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How much time did you spend with Mr. Toure?

jaysmurch
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 2:00 PM
This message is to all who participated in the Vieux Farka Toure remix.

Disclaimer the first: This is an experiment. So, if it works, great. It may not work, that’s still great. (That’s what experiments are all about.) If it does work, we’ll get some practical benefit out of it (I think).

Simply put, the experiment revolves around a question. The question on the table is: How much time did you spend on your remix for this contest?

Why am I asking? To find out how much time [total] was spent on the contest by all involved. I’m just sort of curious. I was thinking (I do that sometimes, mostly on weekends) about the tradeoff between what the promoters of the contest get out of it, versus what the entrants into the contest get out of it. It occurred to me that whatever else the promoters get, they get a bunch of our time. A whole lot of our time. (I’m guessing here, the experiment hasn’t completed yet.) And since time is our (yours and my) most valuable possession (no, don’t bother looking it up on wikipedia, just trust me here), I started to wonder just how much of our communal time was involved in a project/contest like this. Or, put another way, looking at it from the promoters’ side: when holding a contest like this, how much time is being asked of the participants. A hundred hours? A thousand hours? More? How, and can, a project like this be quantified as far as hours spent?

I don’t know how much community time went into this project. I suspect you don’t know and I’ll bet the promoters don’t know either. Has anybody ever tallied the community time spent on a contest like this? The NUMBER of entries is EASY to quantify. What about the HOURS of TIME spent on those entries. Lets find out.

So add your hours spent on the Vieux Farka Toure “Ana? remix contest to this post, please. (See? We “spent? time on the contest, as one “spends? money, because time has value.) We’ll tally the hours up and find out how much of our time was spent on this remix contest. (Feel free to guess what the total result will be: the winning guess gets to be official “ccM smartypants? for the same amount of time as the total hours spent on the Toure remix project. With ALL its attendant perks, no less!)

Disclaimer the second: What this experiment is NOT. I’m not asking for hours to judge anybody, or anybody’s work. The amount of time spent on any entry, any project ever, has little relation with the success of the project. (I mean, How much time did Clement Clark Moore spend on “A Visit From St. Nicholas?? Couldn’t have been more that half an hour…Certainly that poem is very successful by some standards.) Time spent is a quantity, not a quality. Still it is, well, time spent, so how did we spend? (C’mon, you know you want to know! I know you want to know! You know that I know that you know you want to know! I know that you know that I…know….that, uh, where was I?)

Again, this is not a contest to see who is the fastest remixer (Everyone knows it’s you.) or find out who is the slowest (Why are you staring at me?). We all came into the contest with our own individual set of skills (well, okay, actually two contestants shared the same set of skills, but I’m not saying who!) and those skills made the project a piece of cake, time-wise, for some and a piece of hardtack, time-wise, for others. (“Hardtack? you CAN look up in wikipedia.) This is not about YOUR hours on the project; ultimately; it’s about the ccMixter community’s hours. Your hours, my hours, were/are, of course, all valuable by themselves. They all add up to a very valuable chunk of community time for this contest. How much time? This is our chance to find out.

I hope you participate and add your hours to the total. I hope I am not asking something too personal. (If I am, my apologies. Please skip down to the next forum post now. I think it’s about mic’ing technique on the moon or something.) If it’s not too much trouble, if you don’t want to say how much time (or can’t remember), please leave a note saying you won’t say. This way we’ll know when everyone (or most everyone) has responded and we can come up with a total to proudly display. And we should be proud. We gave a big wallop of our precious time to this contest. Let’s brag about it. (In a humble, aw-shucks sort of way, of course.)

Thanks for your time (technically not a pun, but intended nonetheless).

I’ll start the ball rolling and say for the record, I spent approximately 36 hours of my time on my remix entry (which is called “Ana Re Blues?, by the by).

I’m not going to guess at the total just yet. (I have no idea if my time is representative, blazingly fast, pathetically slow, or “d, none of the above?.)

[Hopefully, if this experiment works, if you respond in kind, we can have a total-hour-spent by next weekend. Whaddaya say?]
Uncool Bob
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permalink   Sat, Mar 24, 2007 @ 1:01 PM
I didn’t enter this one, but this is very interesting. My algorithmic composition/remix approach (listen, vote, listen, vote, listen, vote…) takes around 20 hours (30 mins here and there is best if you want to stay sane) plus around 4 to put the loops together at the end. That’s an estimate based on previous remixes and competition entries. Not far off you “human” remixers :-)
norelpref
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 3:25 PM
an interesting survey. Happy to participate. It’s been a while since I toiled on that thing, but I’d estimate that for the Toure remix (“ana-phasia”) I spent a total of 16 hours.
teru
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 3:38 PM
Interesting. Good luck.

I made 2 remixes. One to “warm up” & one entry. I estimate 5 hours a piece.

So put me down for 10 hrs. please. : )
Russ Krauch
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 4:07 PM
I’d say about 12 hours on mine…roughly
fourstones
admin
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 4:09 PM
the only nit I have with the phrasing of the question is that CC contests have a purpose beyond promoting a specific album by a specific artist. It really is more than a matter of the ‘promoters asking for your time’ — most of the co-sponsor artists who participate in our contests do so because they feel putting music in the Commons is the right thing to do, which is why the contest sources stay here on the site even after the contest is closed. The contests are supposed to be about promoting and celebrating that act. (We’ve turned down several offers from labels and artists to do contests where the philosophy isn’t shared.)

