The below announcement was published on 10th February, 2013 when we temporarily closed the site down due to bullying and cheaters. I am publishing it here because it's an important message about the website in general, and defines the rules of voting.
As many of you know, CCUK has been closed this weekend while we work through several issues. We will re-open the site tomorrow morning (Monday, UK time). This announcement will be up in the mean time and it's very important that members read it. Please spread this announcement as far as possible.
We have discussed the action we will take. We are going to give voting one more chance, but we need your help to keep it as painless as possible for us and as fun as possible for everyone else.
As a result of recent events, we are tightening up both the security and the rules of voting on CCUK. These new rules will be implemented with immediate effect and it will require action from a decent percentage of you. We would rather have everything sorted before we re-open the website tomorrow.
If you are unhappy with this new rule, or disagree with it, then you are welcome to leave the website. You are our guests here - you either accept the rules or you don't. We ask for your understanding and support in this process. The next 24 hours is going to be difficult for us as we work through all of your e-mails. Please be patient.
Which leads us to our second rule. As stated in our previous statement, we do this in our free time and work full time day jobs. We are not paid for our work on this website, we do not expect anything back and work VERY hard with the purest of intentions. We have no agenda other than promoting the talented artists and this wonderful genre. I think many of us share that passion. With this in mind we will implement a zero tolerance policy against bullying, harassment and disrespect towards us. We should not have to put up with this. We've been very tolerant and accommodating in the past, but no more. We deserve better. This does not mean you cannot give us negative feedback or constructive criticism - we welcome this if it's handled in a polite manner. From now on, if you find votes have disappeared this is because we have found duplicates and have erased them. There's no need for us to be e-mailed and questioned about this. If you do not trust us to act with integrity then we do not need or want you here.
Lastly, we've had many requests to change our software for various things (registration/voting/security/etc). Please be aware, it's not as simple as that. Software costs a lot of money and to implement new software we will have to restart much of what we have done. We can't afford it and do not have the time to implement an entirely new system.
WHY SO SERIOUS?
I think it's very important to add just what voting means for an artist.
What voting isn't.
The voting is a fun and interactive feature of the website. The website itself is not about voting and indeed, more than 80% of our visitors do NOT use the feature. This website is about fans of the genre who want to discover new artists and music. The website is laid out in such a way that they can browse through the profiles, many of which are linked to one another. The fact that they are included on the website is the most effective promotional tool on the website - NOT the voting. We are a fan site for the genre - we are not officially recognised by the industry. We are not affiliated with any record labels, managers or agents. We are completely independent. The results on the voting on this website has no effect on anything outside this website.
What voting is.
This is not to say that voting is not beneficial. There are three things that my observations have taught me. They have very little effect on artists with a steady and already successful career. It might add a few sales by people looking at the charts and checking them out - but there are other ways for their profiles to be found on the website. For independent artists, or artists just starting out, it's different.
First of all, the incentive to vote rallies a steady fanbase around the artist. It gives fans something to constantly talk about and it gives the artist a chance to get involved with the fans. This creates a community based fan base which is so vital to an artist in the early stages of their career. It gives them a confidence boost and encourages them to keep going. It tells the artist that they have fans that are willing to work for them and that they wish them success. Voting on CCUK is a small fish to fry, but it's a good starting point. Jackie Evancho started this way on CCUK before she went on AGT. She now has a much bigger audience, and has encouragement from a variety of different places. CCUK is no longer the only place where she can measure fan loyalty, so CCUK and its voting now means very little. But before this happened to Jackie, knowing that she was in the top ten out of all the well known artists on the website would have made her and her family very happy.
Secondly, whilst voting will never give an artist a record deal (nobody recognises us), there is evidence that the artist has the power and charisma to pull in a dedicated fan base. They can then, therefore, add it on their CV. Record labels these days are interested in a core fan base as that will guarantee sales regardless and do a lot of viral promotion on the internet for free. Labels want to know how many followers they have on Twitter, how many likes they have on Facebook, how many subscribers they have on Youtube. CCUK can be added to that list but because we do not have the traffic Facebook enjoys, it will never do to be used as evidence on its own. Having said that, many indie artists are independent by choice so none of this may apply to them.
Lastly, it creates a community for CC music in general. I know from my experience with all of you that most people vote for more than one artist, and many fans and artists share everyone's music on various groups. A voting group for Mario Frangoulis, for example, soon evolved into a voting group for Hayley Westenra as well. It evolved further into voting for Amaury - these days, people posts their votes for a variety of artists and they share videos and news on a variety of artists. I can't tell you how beautiful that is. Very few voting groups on Facebook are narrow enough to only allow talk of their one artist. The vast majority support others as well and the artists also get involved with this. It's for this reason, that it will be a very hard decision for me to take voting away for good. I see what good it does overall. Please help me keep it going.
What is important about voting is the taking part - it does not matter where an artist charts on the leaderboard. Being on the leaderboard does widen the chance that their profile will be looked at by visitors, as the chart is another route to their profile, but as previously stated - there are other ways their profiles can be reached.
Voting does not:
* Determine the success of an artist's career
* Get them a record deal
* Get them media attention
* Give them any official acknowledgement or external awards
* Encourage the artist
* Cement a fan base
* Create communities
Taking part is important.
Winning is not.
Please enjoy the voting feature and take it as some fun. We are vigilant of cheaters because cheaters completely take the fun away. We will do our best to prevent this.
All the best,
Nicola and Adam
Blog - Editor's Blog