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Random Token Winners

New Feature: Random Token Winners

SJ Winners CupWe’ve added a new fun feature on StreetJelly.  Every time someone tips a musician, they have a chance to win back Free Tokens!  Yes, every tip is run through our Jelly Randomizer Engine to determine if that viewer wins free tokens.  The more tokens one tips, and the more often one tips, the better chances to win.  It’s simple – tip the musician and we give away tokens.

When a viewer wins tokens, they will see this pink message popup in the chat window.  The winning tokens will be added to their account.

Screenshot Winner Message

The Jelly Randomizer Engine will continually run different winning amounts, odds of winning, special promotion nights, etc.  You never know what you may win.  So check in with the site often, follow the Facebook page, and ask the folks on the site what’s new.

 

You’ve been Volunteered into the Jelly Army

You’ve been volunteered into the Jelly Welcome Army!

Uncle Jelly SamWhen I was in the Army, I was often “hey you’d,” as we would say.  “Hey you, you just volunteered yourself to stay tonight and clean out the 1st Sergeant’s office.”   Of course, I was thinking more like, “hey whaaaaaat?”  As time goes by and the more things change, well, the more things stay the same.  Hey You, you’ve been volunteered to be part of the Jelly Welcome Army!  (Don’t worry, I clean my own office.  Ok, that’s not true, but it gets cleaned somehow.)

As StreetJelly grows everyday, a warm welcome to new users and artists into the Jelly Nation goes such a long way.  So all my Jelly Friends, please take these few steps whenever you see a new musician or viewer on the site.

 

New Viewers

  • Say “Hello” and “Welcome to StreetJelly” whenever you encounter a new user.
  • Help new users understand some of the crazy words we use in Jelly Land with a brief explanation.
  • Same thing with Smileys, explain any not-so-obvious meanings.  For example, new users have no idea what the fly means the first time they see it.  Add a quick note like “(listening only)” so they understand.

New Artists (first time performing)

  • Say “Hello” and “Welcome to StreetJelly.”
  • Give them feedback on their sound. But please don’t overwhelm them with too much tech talk.  They may be new to webcam and USB mic technology, so you don’t want to scare them off.  If their sound is at least decent, tell them “we can tweak it later when you get more comfortable on the site.”
  • Explain any features on the site they many not understand like tokens, Rocker Pins (badges), play lists, etc.
  • Take a moment to scroll down and read the artist’s profile.  You’ll be surprised how interesting some of them are and it may help you strike up a conversation with the musician.
  • Keep the chat conversation focused on the musician. This is kind of a tricky one, but important.  A brand new musician performing on the site is probably a bit uncomfortable or nervous with this new format.  It’s not that easy to keep up with chat messages, respond, talk, play, remember chords / lyrics, and so on.  It can be overwhelming to new artists if the chat is inundated with tons of unrelated messages, personal conversations, and zillions of smileys.

The key to being part of the Jelly Welcome Army is to remember how you first experienced StreetJelly in the early days.  I know we all have fun on the site now, go a bit nuts with smileys, and joke some really bad whoppers.  But remember that a musician’s performance is like an invitation into their living room.  We wouldn’t want to be invited in someone’s house and ignore their presence.

I hope we’ve been able to give everyone (as much as humanly possible) a warm welcome when they found StreetJelly.  Now it’s your turn to return the same welcome to all the new people.  Pay it forward and many thanks, Jelly Friends!
~frankie

Any other tips how to welcome new viewers and musicians?

Online Family

Special guest blog by Amanda Crann from “ImageAndFamily”

Online Family

AmandaIf anyone had told me that I’d develop online friends who could become more like family I would have laughed. But that is truly what I’ve found on StreetJelly. We’ve become a community of people who laugh together, cry together and share our lives with one another. Now if that isn’t family then I don’t know what is.

When we first started out on StreetJelly, we didn’t really think that anyone would listen to or even like the kind of music that we played, but the support we have found is mind blowing. We have quickly developed a steady group of people that offer their encouragement and applause to the shows that we put on. I have seen the growth in my own family that has occurred since we started performing for our wonderful fans. Many of you have watched my son, Robert, sing, play piano and tell jokes as well as interact with those who watch us. But what you may not know is that due to his autism, he is usually a withdrawn child around new people and struggles with communication. However, the encouragement he has found on StreetJelly has helped him to open up and not only enjoy but look forward to meeting new people. I have also noticed a new found confidence in myself that I never imagined I could have.

