Not too long after Bandcamp first introduced their fan accounts—and around here someone swooned like a real fan boi—I started doing a feature on the blog called "Fandcamp".
The concept was simple: whenever I saw a charming fan review underneath a Bandcamp album I also fancied, I would take the fan's words and the album embed code back over to the blog and turn it into a quick and fun album post; one that didn't require me to continue scraping the bottom of my standard issue music blogger ‘100 Different Ways To Say That You Like Something Again’ barrel. Because that struggle gets real real, real fast.
I also liked how #Fandcamp continuously introduced people to the fact that anyone can write their own little album reviews for anything purchased on Bandcamp—and that one can discover a lot of great, often obscure, stuff by checking out the Bandcamp collections of other people (here is my personal one, for an example). The Music Feed is a pretty handy perk of having a fan account too, if we're listing things.
At one point, this Fandcamp idea had its own Tumblr (since discontinued) and Twitter (since ditto'd). I even bought the FANDCAMP.COM 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 the new idea while keeping old ideas going doesn’t really exist. Unless you want to sacrifice some other areas of your life (like actual jobs or actually sleeping). So I scaled the ambition back to just a blog tag.
But here’s the thing: I still really like this Fandcamp thing.
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 barbs 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 Fandcamp idea going forward. To be honest, I haven't quite figured it out. So I'll just keep posting them and invite you to use the #Fandcamp hashtag on wherever you hashtag as a way to share any good fan reviews you find on Bandcamp (and even if you just use it as a way to share your own music or your friends music, that still counts as a ✓ in the positive column).
I'll try and post some over on this blog (and link back to where you shared it) and/or I'll re-whatever on the HIGH FIVE FOR social media accounts for #muchgoodengagement.
Jeremy // @HI54LOFI