In community projects, it could possibly be better to have an assembly-style system for everyone to have a voice and be involved. For example, offer up a proposition with an allotted time for discussion and allows amendments to be made with majority vote (<50%) or to pass with a consensus vote (<75%) and of course offer propositions without discussion for near-unanimous vote (<90%). Could all be adjusted depending on the specific task, of course.
Yea having one gate keeper doesnt make sense.
Can you guys clarify where Stu stands on this or how he fits into this whole discussion? From what I understand, he owns the site and pays the hosting, but he’s not really involved in running it otherwise. What’s his motivation for keeping the site around? I remember the old site showed ads to unauthenticated visitors, so at least that probably helped to offset the cost of running it. There were some donations too that helped (at least more so in earlier years). So if it wasn’t costing him much to have around, then maybe it wasn’t an issue before. But the new one doesn’t show ads and there are no donations. So if it’s costing him a decent chunk of change to keep it going, but he has no interest in being involved, that kind of begs the obvious questions about the future of the site from that perspective.
We aren’t handing the website over to anyone. The netlabel and the forum are two separate entites. We are only talking about the netlabel.
He made no complaints installing this software. He asked us if we wanted to keep going or lwt it go. We said install it, it happened.
My impression is he isnt bothered by the money. He has never once brought up money while Ive been on the team.
The way Discourse works it would be easy to get the site back up, it would just be a matter of money. Roo and I looked in to it, if Stu stopped being our Patron it is in the realm of possibility we could keep the site running.
To further clarify–I think all the community needs to do to get started is have, ideally, 6-7 people volunteer to be the leaders and then have the community vote to keep 3-4 of them. No particular rush as the admins of the forum are happy to see things through until we release Date Night.
I believe this would/will be fine for community stuffs, I’m not entirely sure this would be good for singular releases.
Maybe a compromise? You guys take in demos and or find artist releases while the rest of the community does VA comps, one offs? Etc? At least temporarily.
Or are you just done with that aspect?
At least for the time being, how many of us have ran a project from start to finish? With mutiple people, etc? Seems like it could go very bad, pretty quickly. I know I have once and I just went along with the group leader on the Glitch Beat Tape.
“We” would need practice.
It’s hard work with unclear outcome for sure. I am in a few collab projects, ranging from 2 to about 10 people, and when more are involved, more might drop out for months or get bored or frustrated or get ideas about changing direction or converting a DNB group collab into a orchestral ensemble or stuff like that. It can be hard for sure and people have to sacrifice time, keep focus for something that they have to build together and compromise a lot. It can lead to great things when it works out, though.
Yea definitely. It’s fun and frustrating, I’m sure getting everyone on track in a collaboration or group effort. Always imagine the VA comps or even more so the challenge projects to be in that same vein.
Totally on board with it. Just not entirely sure a single artist release is doable. Other than saying “hey you, send some tracks to the netlabel.” Or possibly even figuring out covers, order, mastering with someone and then submitting it with the label.
Hmm…so many possibilities I guess.
Once or twice with musical projects, but most of my professional day is project management, often coordinating dozens of departments, hundreds of people, and big ass budgets. So yeah, a lil experience.
What I’d suggest to the people organizing is get someone who knows and understands the entire process to oversee it. They don’t have to know how to master, they just need to know that things need to be mastered and have some objective metrics for things like LUFS or whatever. Then they get someone who can handle the dirty details. The big picture stuff can be set by committee, but having one person oversee it tends to work best up to a certain scale.
What the person overseeing mostly does it set the time table for things. It’s all big picture. If you want to be done by Date X, you allocate Y time for submissions because review is going to take two weeks and re/mixing is going to take a month, and the mastering guy says he can be done in Z time (and you’ll add a little bit just in case) and we still don’t have someone to do the layout and cover so we’re going to estimate three weeks because it’ll probably take a week to find someone and review their stuff. Some of it can run concurrently, etc etc.
And if that person’s smart, they’ll make a spreadsheet and keep time tables and find the right people to run the sub-projects, because you’re only as good as the people you’re organizing. Also, they don’t need to handle big parts of the project, because it’s easy to get hyper-focused on something and miss big picture stuff. They organizer should manage and plan and not worry about executing.
Project management is mostly keeping up with the deadlines you set - “You said you’d have this done by this date, are we still on track? Why not? What can we do to help? Do I need to fire your ass and find a competent person? Do we need to readjust our expectations because we bit off more than we can chew?” and so on. A lot of it has to do with people management and getting the best out of the people you’re organizing. That’s obviously a lot easier when paychecks are involved, as you have some heavy sticks to go with your carrots, but if you’re good at it, it rarely comes to that.
tl;dr - you need one person at the helm that is passingly organized and knows the overview of the entire process really well, and then have them delegate.
That is literally what we do in the backroom. White Noise already said he would do mastering for netlabel releases for the foreseeable future (just repeating that so it doesn’t get lost). Also, Benwaa used to crowd source covers from the community and we would vote on them–I feel like recently there was a call to return to that and some complaints about our recent in-house album art.
I’m not saying it isn’t work, but it also isn’t rocket surgery.
I’m just throwing this out there, I’m happy to be an editor for blurbs or any other promo copy if the community decides to take this on.
