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…
There is an absolute psychology that belongs to musicians. A specific need or desire that has caused them to spend years and hours learning to play. Yes, “I am going to be a rock star,” is part of it. That is not the reason for most musicians. The idea after gigging out for twenty years of hitting the big pay off seems like a lottery ticket for most of them. So why would they practice into the night, and play for their friends every chance they get? They do it because they want you to listen.
That’s where Street Jelly comes in; an author wants you to read their book, a painter wants you to get their art, and a musician wants an audience. It does not matter if it is three in the morning or nine o’clock in the evening they want a crowd.
Street Jelly helps to fill that niche by allowing musicians and music lovers to enjoy the intimate setting of a private gig, without violating your privacy. It provides the listener a way to interact with the musician you could only get by standing next to a stage and allows the artist to play live. Musicians love to listen and critique other musicians usually by encouragement, and likewise like to better their skills accordingly with the input of unbiased peers. However, they mostly want to play for you.
You cannot always have a stage unless you have a…
“Peanut butter and Street Jelly jam samich” – Clifton Printy.
“It’s musically delicious.” – Image and Family.
I know the world didn’t end last month from the Mayan doomsday calendar. You and I are still here. I’m pretty smart, huh? Or I’m just a smarty-pants stating the obvious. Don’t answer that. I do know that great things are happening for StreetJelly.
Last month on StreetJelly I witnessed a growing community of musicians meet each other, start friendships, share the holidays, and even build a team to raise money for charity. Here’s a recap of some notable days in December 2012.
End of the World Shows On 12/21, the Mayan Doomsday, a few musicians scheduled “End of the World” concerts on StreetJelly. That must have sparked everyone’s urge to perform one last time before the calamity of global destruction. Starting around 10:30am, musicians performed one after another all day in one big long concert. It lasted well into the night. Fun was had by all.
Christmas Eve 12/24 was a special night. Yes, it was holiday fun and most musicians were singing Christmas carols. But a wonderful thing happened during one performance. A group of musicians were all chatting together watching Maestro when the conversation turned to benefit concerts and performing for charities. Long story short, this group has teamed up to start performing monthly concerts on StreetJelly for charities. All tokens collected by these musicians on such days will be donated to a specific charity. The team is currently working hard behind the scenes to put this all together – stay tuned for more details and a chance to contribute.
New Year’s Eve Drinking songs, distortion, and …well …more drinking songs capped off the night. Musicians were performing all night long, and a crew of us were able to celebrate the New Year in most of the US time zones (sorry Hawaii). Our master jam band extraordinaire Clifton played for hours with his band at a local Shriner’s basement. The sound took a few to get right, but everyone still enjoyed themselves. Even when the laptop went flying, nothing was broken!
These were just a few of the great times in December on StreetJelly. But what stands out to me is that all these events were made special by the people who took part. It had nothing to do with marketing, or advertising, or social media shenanigans. It all happened spontaneously from the nice folks that found StreetJelly in 2012. That makes me very happy, as I know this can only lead to bigger and better things for the site. It’s just getting started!