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6

ESCChat Song Contest - The Future

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How should the rules be interpreted in future contests (please read the thread before voting)?

By the host - they won the last edition and can do as they please 2 vote(s) 9.1%
Group - elected by all members 3 vote(s) 13.6%
Group - internally selected 17 vote(s) 77.3%
  1. Merjan MICHAEL GOVE FOR PM

    Did I say that? to jw?
  2. NickEmpel BURGER AND FRIES

    I find it hard to choose. But, I will choose option two as you expected.
    The choice between your retirement and your offer is incredibly hard. But I think the risk is too big to take to change everything now, if you understand what I mean. You, JW, built up this amazing contest in two years time and if you are sure you would want do this for us/the contest, I support you 100%.
    However, I think you should always put your health first. If there would be a time where you have to take a break, then don't hesitate, but do so.
  3. Mina Member with a "past"

    As long as #2 is an option, of course I'll agree with it. It saves arguments, time, endless discussions etc
  4. jw HI. I'M ADAM SCOTT.

    I just thought of something else though which might make you change your tune.

    To continue providing the same service, the storage of videos in future editions etc, I'd need to upgrade the contest site's hosting plan. In the spirit of stepping down, I'm not particularly willing to pay for that. So someone else will have to pick up the bill if you want option 2 to go ahead.
  5. Curtis Belgium is a non country.

    how much is the bill?
  6. jw HI. I'M ADAM SCOTT.

    It would probably (I repeat probably) be around $20 extra per month.
  7. Right, I seem not be able to sleep until I've got this off my chest. Laying down in bed with good music really helps me think somehow, maybe too much this time oh anyhow.


    Just to make few things clear before I start reviewing options:


    • I want to avoid ALL drama.
    • I don't want anyone have to withdraw.
    • I do not want this contest to go to 3rd place.
    • We've been through rough times before past year, let's not make this tear us apart but only bring us any closer together if we can.
    • It's time (long ago actually) for us, as 'takers' from jw's hospitality, to start taking responsibility for what we all enjoy.



    (Option 1#)
    • Keeping the contest in the forum.
      Really good if we are to keep us all together. No finance problems, not as much responsibility and so on.
      IF this will be done, there are few things I would like to put forward as an idea.
    • The host would be responsible for receiving videos and calculating votes together. He/she would receive help and guidance from 5 people council chosen by jw.
    • This council would as said before, be chosen by jw. If the host happens to be in the council he/she will step away for that edition and one out of two extra members will take his/her responsibilities in the council during that edition.
    • I have nothing to say about how the council is chosen, that's not my problem or concern.
    • If the host will not be able to do his/her duties, he/she will be DSQ for the next 3 rounds and the council will take over for that edition.
    • ERGO whoever participates has to be able to do his/her duties or just don't enter at all.



    (Option 2#)
    • The paypal way.
      Keeps things 'normal', doesn't cost much (top 6 euros a year).
    • Account would be created in ESCchat's name and someone with full confidential deal would keep an eye with all of it.
    • Is not good for people underage who can't pay.
    • I don't have any further comments.

    (Option 3#) DO NOT shoot me for putting this forward, this is just something I wandered but I think is possible if people would think for the unit.


    • Age limit. 18 or 20, doesn't matter to me. Everyone who signs up has to give up their age to person with full confidential deal who will receive payments from the older and the youngsters would get a free pass.
    • It wouldn't cost more than maybe 7 euros a year for the older and the youngsters will soon grow above the age limit and will be paying as well which means that it would probably only get cheaper by the year.

    I don't want to get involved if there is drama, but I also don't want to see this great thing come to an end. Let's stand together, once and for all and find a common solution suited for everyone. Respect is the key as well as being humble doesn't hurt. Thanks for reading this and I hoped it opened your eyes a bit.

    (Sleeping on things really helps ;) )
    pepepaez likes this.
  8. Gian My avatar is fat and frumpy

    I have an idea
    while i was talking with Merjan she explained me the situations.
    So i thought:<<We can pay,and we can realise a contest with our
    equipement <<. i will explain better.
    1.We should pay 0.50 euros par month,it isn't much money.
    2.Jw will still decide who will take part and who won't and
    verify songs are for the contest.
    3.The host has to realise the recap,the results of
    the semi and the final show (if he wants) or ask someone else if
    he can do it. These shows have not to be necessarily magnificents,
    we can make the first two with windows movie maker.
    The things about results is appearently an hard work,but if we
    use what we want we can certainly make a good job. I explain.
    1.Results can be made with scorewiz too
    2.I can make available the program i used to do my scoreboard
    3.They can Simply be posted to the contest's website,and then if someone wants
    to he can do the final show,as he wants even if he didn't win the last edition.
    A clarification,
    these are only ideas,so they can have several weaknesses
    just keep them as an advice to work better together
    i hope this will help
    pepepaez likes this.
  9. Merjan MICHAEL GOVE FOR PM

    Can I first of all make it clear that I am not writing this to give my own opinion. I have been asked to give details of what was discussed in chat as a result of jw’s proposals. I have tried to do this dispassionately. Several hours were given over to the discussion, and many members took part, although of course not all (if any) of them were there for the whole time. I hope I can do it justice and that people think I have reproduced faithfully what was said.

