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:
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.
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!
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.