Guest Judge Discussion

Clicking on the link to Spiffy Man’s profile, - in the two months since he created his profile, the dude has literally spent zero time on the forum: 0 topics viewed

If the IDMF is supposed to be “all about the community” (I remember someone saying a while back), then having a guest judge with absolutely no interest in the community seems almost counter-productive.

We created the profile; not Spiffy.

If you have further issue with this, please write us directly or in the feedback section. (comment before migration to feedback section)


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Posting a link to a profile he’s never actually used does seem a bit strange, but I don’t think I have “an issue with it” (I’m not entirely sure what that means tbh). Feel free to move my comments to the feedback section if you like.

In my opinion a guest judge need not be active in the community at all, it’s not about that. The Netlabel Team approaches guest judges for their insight and other interest they might add to the comp, not what they can add to the community. In other words by agreeing to guest judge it’s them that are doing us a favor, not the other way around.


100%. he’s a GUEST judge lol


Where I live, it’s generally considered respectful for a guest to at least show a modicum of interest in his host (even if the guest has to fake it). It’s not a demand, of course, but without it - you’re unlikely to be invited again in the future.

Having submitted a track for the project, I should probably start sucking up to the judge as well, though;)

I’m sure he’s a great guy!

Folks, let’s move this conversation to a new thread elsewhere such as the feedback section and leave this thread for its purpose please.

This is an announcement thread. (comment before migration to feedback section)

Thank you,

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TBF we don’t know yet if we’re going to do this guest judge thing again. Kudos to Spiffy for agreeing to do this for, honestly, nothing in return but our thanks, and for being the guinea pig that tells us more or less what kinds of terror and abuse to not subject future judges to. So far, it’s gone better than I expected to be honest. I thought stuff would be on fire, suspensions would be flying around, and there would be tears for many involved. I’m happy it’s not like that.

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I was expecting some negative feedback on the guest judge not being an active member and I am positively surprised we got so little.
I am with the Netlabel team on this, he’s a guest, doing this for free, I would not expect anything in return. In my mind the idea was to get someone with an established experience in the genre, to feedback and help decide on the submission.
Reminds of the time that with an old forum member we organised (outside the forum) a tribute to Napalm Death compilation. Weren’t expecting them to be involved but when we let them know via FB, they shared it on their page.

@ Netlabel_team: next get Mick Harris (Scorn) or Swarm Intelligence to judge or GTFO.

Alright, now that we’re moved to the right place, @Balafonman, I am actually interested in hearing what folks think and discussing this guest judge idea as it’s received. This is all new and this one specifically is a true test case, so such discussions and feedback is vital.

Regarding guest judge interactions with the forum leading up to the results.

Firstly, I’ll take the axiomatic position that a guest judge should interact with the community prior to judging material.

This comes in two parts:

  1. In this case, this issue would be on the Netlabel as that notion was never communicated to the guest judge, partially because we simply didn’t think of this. There are possibly culturally different notions about guest judge normalities. For instance, it’s been expressed that in one culture it’s expected that a guest judge interacts, meanwhile, over here in the U.S. this is not typically expected. The default understanding of a guest judge is a person who plops in alone, or on a panel, and makes a judgement on something based off of their expertise. Typically this kind of individual is getting something out of being a guest judge in the form of either payment or advertising their brand.
    I don’t think it honestly ever occurred to anyone on the Netlabel to consider the idea of a professional artist, producer, or the like, taking time to hang around and chill on the forums prior to making any votes regarding the submission contents.
    So that’s one issue that we can work on keeping in mind in the future; a general awareness of cultural differences in regards to such matters.

  2. In some cases, as it was in this case, guest judges are people actively working in the industry, and are often quite busy. They may be piled in with their own work that doesn’t really lend them much time. In this case, with the current judge, there wasn’t much time in between their events as they have been working on a new album and then working on the marketing and deploying of that album, aside from work involving other artists which further adds to their workload; as well as having been periodically in travel for events.
    Now, a part of this is the Netlabel’s responsibility for managing logistics such that if we want a judge to interact with the community prior to making judgments, then we would need to not only make sure that our coordinated logistics accounts for the judge having time to listen to the music and make judgments, as well as take care of any other quid pro quo cross promoting between the judge and IDMF (this goes both ways, the current judge, for example, advertised IDMF on his social presence, and we advertised him by proxy of mentioning him as the judge and cross-linking), but also lines up with sufficient time for the judge and the Netlabel team to facilitate the judge taking time to interact with the community in some small capacity.