    Firstly there was a discussion about Option 1 or 2. (This started before the additional information was given by jw at #64.) While jw’s decision to take more of a back seat as far as the contest is concerned was acknowledged and especially, of course, the reasons for this - the detrimental effect on his health being the main one - he stated more than once that he was a little unsure about Option 1 because he wanted to protect the reputation of the contest; he had worked hard (understatement of the decade) for the past two years to make the site and the contest what it was - not just another esc contest - and he didn’t want that to change.

    He also made it clear that he would go along with the members’ decision. He did not want to make a decree about the future direction of the contest (although, of course, his views were taken into account as much as anyone else’s).

    Although Option 2 would not be the total break he had originally envisaged, it would be much less work for him, and it would mean he would be able to retain control of the contest. He felt that, particularly in view of the diverse comments posted in response to Adam’s original proposition, the idea of a steering group would not work; there would be too many opinions to reach a consensus. Under this option (2), songs and votes would still be submitted in the same way as now, but jw would not produce shows. This was initially the choice of all members who expressed a preference. While some members reasoned that jw would not have suggested this option if he were not willing to do it, he reiterated that he merely wanted to ensure that all his hard work over the past two years was not wasted inasmuch that the contest did not degenerate to the level of other ESC contests but retained its status as the most prestigious. Members assured jw that, although they would like him to continue in this (lesser) role, his health was paramount, and if he ever needed a break, all he needed to do was say so. It was felt, however, that jw might be inveigled back into doing rather more concerning the contests and this had to be guarded against.

    Once the idea of possibly having to pay for the contest to continue in this form had been aired, the discussion, not surprisingly, took a different turn. It seems the upgrade would cost about $250 a year. If we say there are about 40 members who participate in the contests, this works out at about $6.25 per year per person. While virtually everyone agreed that this was not an unreasonable amount to pay, there were some members who, for various reasons, felt unable to make such a payment. Some members were adamant that no-one should be excluded from the contest because of their inability to pay. Therefore Option 1 was explored more fully.

    This would mean contests would probably have to take place in the Forum. However, in this case there might be problems, including videos being unavailable in certain countries. Various alternatives were explored: just having music, no videos; finding videos from alternative sources; hosting the contest on other sites, e.g. facebook. Some members were reluctant to join facebook, and jw pointed out that he would be unwilling to allow the EscChat name or logo to be used on other sites.

    It was decided to try and find solutions to the payment difficulties. To start with, we were thinking about having a yearly membership fee, which would cover the costs. However, some people felt that if members did not participate in every contest they might not be willing to contribute the full amount, and there was still the problem of those members unable to pay. Several members offered to pay the full amount themselves, but this was not felt viable because
    1. it was not fair for one (or few) members to pay everything
    2. there might be problems over the integrity of the contest (people possibly feeling they should vote for those members who had paid, or members who had paid possibly feeling they were “owed” something in return for their payment for example)
    3. if those members were to leave the site for any reason, what would happen about the payment they had made and/or how could the payment be guaranteed in the future?
    4. the people who were unable to pay were unwilling for someone to pay on their behalf
    The possibility of “youth” membership was discussed; under a certain age (what?) membership was free, and over it, a fee was required.

    It was suggested that those members who were able to pay subsidised those who couldn’t. (It was felt that the numbers would probably allow for this.) Again, those members who were unable to pay were not happy to adopt this idea. (An acceptable solution has been found to this problem. Those members who were present will know what this is; those who were not need not know, merely to understand it seems an acceptable solution for all concerned.)

    An alternative suggestion was that we have the opportunity to make donations to the site every month. No-one would be required to donate money but it would be hoped that all those people who were able to do so did. The total amount of donations would be shown on the website, and the contest could not take place until the required amount had been received. There were various options here as well:
    1. payments would stop when the required amount was received
    2. payments could continue and the money would be carried over for future contests
    3. payments could continue and the additional money would go towards paying the site fees (jw pays $100 a month for the main EscChat site fees)
    There is a possibility that the names of people who have made donations could be displayed on the site. However, it was felt this might be ambiguous, as someone might pay a large amount one month but then not pay for several months, and it might not be apparent that they had, in fact, made a payment. Some people thought voting patterns might reflect payments (and that people might not vote for those who had not paid).
    It was suggested that names could be displayed only after each contest or that details be shown more infrequently, for example 6 monthly.