The feeling of family was demonstrated to me on Saturday, April 6, 2013. As many of you know that was the day that Merv asked me to marry him. Together Merv and Frankie rallied the whole community to be there and help to make that day one I will never forget. To see all the work that went into such a spectacular night and to know that so many people cared and wanted to be a part of our big night was overwhelmingly touching.

MervThat night started like any other, but when we began our show the number of viewers skyrocketed. Never before had I ever seen so many people all watching one show. I was blown away by the sheer number that amassed to watch us. Then the big moment happened as Merv asked the question that I have waited my entire life for and it may sound bizarre but I could hear the applause from our family that night. I have never felt as much love overflowing as I did that night. I thank everyone who came out to be a part of that amazing experience, especially our King, Frankie, you rock. You truly helped to make it a magical and unforgettable event.

As I write this I am reminded of the words of a song that my family and I close every show with and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that these words apply to each and every one of you in StreetJelly land.

“We’re running out of trees and we’re running out of space but we’ll never run out of good people,” from Great Big Sea’s Good People

Watch StreetJelly from your iPad and iPhone

Q:  Can I watch StreetJelly from my iPhone?
A:  Yes, with the Photon Browser app.

There is a Flash compatible browser, called Photon, that can stream StreetJelly performances on an iPad, iPhone, iPod.  Below is a screen shot taken from an iPhone 4.  Photon is an alternative browser to Safari for mobile Apple products.  It works the same way as any browser:  just navigate to a website as you would on the regular browser.  Photon works for any Flash enabled website, including those with Flash games like Facebook.

The StreetJelly website is obviously very small on a phone, the better experience is on an iPad.  But this gives us good insight as we develop our mobile apps for StreetJelly.  It’s not just a matter of “shrinking” down a website to fit on a mobile device.  We want to make sure the experience fits for when you are mobile, verses sitting at home or work in front of a pc.  In the meantime, check out the Photon Browser.  Cost as of this time is $3.99 on the iTunes App Store.

Photon Browser for iPad: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photon-flash-video-player/id430200224

Photon Browser for iPhone: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photon-flash-video-player/id453546382

 

Taken from an iPhone 4 with Photon Browser

Taken from an iPhone 4 with Photon Browser

New Updates – Keeping out the Riff Raff

News – March 2013

Mugshot of Riff RaffNew Feature – Room Banning.

Hopefully you will never need this feature, but we’ve updated the room banning capabilities on StreetJelly.  It’s a fact of life on the Wacky Wide Web that inevitably there will be jerks in the chat during a show.  Musicians now have more controls on keeping out the riff raff.  Inside the chat message window, you may have always noticed the red-x button on each person’s message.  When an artist clicks on this link, a new pop-up box will appear with these options:

  1. Remove a user from your chat window (same feature as before).  The annoying person will be removed from your chat window only.  They won’t know it, nor will anyone else know it.  This is basically an ignore setting.
  2. Remove user from everyone’s chat .  This is new and removes the offender completely from your show.  It’s like bouncers are dragging the douche out of the audience.  The viewer will get bounced to a “you’ve been banned” webpage and will no longer be allowed back into your show.  This is a full room ban.  It’s a bit extreme, but sometimes necessary.
  3. Ban permanently from all shows for a musician.  Same as #2, but that jerk-wad will never be allowed back into any show for that one musician.

The room banning features are available to all musicians during their shows.  StreetJelly Moderators also have the ability to ban any user from a broadcast on behalf of a musician.  Regular viewers, and artists viewing another show, still have the ability to remove (ignore) a user from their own chat window.

It’s worth repeating: StreetJelly is a family friendly site.  We are not the cultural police, but please keep it clean.  When in doubt, think of being PG-13 as your guide.

 

Give Yourself a Big Smiley

Happy Thumbs UpYep Smiley

StreetJelly News: we’ve updated our Smileys to bigger and better fun!

There’s a bit of a story behind this.  We originally used smileys, emoticons in our chat windows, that were borrowed from another instant messaging system.  We had these in place during our beta phase and applied for the proper permission and licensing to use on the site.  The paperwork took a while, but we finally heard back from this large national company.  For whatever reason they declined our application to license their artwork.  They didn’t even offer a chance to pay a licensing fee.  Oh well, that’s the way it goes in this business.

HurrayWe moved ahead with Plan B.  We found a new supplier of artwork that was happy to take our money.  I know, right!  Originally, we didn’t choose this company because their smileys were so large and didn’t quite fit into the chat window.  But StreetJelly evolves.  Turns out, bigger IS better for the site.  While performing, the musicians are often further back from the screen and have a harder time viewing and reading the chat messages.  The larger smileys are much easier to see.  And, we increased the font size and thumbnail pics while we were updating the code.

