Just to be clear, it'll be my last time running the contest. It does NOT mean that SpinTunes is ending. SpinTunes isn't really mine to end, it belongs to everyone who has participated over the years. After SpinTunes 12, I'll be handing over the keys to Dave Leigh (aka half of Dr. Lindyke). At that point Dave will have final say in all matters SpinTunes. Not that his opinion (or mine) was ever more important than any other SpinTuner, but it's important to have 1 person able to make on the fly decisions without calling for a vote over every little thing. I could have asked any number of people in the contest to take over, and I'm sure they would have done just fine. I ended up going to Dave first because he's already been involved in almost every aspect of the contest anyways. He's competed, he's judged, he's shadowed, he's my go to file converter guy, he already has access to the blog+Bancamp page & I've gone to him for advice on multiple things. He's also one of the many people that's been here from the start.
My time running this contest has been a great experience. It started off as a group project with a bunch of friends, and I've made three times as many friends because of it. Of the many things I've contributed to online over the years, it's by FAR the thing I'm most proud of being a part of. It's definitely been a team effort the entire way as well. Remember how awful the LP's used to be when I ran them on U-Stream? Now we got Tom doing a fantastic job on YouTube. Remember how only some of the albums had album art? Now we have Matt giving us professional quality art for every album. There have been others a long the way who stepped up to help out whenever needed. Whether it was Joe doing a LP when Tom was out of town, Jules working my poll like a boss, someone filling in as a judge or guest judge when needed, and even Sammy Kablam for giving me album title suggestions. I couldn't possibly name everyone who helped out in some way, so all I can do is say a general thank you to you all.
I'm sure some of you are curious about WHY I'm quitting. To be completely honest it's a number of things. Aside from hearing the music & just being a part of something so awesome, one of the things that always motivated me was GROWING the contest. Now, I don't mean to say that I wanted to grow SpinTunes into some massive website & eventually turn a profit from it. That was NEVER on the table. But to maintain this as a annual or bi-annual event I thought it was important to constantly be growing our community. And of late, I think I've been failing.
We had 20 competitors in the first contest. The likelihood of all 20 showing up for every contest after that is unlikely. You're going to have people come & go as real life clearly should take priority. You also have to consider sometimes people just move along to other things. To offset this you need to be bringing in new people each contest, even if it's just a few. Early on this wasn't a huge problem for me. I knew about a lot of independent musicians from years of running my other blog. So I reached out to some of these people I'd been following. Some of them were Song Fighters, some of them YouTubers, and some were from other networks. The only problem was, I eventually quit doing that other blog, and I ran out of people to contact each year. And eventually I just got tired of blindly running around asking people to judge & finding new communities to pull from. The 2 weeks before the contest starts...is just not fun at all for me. After that...cake. But those 2 weeks prior are pretty important, and I haven't been putting in enough work.
I've got other interests & real life problems taking up more time than I used to have as well. So combine that with me just not doing as good a job for SpinTunes as I think I should...it spells "Time to pass the torch."
So, next January...will be my last time running the contest. I'll still be around though. I'm still going to listen to all the music, volunteer to be judge or guest judge whenever needed & help out Dave the way you've all helped me over the years.