So, basically, if we assume the position that the judge should be interacting at some small level with the community before hand, then in this case this would be an issue that the Netlabel would have failed to articulate and organize with the guest judge and we would take that lesson learned and attempt to make those facilitations available in the future.

That being said, this rounds me to my personal opinion on the idea as a whole.

Secondly, my personal opinion on the subject.

I don’t think this will likely happen, if I’m frankly honest. We’re not paying these judges anything. Aside from a bit of cross-promotion, which honestly does us far more good than it does active artists and producers (they don’t really need our promotion for public awareness, but we sure can use any help in increasing awareness of our community), judges get nothing.

Maybe one day we can afford to pay them, but I’m not holding my breath. That gets rather expensive and IDMF is not rolling in dollars, nor is it likely to do so anytime soon (if ever).

That means we have very little bargaining power when it comes to making requirements of guests from the industry.
It’s a great way to widen our community spotlight within the industry, and that’s its main purpose.
If 5 guest judges over the coming years happen, then that’s 5 professionals in the industry who actively know of IDMF.

That in itself is worth quite a lot in terms of investment power over time; especially if their experience was a positive one, and what they heard in the music submitted was interesting or impressed them in some way.

So guest judges aren’t really about the community in the direct sense, but in the vicarious sense of increasing the awareness of the community’s identity to the industry.

It’s basically a sly way of not walking around pitching the community’s work to other labels and saying, “HEY! CHECK OUR COMMUNITY ARTISTS OUT! THEY ROCK!” and ending up in a pile of stuff never listened to like most content sent to labels (even if from another label).

By engaging the ego of artists, producers, and other individuals within the industry by asking them to be judges, we’re implicitly suggesting that their voice and opinion is valued. This inherently creates a more direct and engaged relationship with assets within the industry than blind submissions to resources within the industry.

So this is the main focus in this kind of album.

It’s a way to show you guys off to the industry! :smiley:

As to being community involved in some capacity before hand, I just don’t see that typically happening.
It was a real juggle, to be honest, lining up everything with the other releases IDMF has slotted and what they require, with the guest judge’s timeline and getting it ironed out to a specific timeline that would work out for both parties without causing too much disruption in the guest’s current workflow.

Attempting to increase that cost of time further, to be honest, would likely make it not only harder to accomplish these at all, but far less attractive to guests in the future.

I’m not saying “No”. I am, however, saying that I’m not logistically optimistic about the notion.

I can say, however, that we definitely will be keeping it in mind as a possibility in the future.



For some reason idmf drama is burned into memory which is sad but that’s beside the point Telefon tel Aviv used to be an idmfer but some of idmfs user base decided to spam his thread with stupid posts and proceeded to act like trolls(i know I’m one to talk) which resulted in him quitting idmf that and someone thought it was a good idea to antagonise telefon tel aviv and start an argument for no good reason, things like the telefon tel Aviv scenario is why some people aren’t active on the internet,

I bring him up because he was someone who was somewhat active…but due to human nature he turned away from this community but I’m not speaking for him I’m just going by what I’ve observed…

so I think having a guest judge is positive but as far as whether they chose to be active in the community is entirely their call, either way they voluntarily agreed to contribute something by being a guest judge…

That is exactly how I feel about this, he doesn’t owe us anything really and he is helping us out. I don’t expect him to drop in at all.

I do think we should maybe put in place a deadline or follow up and see if he is still available to make his selection soon (reason being people are getting restless)

I am sure this guy is busy and is doing his best to help us out. I always try to assume positive intentions in life, this is no different.


Yeah, there’s a lot going on, so we went with a standard week for the judging - giving time to listen and form opinions and make selections.


