There are some changes to the Steemit Open Mic contest that all participants should be aware of. If you are playing musical instruments in any of the Open Mic contests we thank you for your participation.
When Open Mic first started we wanted to make it as easy to enter as possible so we allowed people to sing acapella or to a backing track and many of those entries were really good.
However lately there has been a wave of entries from people who don't play musical instruments and it seems clear they are entering the contest just to get the rewards as opposed to being part of this community.
The beginning of the contest posts states:
Steemit Open Mic is an online, live music venue to give musicians a chance to share their music with the Steemit community and get their music heard.
Open Mic has always focused on gathering musicians together on Steemit and the rewards are just a way to lure people in. Yes, musicians can earn some great payouts even if they don't win the contest especially with the price of Steem and SBD rising lately.
Unfortunately, this also brings with it a lot of people scamming the contest. You wouldn't believe the things people do to try to get over on the Open Mic contest and get a payout.
There have been people opening multiple accounts and disguising themselves to avoid detection so they can enter multiple times.
People also pull videos from YouTube that are not their own and try to pass them off as themselves.
Some people have started lip syncing to a recorded track like Milli Vanilli. It's such a joke and it's taking more time to sort through than it takes to listen to valid entries.
Still, others have been stealing valid entries from weeks before and claiming them as their own. One guy even tried to pass off the National Anthem Of Iran as an original song.
We are not going to let this happen.
If you are a musician playing music for the community you have nothing to worry about but if you are singing acapella or karaoke this rule applies to you.
We made this new rule for Open Mic beginning week 67.
NOTE: While we used to allow acapella performances to enter Open Mic, recently there have been far too many entries of singers without any musicians. Open Mic is a community of musicians and for this reason entries without some musical instrument being performed will not be considered a valid entry. NO KARAOKE
There are exceptions
There is also a rap challenge for rappers Steemit Rap Challenge Week 20 Sponsored By Teamsteem And Adsactly Rhyme For Sbd Win Prizes --- by @rondonson
Does this mean you cannot sing for the Open Mic contest? That depends. There are exceptions to this rule which I will cover shortly but the main reason we did this is to keep Open Mic focused on building a community of musically talented people.
You don't have to sing like Mariah Carey or Michael Jackson or play guitar like Joe Satriani to enter Open Mic but there does have to be some musical element to an entry.
Some of the entries lately have been so bad that it makes Open Mic look bad when we support those entries and it makes for a poor listener experience when the number of sub-par entries outnumbers the musical entries. I'm not talking about novice performances, I'm talking about people barely aking any musical effort at all and are just trying to pull rewards by entering Open Mic.
It's my fault for upvoting every entry. Not anymore.
We have had some really bad entries and way too many of them just really suck. I know that is not the politically correct thing to say but thank God I'm not a politician.
If you can't carry a tune in a bucket but are still playing your heart out on an instrument, we still want you to be part of the community, we just need to weed out the scammers and the people who are not really playing music at all.
So, no more Karaoke entries.
There are exceptions
Since we started this rule on week 67 there are people scamming it already by pretending to play an instrument, singing Karaoke but blowing into a harmonic every few seconds, tapping on a chair and calling it drums, asking if a microphone is considered a musical instrument, etc..
We want musicians of all levels of talent. That is the community we are supporting on Steemit and will continue to support.
Are there exceptions? Yes.
There are exceptions
Let me give you an example. This is an acapella performance but there is no denying the musical talent in this performance so it will be included and upvoted.
Is it worthy of an upvote? Hell yes!
What we are trying to discourage is entries that have no musical quality to them at all. I won't post an example of those because I don't want to embarrass anyone but if you're part of this community you know what I'm talking about, right?
So for those of you entering Open Mic who don't play a musical instrument, you may not get upvoted. I suggest you find a friend who plays an instrument to join in with you if you want to enter Open Mic.
There are exceptions
EDIT: (After reading @limabeing's comment below) If you are a singer and honestly performing for this community you are probably the exception we're talking about. Yes, vocalists are musicians too. However, almost all of the people attempting to scam this contest are entering an acapella or karaoke entry probably because they have no musical quality to contribute and somewhere along the way they heard they could make money singing on Open Mic. Those scammers will now get a link to this post or get ignored so I can focus on those who add to this community instead of spending countless hours a week dealing with scammers. Your singing abilility has nothing to do with this post. We just want more music, not scammers.
For those of you that keep trying to scam the Open Mic contest, you are on our radar. Some of you have been able to get away with it, some I have removed my vote after realizing they entered more than once, (some have entered 4 or 5 times in a week) and if you continue down this path I will mute you so you will not show up in my feed so there is no chance I make that mistake again.
Each one of these scammers knows about these updates and I received mixed reactions. Some have understood and deleted their multiple entries, some are angry with me, and some have even gone so far as to accuse me of being racist for excluding them.
I assure you, where you come from or your racial background has nothing to do with these new changes. Music, like love, is a universal language and I love all kinds of music.
I come from a multicultural family. My grandfather is from Italy, my grandmother from Spain, my mother is from Ireland, and my father from Morocco. We spoke 5 languages in my house growing up and listen to all kinds of music. If you were not upvoted for your entry it was because you didn't follow the rules or are blatantly scamming the contest.
It's interesting to notice that almost all of the scammers originate from Nigeria, Indonesia, and India and still there are many talented musicians entering from those countries as well. I understand that in a poor country people will do what they have to do to make some money so I'm not surprised at these attempts, but in Venezuela, a country with a collapsed economy where a few Steem is worth a small fortune, no one has tried to scam Open Mic.
Understanding that English may not be the first language of many of the participants I try to be patient when people do not follow the rules. For example, not saying Steemit Open Mic at the start of their video. When that happens I check to see if the video was posted on YouTube this week and make a judgment call on including it or not.
There are exceptions
As Open Mic grows I'm spending more time dealing with people who have not followed the rules as I am on listening to valid entries. Because of this, I have not been able to comment on every valid entry like I used to. This bothers me, but I'm thankful to see the community and the judges interacting more.
Going forward I'm going to ignore the invalid entries so I can focus on building the community. If your post is completely ignored that is probably why. Go back and read the rules and follow them.
To everyone who is posting and entering Open Mic correctly thank you so much for your participation, your music and energy, your patience as we go through these growing pains, and for making Open Mic the thriving community it is.
Thanks for supporting us while we clean up the entry process and make Open Mic about the music. I trust you understand why we made these changes and how they will make the Open Mic community even better in 2018.