    No profit would be made from any money paid, whatever method. It was suggested that adverts might be accepted on the site but this was dismissed out of hand.

    If any other members feel they would find it impossible to make such payments, please contact jw in private.

    There also may be obstacles about how to make payments. Paypal would be the preferred option, but some members do not have this facility and are unwilling to commit to this. Any payments would have to show members’ real names and some members might be reluctant about this. It is not possible to send money/cheques. An EscChat account would have to be set up. Payment could not be made to individuals.

    I hope I have covered everything that was discussed. If I have not, it is not intentional I can assure you.

    Please continue to post your comments in response to jw’s proposals and to the points raised here.

    Thank you.
    pepepaez likes this.
  10. Mina Member with a "past"

    Since you mention my name (and in relation to...being irresponsible which is sth I never was and I never will be and everyone who knows me, knows that, too), I feel obligated to answer.
    First of all, dear ig, I never felt I took advantage of anyone. In case you don't know (because you weren't here), the contest started as an idea of Jonny, and it was just 10 people of us taking part in it, just for a laugh. JJ wasn't involved in it for the first 6 (I think) contests.
    Gradually, he got interested and decided (HE decided, noone asked him or forced him to) to get involved and that resulted in the contest being certainly more glamorous, more professional and..more of everything in general.
    And whereas I do appreciate all the work he's put into it (and he knows I do), I definitely won't accept being accused of...taking advantage of his hospitality. I WOULD feel I took advantage of his 'hospitality' as you say if I was the one who asked him to get so involved and work for hours on end to produce all the shows he did. But I never did..as far as I was concerned, shows were fine but I could live without them, to me it was mostly the idea of the contest that mattered, not the shows (although I have enjoyed some of them:rolleyes:).
    And one more thing. Last night, I was one of the first people who said I wouldn't mind paying for the contest (the money is very little anyway) and the only reason I changed my mind was because certain members couldn't afford it and I felt like we were putting them on the spot. Out of respect for those people (and not because I'm....irresponsible) I said that option #1 would be better...now, how you went from that to the conclusion that 'I don't want to take responsibility' is beyond me.
    It just shows you don't know me at all, you don't understand the first thing about me and you understood nothing from what I said last night and my motivation behind it.
    Finally, after you left, we did reach some agreement (at least before I went to bed, we had) with which we were all happy (including the members who had the problem in the 1st place). I don't know how exactly we will do it because the others need to give their opinion, too, but, personally, like I said last night, as long as everyone is ok with it, I am, too.
  11. Again, not able to sleep, I am actually getting to likek jw's idea more and more.

    No contest until the limiti has been reach.
    People who don't want to or can't for some reason pay, won't have to.
    And others who would like to donate (w/e you want to call it) can do that as they please.

    (That would give Curtis the permission to do whatever he wants without us complaining really).

  12. You are perfectly right, I just came in now to apologize for mentioning you there, because as far as I was concerned, last night when I left you didn't seem to care about this fact at all.
    For that, I apologize.
  13. Mina Member with a "past"

    It's ok, I'm glad you see my point now. I don't know why I often get so misunderstood..must be a Greek thing :o
    Anyway, that's behind us. Now we need to focus on the contest...and to that I will add that I do like the meter idea (I said it last night but I'm putting it here, too, so people who weren't in chat, can read it).
    PS Janet, that's a great summary of what was discussed...welldone :D

  14. Good good :)
  15. NickEmpel BURGER AND FRIES

    Janet, my compliments for how well you summed up what we discussed last night!

    I think the meter idea is excellent, though we have to watch out for something that was briefly mentioned by Adam and Sheep last night: the people who don't pay. We have to be careful not to judge them. (Not that I expect anyone to do so, but just spilling what I had in mind)
    pepepaez and Luis DLC like this.
  16. James ... and his things xD

    I would rather call it a woman thing^_^
    icelandic girl likes this.
  17. Mina Member with a "past"

    James, bite me :P
    I think that's the idea behind the whole meter thing, that people won't be judged, all that matters will be for the necessary amount of money to be reached...someone could donate 20 euros and someone 5 and someone nothing and still the work would be done:cool:
  18. adamacs RUTH DAVIDSON FOR PM.

