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b2f50afe — Derek Sivers ArtistData is gone 5 months ago
                                                                                
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<title>A free, open song contest idea | Derek Sivers</title>
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<div class="blogparent"><a href="/blog">Articles</a>:</div>
<h1>A free, open song contest idea</h1>
<small>2009-02-19</small>
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<p>
	I’m thinking about song contests, what a scam they usually are, but don’t have to be.
</p><p>
	By “song contests”, I mean all those ones that want a <strong>submission fee to enter, promising big prizes if you win, and whose judges are a small group of insiders</strong>.
</p><p>
	Doesn’t it seem so out-dated, unnecessary, and greedy?
</p><p>
	Why not make a <strong>totally-free annual song contest done only for the benefit of the art/craft of songwriting?</strong>
	Wide open and community-driven.
</p><p>
	It costs almost nothing to set up a simple site where songwriters can upload their best song, and people can vote on them.
</p><p>
	The listening, judging, and voting is best done by the largest number of people possible
	(Read “<a href="/book/WisdomOfCrowds">The Wisdom of Crowds</a>” if you disagree.)
</p><p>
	It’d be double-blind anonymous, so listeners won’t know who they’re listening to, preventing favoritism or ballot-stuffing.
	(They can find out who it is after they vote, so they can find more about the ones they loved.)
</p><p>
	Every negative vote against a song would have to include a reason, so the songwriter can receive some constructive critique.
</p><p>
	Companies that provide services or products for musicians would be asked to contribute something as a prize.
	Every prize will be listed so that each songwriter uploading a song gets to choose which prize they would like if they win.
	Maybe you need a marketing consultation, but don’t need a ProTools plugin.
</p><p>
	With lots of prizes, that means lots of winners, instead of just one.
</p><p>
	Companies would get good advertising from thousands of musicians considering each of their offerings, and saying which they want.
</p><p>
	Songwriters would get good critique on their song, bragging rights and a prize if they win.
</p><p>
	Listeners would be both music-fans looking for great new music, and fellow songwriters who must judge a few anonymous songs for every one of theirs they want entered.
</p><p>
	The website interface would be in many languages, so songwriters and listeners from Japan to Brazil to Greece to Russia could all contribute equally.
</p><p>
	Have it funded by someone who isn’t trying to profit off of this, but just thinks it should exist.
	(Probably <a href="/">me</a>.)
</p><p>
	Seems it’d take nothing but one programmer and one organizer to make it happen.
</p><p>
	What do you think?
	Any thoughts or ideas?
</p>

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