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I guess I’m just not really buying into the whole idea that Spiffy Man is somehow on an entirely different level from the rest of us.

Napalm Death (briefly mentioned by Auto-meh-geddon above) is a good example of a band that, despite massive succes and literally giving birth to a new genre of music, has remained level with fans and other bands throughout the years.They don’t seem to see themselves as being “on another level” at all, and don’t mind taking part in strange shit if they think it’s interesting.

To me, that’s a big part of what “community” means.

Everyone being on the same level.

A system with a special level for “professional industry celebrities”, who are somehow accepted as being “too next level” to have time for interacting with normal people, is basically just snobbery.

In any case, I don’t think the community/label here needs to feel inferior in any way. Many of the producers on here clearly have superior skills - but just don’t give a fuck about the music industry.

After writing that, I just saw the announcement of the winners. Makes it look like I’m just whining about not being anmong the winners, doesn’t it? :smile: ha ha!

Wasn’t there supposed to be 10 tracks on the comp though?

It’s not snobbery.
It literally is a matter of logistic, for as much our part as theirs.

I know it seems like all this is simple and easy, but it actually isn’t at all.

And perhaps there are those who don’t “give a fuck” about the industry, and that’s fine. They don’t need a label, or at the least don’t need bother with things involving the industry which the label does.

However, getting the industry attention in’t anout any one individual. It’s about the label’s saturation.
There’s no real point to a label heard by virtually a handfull of people; most of whom contribute to the label.

That can be accomplished by just posting in the studio.
There’s no need for a label for that.

Labels exist, by default, to deliver artist content to audiences.
Reaching audiences inherently means working in the industry.
It doesn’t mean mainstream, but it does mean industry.

No one is being snobby, especially not Spiffy. He’s a very humble person.

We did not ask him to chat ahead of time.
We did an interview, but nothing about chatting.

Like I said before. We didn’t think of it at all.
We have been slammed busy ourselves and our fpcus was on getting the essentials completed, and we knew his schedule was also tight, so please do forgive us here if we didn’t think to curate chatting requirements into the judge while juggling four back-to-back releases, developing the label model from the ground up, getting accounts resolved for the label, squaring finances, and getting social media workflows functional again while being entirely new to this ourselves…at no payment for our time.

We’re doing this because we love IDMF, and for some of us, that motivated us to raise a hand when volenteers were asked for and crickets chirped in near dead silence.

We didn’t have to compete for slots on the label.
There’s 4 of us because that’s who volenteered.

We’re trying our best to serve this vommunity as best as we can, and one of the thing you need as a label is saturation and to be known in the industry of netlabels and independents.

As said, we’ll consider the idea of a judge chatting in the future.
I’m not sure it will happen, but we’ll look into it and see what happens.



Submitting a track for the label was a blunder on my part. I could have asked more pointed questions before, - about the process, copyrights/deals etc - but I didn’t.

And I can see how coming in hard with the criticism after the fact is a bit unfair. My apologies.

I think I’ll simply abstain from future interactions with the label. There are, after all, plenty of other labels out there for socialist troublemakers;)

Best wishes for the release!

We don’t want to push you away; heavens knows.

And we’re pretty socialist, really.

When we say industry, we’re not talking Sony, Geffen, etc…

We’re talking other netlabels and indie artists.
We have next to no designs for earnings. We’re actually considering non-profit.

By the way we use creative commons.


Maybe a little bit ^^ But it wouldn’t be IDMF if everybody would just accept stuff so I guess some form of thanks or medal is in order for keeping with the forum spirit :smiley:

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We never set a hard value up front and generally, with voted on releases (either by the community votes, or judge), we wait and see how many submissions there are before we make a decision. We ballpark a want, usually saying things like “between 8 to 10” or “10 to 12”, things like that, but these are just hopes and ballpark forecasts.

Broadly speaking, the fewer tracks there are on the final release, the fewer tracks were submitted…and we don’t like the idea of rejecting just one or two people, so we tend to set the bar a decent number lower than the total submissions so no one who doesn’t make it feels alone or singled out…because that sucks.

In this case, 8 was the settled number.

And don’t worry, you didn’t sound like you were whining.


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