Imagine Twitter if nobody famous or newsworthy was on it and you couldn’t search for specific tweets or find like-minded individuals unless you were already friends with them on Facebook or Twitter. That is blip.me in a nutshell. Of course, it’s not as bad as all that. The app’s potential as an audio-based version of […]

Imagine Twitter if nobody famous or newsworthy was on it and you couldn’t search for specific tweets or find like-minded individuals unless you were already friends with them on Facebook or Twitter. That is blip.me in a nutshell. Of course, it’s not as bad as all that. The app’s potential as an audio-based version of Twitter Is incredibly enticing; it just needs a little push in the right direction.

Right now, the most frustrating thing about using blip.me broadcast is not having a clear entry point. When I signed-up on Twitter, there were media members and celebrities I wanted to follow, and soon they were retweeting other people who seemed interesting enough to follow, but blip.me lacks that “reason to be here” type ease of use. Instead, when you open the app you just see thumbnails of images referencing the audio recordings (called blips) of people you don’t know. Aside from any one sentence descriptor provided by a given user, you have no idea what the blip you’re going to listen to will even be about.

Once you actually signed-up for the app, things get a little more organized. Suddenly, you see more than one user on a page, for instance, and you can check a tab that charts your own activity on the app. But blip.me still doesn’t provide a real reason to use the service. You can’t search for certain keywords, or find trending topics, or even just search for blips by category. The app becomes a dumping ground for short audio conversations between strangers.

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The real value in blip.me is in imagining what the service might look like with some updates to its interface and organization. If you could listen to a list of sports-related blips, or music-related blips, suddenly blip.me would be like checking out a bunch of mini-podcasts. It might not be as instantly useful as Twitter but it could arguably be far more entertaining in the right users’ hands.

Right now, blip.me broadcast has a lot of work to do. But I won’t be deleting it yet. If things break right, it could easily become as ubiquitous as Twitter, a service that was once derided for being a place where people just talked about what they were eating all day.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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