    exc summary merjan.
    *
    When I first joined the site, I was amazed by how professional it was. What shocked me the most was that it was 100% free and had no advertising (which means that there is a cost to running the site.) When I discovered that the service was paid for by JW out of his own pocket, I was astonished.
    *
    Having slept on this, I now feel that charging for the contest really is the only sensible option. The fact of the matter is that we are talking about a pittance really.
    *
    If 20 people payed $2.50/€1.8/£1.50 per month that would raise $50 - enough to pay for the contest that month and 30% of JWs hosting costs.
    *
    JW has run the site and the contest, and built it to what it is today, at considerable expense to himself without expecting anything in return (other than some adulation and recognition of his general excellentness) and I think its about time that we, the beneficiaries of JW's had work, shoulder some of the responsibility for paying for this amazing site.
  19. Gian My avatar is fat and frumpy

    WOW Merjan,excellent summary
    However i wish to say a thing,
    before the contest was produced by JW,now he did enough work and he wants to stop. This is right.
    Now we have to decide HOW will the contest be in the future of escchat. If we have to pay it is both a bad and a good thing,as Nick said.
    As i mentioned in the previous message, i think we should work with our equipement. I think this is the better way.
  20. Merjan MICHAEL GOVE FOR PM

    OK, so this is my bit now...

    I guess it is going to take three separate parts, so here goes:

    Part 1 - The bit I would have written before last night’s discussion in chat
    I’m finding this really difficult. I know that the idea of jw quitting was “to actually quit” and feel very strongly that he should be allowed to do so. However, I also know how much the contest means to him and how he doesn’t want what he has built up to be devalued. Therefore at the moment I really can’t decide on which option to go for.

    Part The Second - Money
    I am quite happy to pay for the contest and/or the site. LIke Adam, I was surprised there was no advertising on it and it seems most (if not all) people are totally against this, and I agree; it is obviously unfair for jw to have to foot the total bill. If everyone who is able to makes regular small (or irregular large) donations, the amount required from each person will be minimal. It will only be a problem if there are too many people who opt out of paying. Initially I was for the “membership fee” option but can see the arguments in favour of donations. Personally I would favour the “extra money goes towards the site fees” option.

    There is obviously the question (should this option be the one we go for) of how payments are made and this seems to be the major stumbling block. It is something that needs investigating properly because, from last night’s comments, there are people who feel unable to commit themselves to PayPal and there will, inevitably, be logistical difficulties about payments made by some other means, if this is even possible. All PayPal payments apparently incur a fee (payable by EscChat) and payments coming from abroad to the UK incur additional fees. This is all something that needs to be explored properly. We can’t be thinking we’ve got enough money when fees are eating into it. Additionally this seems to be yet another thing to possibly take up jw’s time. We don’t want him to stop doing some things (i.e. producing the shows) only for him to have to spend his time having to do other things (i.e. sort out financial matters). Presumably if a PayPal account can be set up the payments will run themselves but (I assume) we need an EscChat Bank account and I think we need to explore it all in detail before we commit.

    [For what it’s worth, I would be happy/willing to deal with the money side. I don’t have any particular financial/banking/accountancy knowledge but, despite what jw says about me, I am a reasonably intelligent human being and I think I could handle it. Presumably unless I changed my name to EscChat.com your money would be quite safe from my grabbing hands. I’m not sure jw would be willing to relinquish control of it (if you can relinquish something before you’ve got it) but it’s just an offer that is out there to try and take a bit of hassle off him if he wants to accept it - and if he doesn’t get a better offer, of course.]

    3rd Part - Thinking about it after everything that was said last night
    I still can’t really decide. It seems from the discussion so far (as documented) that it has all but been decided to go for option 2, but it really worries me that jw will start off only doing
    the things he has suggested but will gradually get drawn further back into things until he finds himself back where he has been, spending all the hours God sends working on shows. While those (of us) close to him can keep an eye on him to try and ensure this doesn’t happen, we can only nag him from afar and this might not be good enough. It’s all very well telling him to say if he needs a break, but will he?

    Then there is the money part which I think needs further investigation.

    So, what if we went for Option 1? No money would be required. It would mean that jw could withdraw totally, but obviously he has concerns over the reputation of the contest being tarnished, and I can fully understand that. There are problems over holding contests in the Forum and holding the EscChat.com song contest is not possible elsewhere. As I see it, the only possibility would be for #26 to have been the final EscChat.com song contest. A new era could begin. A new name, somewhere new to hold it (possibly facebook if that is a viable option), a new (or a return to the old) format. The EscChat.com song contest would remain “unsullied”. It’s just an idea.

    However, whatever happens to ensure the future of the contest, it seems from the comments made as a result of Adam’s initial proposition that there are several/quite a few members who have certain issues over the contest. I freely admit that I am one of them, but it seems I am not alone. Maybe, whatever the future holds, this new start is the ideal opportunity for the rules to be revisited.

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