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Let Flies be Flies

Jelly FliesFlies are our friends.  Of course, I’m talking about Jellyflies!  A Jellyfly is a term created by the StreetJelly community to indicate viewers watching a musician but not participating in the conversation.  They are just “flying” around a performance.

There is a great discussion on the Do’s and Don’ts blog post how to increase your tips while performing on StreetJelly.  This topic of flies is really a continuation of that post, but I think it’s worth to talk a little deeper about Jellyflies.

So here is my tip to musicians: Let the Flies be Flies.  Odd advice, you’re thinking?  Some musicians are great at engaging their StreetJelly fans and prying the flies out of anonymity.  But others try too hard to get the flies to talk.  There is definitely a fine line between being inviting and being too aggressive.

I speak from experience because I am a fly on the site sometimes.  I know, “how dare you Frank?”  Yes, it’s true.  There are two reasons why I end up being a fly.

  1. I only have about 5 or 10 minutes before I have to go do something (I have a crazy schedule).  I choose not to become part of the conversation because otherwise I’ll enjoy myself too much and never leave.
  2. I like to listen to the music while I work.  Again, I may be very busy and really have to get some work done – even at 2am.  I have to force myself not to look at the chat.  After all, StreetJelly is a music site, and sometimes I just want to listen.

I know that on a few occasions, I’ve heard musicians lay on the guilt trip pretty thick to get the flies to talk.  That’s probably not going to help get them to talk nor tip more tokens.  They may even leave the performance.  Performing art is a lot like marketing.  If a potential customer (i.e. token tipper) is driven away, they may never come back.

There are probably many other reasons why someone may be a fly.  As a matter of fact, StreetJelly was built around the fact to allow anyone to listen in, find great musicians, and jump in only if they like.  Think of a street musician, they could never possibly stop everyone that walks by and ask to see their identification.

You never know who is watching on StreetJelly.  If someone needs to be a fly for whatever reason – that’s fine.  Say, “hello.”  Remind them they can login to chat (maybe they don’t realize that).  And thank them for stopping by.  They will be happier if you did.

Thoughts from the artists?  How do you engage the flies?  Continue the discussion below…

Posted under: Random Thoughts, Support, Help, Tricks

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  • I interact with the people who chat with me but I never try to guilt trip any flies. I, like you, sometimes just like to listen to the music in the background when I am doing something else. One thing I always do is thank everyone for stopping by and listening in and tell them I hope I made your feet tap or put a smile on your face. It’s all about common courtesy and respect for others. I think this is the best way to get people to come back to your shows and maybe even join in on the chatting.

  • Have to agree with the frankster. Sometimes I click on an artist, turn up the speakers, flatline the screen and go about my business. Just like a person in a coffee house or club sitting in the back of the room listening unobtrusively and enjoying the show.

    Sometimes I click on several artists at the same time, mute one and go to the other, mute that one and so on. To and fro I go. I jump in once in awhile to encourage the artist and then I am gone or maybe I will stay. Who Know’s.

    As a musician I hope there are a million flies quietly listening to my show and I give them much thanks and appreciation. Great topic frankie. Peace out

    Damian Trujillo

  • I simply let them know if they want to join in the conversation, that they have to sign up but it’s free to do so!! Then go about my normal routine 🙂

  • I am a Jellyfly and a Jellyfish. Those who have been with Street Jelly a while know I have a tipping addiction, but I listen even more than I chat. I wrote a whole chapter of a book just skipping through artist, and like has been stressed being rude usually makes me click away. I hold grudges too, it’s not insecurity it’s abhorant to me if I am nice and polite to you to be insulted. I also have been a fly while bolstering artists by contacting friends, checking out web pages, liking them on Face Book YouTube, Reverb, Myspace, Jam base etcetera, it takes time. Even to the point of suggesting further development for certain artist n outside of streetjelly conversations. My point is all that goes away with someone being rude… Yeup I agree with everyone’s comment… That may be a first

  • McKenzie (WR) on February 21, 2013 at 5:54 pm said:

    So true! Some listeners are actually shy, and/or have a fear of publicly communicating with strangers and even friends online. Also, there is this weird sensation of feeling like you are interrupting the musician. I have even found myself avoiding some shows because of the lack of viewers, and fear of having to engage in conversation. Weird, I know, but as this new form of musician and fan communication evolves, a new form of etiquette and standard is developing as well. I think if I am in “fly” mood, I will at least announce my presence and “buzzing” status from now on. 🙂

    • hey McKenzie, I would rather you listen to my show then interact in the chat room. I enjoy doing a show for a few or many. I never want the viewer to feel uncomfortable. Yes this is a new frontier we travel on. It is a trip that our lives are intertwined with the WWW. A trip I glad to be part of. take care.

  • Maureen on February 21, 2013 at 6:04 pm said:

    Unlike others you can always find me as a jellyfish…..the only time I become a fly is when I run to get my favorite drink or to check on something but its all in fun

  • I really enjoy viewers interactng at my show, it’s nice to no people are having fun with me but i also love having all the jellyflies checking me out to, and i also respect that the jelly flies don’t want to chat and at the same time there in my room chilling out and listening so all is good in streetjelly land,.Jellyflies you Rock!!!!

  • Thanks for a great blog and great comments. It shows that there is a good reason to nurture and appreciate those quietly hanging out in the back. This is, after all, a music performance venue. I’ll want to remember to give them their props, just for being there for me.

  • I’ve become a fly more and more lately. If there are only a couple people in the room and no on is talking I like to make a comment or 2 just to let the performer know we are here and enjoying your performance. As the room fills up you may notice I will become more and more quiet.
    Other times I turn into a fly because I grab my guitar to try and play what I just saw you play, then get lost in practicing. A lot of you motivate me to pick up my guitar.

  • Pat Marr on December 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm said:

    I’m afraid to be a fly because of that smiley that stomps his feet!! Stomping feet is one of the main dangers for flies. Well, that and spiders.. but fortunately, there are no spider smileys (yet)

  • Myrian Tereza Merheb de Moraes on September 17, 2015 at 12:58 pm said:

    I don’t know if I am a jellyfly, jellyfish or whatever. I’m a viewer and I love it. I also like to Interact with the artist as wll as the viewers. I’m always welcomed by all of them. I give tokens when I can afford them, and I think that it’s the same as when you ticket for a show. But when I don’t have tokens, I make a good marketing for all of them. I wish I could watch them all, but it’s impossiple.So, from time to time I try to watch anew one. Some viewers have indicated me other artists. That’s pretty good. One helps the other. That’s cool!