Flies 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.
- 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.
- 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…