@Artificer s spot on. The biggest issues is really just making sure deadlines are met. When that breaks down that is when things become obviously unprofessional.
Yea. I get that. My only thoughts are individual artist releases, assuming that becomes community driven, too, how does it get demo’d? I could say x member is going to release something because I follow them or see some lb stuff. They plop out 4 tracks. It will still need to be reviewed at whatever capacity. Either the 4 tracks, and/or cover stuffs.
But then it turns out to be garbage and the community rejects it. Someone would still have to “judge” it. The reason I mentioned you guys(current crew) sticking around for those. Or even unsolicited demos from people.
As to White Noise mastering, that’d be awesome. As to the covers and stuff, I remember the crowd sourcing. There were some neat things that came from that. Obviously it adds time but if it’s a judging type project, that’d be an easy filler between mastering.
Will be neat to see how it all goes overall. What works or doesn’t. I assume if we get too many projects at one time, we would need to stagger stuffs or whatever.
I sort of want to do a re-visit to the Glitch Beat Tape. . Might be a project I’d like to put through, eventually. Assuming any interest.
So I take it you’re dropping your hat in the ring for mentor? . Though, I’m sure there would be many people available if need be.
The community would want to vote on a few “leaders” who would organize and maybe vote on releases. I suggested that you could rotate in and out some other community members to decide what gets released and what doesn’t. Or you could come up with a pool of judges to randomly draw from when there is a release that needs voted on–actually that could be a really cool system.
Also, there isn’t any magic protecting us from the community saying something we release is garbage.
I’d be happy to help, but I don’t have the time or inclination to run the thing. Like Relic says, this isn’t rocket surgery - you just need to stay organized and set deadlines. I’m certainly happy to offer feedback or opinions about the process; just ask.
If I were running it, here’s how I’d start:
gather everyone that wants to be involved, and strong arm the admins who’ve done this before into showing up once or twice (their insight in this first stage is imperative)
make a list of everything involved in releasing an album - nothing is too big or too small
organize that list into 4-5 large headings (art, submissions, mixing/mastering, marketing, platforms, etc)
have a discussion about which things everyone needs to be involved in (voting on submissions, etc) and how you’ll go about it
replace people who leave in a huff because they didn’t get their way
pick/vote/cajole someone into running the thing, let that person use the list to organize the the release, and keep the list updated as new issues come up
get people to head up or do those individual tasks
What that does is set up a loose framework for how things are going to work, a punch list to work from, and a blueprint going forward. It has the flexibility to allow people to change how things happen, but not what happens. It can also be a living list, obviously, updated as need arises.
That’s my $0.02, but there’s plenty of ways to stroke the bear.
Thanks for the confidence, but I can’t really commit to being a core member of anything new right now because of a few looming deadlines. I am totally up for some involvement, supporting the label with submissions and remixes and I would be up for the second line of rotation-judging - .
I’ve thought about this and I can be involved, but I don’t want to be top dog. I don’t have enough experience beyond the music and some light group organization. I’ve put out one album for myself that flopped hard. That said, I’d be happy to lend my hand in guiding the netlabel forward scouting talent, voting on releases, helping get the word out to the degree that I can, trying to come up with projects, etc. I might even be able to write a blurb here and there. Just don’t give me the password guys.
So far, the name that’s come up that I think is best for that given his experience, more direct community involvement, and his stated desire to do it previously is @nostromer. I’m honestly not plugged into the community enough to know who else should/could be in that position right now.
How about the three of you stay just as you are, and open up the release builds and materials to the community votes?
I don’t see the point of dropping a quality experienced team at the same time as trying IDMF’s Got Talent voting methods. That is almost certain to go down in flames because those curating won’t know what to do like the current team, and neither will the community at large.
It would make more sense to at least stage this such that firstly, the current curation team ( @relic @Automageddon @RFJ ) stays put. The community begins to take charge of musical and artwork content selection through a dedicated thread for each release like all of the others we have around here that already run this way.
Down the road, after a few releases exist which show the community is engaging and the idea works, replace 1 original person on the curating team. After the next release, replace 1original person on the curating team. After yet another release, replace the final original person on the team.
Should replacements be needed in the future, follow the same “warm hand-off” approach.
This is far safer and gives a much better chance to the community and new curators to learn how to do this and, therefore, the best chance for success.
This soooooo smart…
I was worried that chaos was about to be unleashed on the delicate tendrils of the newly sprouted forum. This idea gives me hope… thank you @Jayson
Well so far it doesn’t seem like anyone really wants the responsibility of volunteering to operate a netlabel for a small forum based on a niche music genre. Unless some people are really into doing the work it seems like Date Night may be the last release on IDMF Netlabel.
If no one steps up, what will we really lose? The music we all created will still be on the bandcamp if you want to listen to it or to share it with friends. The fresh revamped forum will still be here. Look at all the folk coming together to create new projects together and share completed music, unfinished music, stems, ideas, etc.
I mean, if there are people who want to run the netlabel, great, but if not, we still have the ability to do everything, we just can’t be as lazy about it. The folks running our netlabel right now aren’t a group of finely trained master geniuses with industry connections and big bankrolls. They’re just a bunch of dudes in their basements with dayjobs like the rest of us.