Not too long after Bandcamp first introduced their fan accounts—and I swooned like a real fan boy—I started doing this little feature on the blog called "Fandcamp".
The concept was simple: whenever I saw a good fan review underneath an album that I also liked on Bandcamp, I would take those words and an album embed back over to the blog. It just seemed like a real quick and easy and fun and effective method to not only give an album a shout out in a slightly different way than my only other approach at the time (ie. me having to find 100 different ways to say "Hey, I really like this… you should check it out!"). I also liked how the feature would continuously introduce people to the idea that you could write your own little reviews on Bandcamp—and that you can discover a lot of great stuff by checking out the Bandcamp collections of other fans.
At one point, this Fandcamp idea had its own Tumblr (since discontinued) and Twitter (stuck on pause). I even bought the domain because I was thinking of starting a whole ‘fans of Bandcamp’ sort of site. But, as is often the case with ideas you’re not sure how to monetize, the time required to both pursue and keep going doesn’t exist unless you want to sacrifice some other areas of your life. And I wasn't about to give up my mindlessly staring into the internet time, so I scaled the ambition back.
But here’s the thing: I still really like this Fandcamp idea. Which is to say, I still really like that people can write short little reviews underneath the Bandcamp albums they liked enough to buy with their actual human money. Just the act of purchasing something in today's world of 'There's Probably An App For Getting That For Free' is a stronger review than 1000 words could ever muster. Throw in a few perfectly imperfect words to provide a little purchase decision context—like, "the beauty of this album hits you like a baseball bat" for example—well that's just some good word of mouth to ears.
During this current website re-design/ re-think, I’ve been spending a lot of time reformatting the 100s of Fandcamp posts that have made it over to this blog throughout the years. Which has got me thinking a lot about what to do with the idea going forward. Here’s what I've come up with so far:
Much like with the #HI54LO5 idea, I’m going to try and move the majority of the Fandcamp concept out onto the socials. With Twitter now at 280 characters, I think it's best to not waste clicks sending people to a blog just to read & listen to something they could have done within the app (things were different back in the 140 days when Fandcamp started).
Also, keeping things on social opens the idea up for more people to take part—and really, the whole idea is just sharing what other people thought about the albums they bought. So I will start checking for anyone sharing their own Bandcamp reviews (or sharing a fan review of someone else's that they like) with the hashtag #fandcamp and do some retweeting of those on the old @Fandcamp handle. Also, maybe it's time to bring back the #BandcampBooyakasha hashtag?
I will continue to keep a catalogue of Fandcamp selections on the the blog. And I will keep adding to the collection—as well as work on re-formatting the 100s of old posts I haven’t got around to yet—as I still think it's nice to have a curated collection of quality Bandcamp albums one can always come snoop around in if they so desire. Also, they're pretty quick to do.
Anyways, that's the plan for now. Or at least until I re-realize how bad for your brain it is to try and manage multiple social media accounts.
- Jeremy // @HI54LOFI