Hoola-hoopThere is a lesson here, too.  It’s about copyrights, ownership of artwork, licensing, and all that legal mumbo-jumbo that follows.  Everything that applies to smiley graphic files also applies to songs and songwriters.  We believe strongly in the rights of any artist, their art work, and fair compensation for use of their work.  At StreetJelly, we do our best to make sure everyone is credited or compensated properly.  We hold web licenses through songwriter associations, like BMI, ASCAP, SECAS, for the cover music performed by our musicians.  These fees come out of our budget, not musicians’ tokens.  We do this not because we’re supposed to, but because it’s the right thing to do.  Check out our friends at FarePlay.org and all the great work they are doing to curtail illegal downloading of music.  We support them, you should too.

Remember, if you didn’t create something, make sure you are giving credit or paying the person who did.  It’s that simple.

Hope everyone enjoys the new smileys!

How do you Thank a Community?

Thank you Cables

Hello, this is a personal note from me, Frank Podlaha, founder of StreetJelly.com.  I have the best seat in the house to witness the community that is forming around this little experiment of streaming live musicians for the world.  It’s March 2013 and StreetJelly is about six months old.  I am blown away by the support we have received by the members of StreetJelly.

We can all relate to having fans, whether we create music, art, or even websites.  But it’s something even more special when this thing you create takes on a life of its own.  And this thing takes on the life of the people, the super fans, who add their own passion to it.  StreetJelly is not about me, Frankie the computer programmer from Tennessee.
StreetJelly is the community of everyone that works so hard to make it special.

Here’s one recent example.  StreetJelly was a sponsor at the world’s first Virtual Music Conference.  StreetJelly was on an international stage in front of music industry execs, vendor experts, and a worldwide slew of musicians.  It was a lot of work.  And the Jellyfish stepped up to the plate to help man the virtual exhibitor booth, mingle with conference goers, perform three days straight of music on the site, and overall “spread the jelly.”  I hesitate to list names of all those that helped because I fear I may miss someone.  But here it goes.  Thank you Lana, Damian, Clifton, Aaron, Rick, Denise, Martina, Amanda, Robert, Jayro, Chris, Kevin, Jersey, Michael, Lindley, John, Diana, Maureen, and especially Merv for the many hours of tireless promotion of our community.  (Oh crud, I feel like I forgot someone already.)

I am humbled by all this help.  But just saying “thank you” doesn’t feel like enough.  I think the best way to show my gratitude is to continue to work as hard as I can to help create an even bigger and better community.  Below is a recent quote about StreetJelly from William Buckley of Fare Play on a Digital Music News article.  He sums up well where my heart is:

Nice guys finish first.  http://www.streetjelly.com/

Six months ago I had the pleasure of having StreetJelly founder, Frank Podlaha, as our first guest on FarePlay Radio.  It was one of those rare moments when you find yourself having a conversation with someone who genuinely cares about helping others.

In many ways Frank and his growing stable of musicians epitomizes everything that FarePlay stands for.  Passionate individuals going after a dream no matter how hard the climb. Musicians chasing a dream that perhaps someday will lead them to a career as full time musician.

If you’re a musician you should check out StreetJelly.  Frank is a tireless promoter of “his” acts.  If you just love music you might find someone you want to follow.  And if you’re walking past someone playing on the street you might just pause for a few minutes and check them out.  They’ll like that, even if you don’t tip them.

Music is like the air we breathe, we can never get too much.

Thanks Frank.

Thank you, Will.  And thank you, StreetJelly Nation!  Onward!

StreetJelly Poem by Damian Trujillo

A StreetJelly poem by Damian Trujillo

Handwritten PoemGot StreetJelly?

The day is long on the StreetJelly
Pupils start to dialate as you pick up that tele
Pick up that stratocaster, gibson acoustic delight
did you hear a stray cat strut by tonight

At 8 am you may hear a crooner
Sometimes the music  will come along sooner
24 hours a day what can go wrong
lost connections, oh my in the middle of the song

From the west coast sunshine
To the Canadian lines
From the New York subways
To the mountains of the west and high

From England and Ireland, Netherlands too
Oh  StreetJelly  Oh StreetJelly the things you do
Some sing like the angels, others unique and true
Free, free, free the music for you

Got StreetJelly?

–Damian Trujillo, Sheridan, WY, March 2013

Who is going to set this to music?