There are several ancillary side effects like an artist gets the word out about their new project and we all get to have fun with a common set of samples, hearing, reviewing other people’s mixes (which in turn, are put into the Commons.)
ramjac
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 4:10 PM
id say somewhere between 20-30 hours hard to say since it was moments stolen over about 4 weeks
good question
ram
Luke Tripp
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 4:29 PM
Probably around 12-14 hours.
CptCrunch
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 4:42 PM
Probably 8 hours over two days I’d guess - but had great fun doing it - which is what it’s all about
Incoherent Mumble Train
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 4:56 PM
About 4 or 5 hours. I’m a quick one…
tacet
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 5:18 PM
I didn’t remix so I bombed a zero! :)

But whilst we’re on the freakonomics I wonder :

1) What all the remix lengths add upto? So what did they get back in playtime.

2) What is the total of all the ratings? (and out of a possible what?)

…again, just for fun, I’m not questioning anyone’s motivation.
Meek Speaker
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 8:37 PM
Hmmm I’m gonna go with around the 5 hour mark.
sankey
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 9:46 PM
a guesstament…25 hrs…helped to get me out of a very nasty 3 month writer’s block i was mired in.
rick, oakland, california
iNdjNuZ (aka InsipidBanana)
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permalink   Sat, Mar 17, 2007 @ 9:49 PM
Hey.. nice idea of yours.. *claps from the crowd*.. i’m still new at this remixing thing so i suppose i spent about 2 to 3 weeks.. not at a strech so.. about.. say.. 70 hrs.. i know its a lot but… *ANNYWAYS* my gues is a total of 350 Hrs were spent total for the remix competition
Nick Gortari
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permalink   Sun, Mar 18, 2007 @ 1:20 AM
I did 3 remixes. I was going to submit the best out of the three, but ended up liking 2 of them. I spent about 25 hours total on them.
Consumer
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permalink   Sun, Mar 18, 2007 @ 2:11 AM
8 hours.
Raul Fuego
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permalink   Sun, Mar 18, 2007 @ 6:45 AM
great question, about 8 hours in total - but if i had more spare time for fun things like this i would have spent another 8. which brings me to the question how much time in total wasn’t spent because everyone has been working for free, trying to find the valuable hours to commit to this project. just a thought…
stratman
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permalink   Sun, Mar 18, 2007 @ 7:25 AM
Hi people from Stratman.I’d say that i worked upon “Ana” about 30-36 hours.I call it “Ana-Stratman rmx”.
Johannes Ahlberg
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permalink   Sun, Mar 18, 2007 @ 10:44 AM
About 6 hours´…
JawaRa
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permalink   Sun, Mar 18, 2007 @ 11:26 AM
JawaRa@itiopi
I did 3 Ana (itiopi) remixes. Between auditioning the samples, generating and adding my live and sequenced ideas.
I spent about 40 hrs from pre-production to mastering.
tigabeatz
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permalink   Sun, Mar 18, 2007 @ 11:28 AM
~12 h
Corvid
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permalink   Sun, Mar 18, 2007 @ 11:56 AM
I would say I spent at least 40 hours. This was my first remix and there were just as many ideas that I didn’t use as ideas that I did use. Also since I added the extra limitation on myself of using only meterial from the original song I spent a lot of time building instruments in live using sounds from the source material.
As for the benefits of the competition. I enjoy having a deadline and a specific set of rules to work with. Otherwise I just start a million projects and never finish them.
FGrn Grn
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permalink   Sun, Mar 18, 2007 @ 12:59 PM
about 8hrs
Analog By Nature
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permalink   Sun, Mar 18, 2007 @ 4:45 PM
about 14 mins. lol
 
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permalink   Analog By Nature Sun, Mar 18, 2007 @ 4:46 PM
i’m lying by the way ;)
Darkroom
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permalink   Thu, Mar 22, 2007 @ 1:17 AM
Can’t remember how long it took. About 8 hours is a good estimate.
WankSide
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permalink   Fri, Mar 23, 2007 @ 10:00 AM
About 12 hours
jaysmurch
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permalink   Mon, Mar 26, 2007 @ 12:26 PM
Results of the informal survey, along with various and sundry conclusions about the hours spent.

First off, let me state, for the record, once and for all, definitively: there are no conclusions to be drawn from this exercise.

Okay, now that I have that out of the way, let’s look at the conclusions to be drawn from this exercise.

Conclusion number the first. What a great crowd! Lots of participation and positive comments. Thanks all.

Here are the raw statistics to be gleaned (as of 3/26 am).

27 projects accounted for, for a total of 449 hours [freely] spent. (iNdjNuZ’s guess of 350 hours wasn’t even close. iNdjNuZ still gets to be ‘ccM Smartiepants? because that was the ONLY guess.) That’s a lot of time, no matter what conclusions you are/aren’t drawing. [Note: When someone was guessing between two times, 10-12 hour for example, I took the higher number. If you were filling in a time sheet, you’d put in the 12, not the 10, am I right? And your time is worth it, am I right again?]

Conclusion number the second. We participants can all can give ourselves a pat on the back for participating. We can give the other participants a virtual pat on the, uh, virtual back as well. Good going.

The hours spent per project were all over the map. Each remixer’s time spent was as individual as each wild-eyed, creatively-bent, visionarily-mad remixer. (Man, and JawaRa submitted three! I had a hard time with one idea. JwR must be really wild-eyed, etc.)

Now, I’m going out on a limb here, into the far-flung reaches of freakonomics (as “tacet? puts it). Taking the average time spent per project reported, on the 27 reported, and interpolating (latin for “wild guess?) it out to the 74 projects submitted, we find that it’s probable that over 1,200 hours were spent on crafting the remixes for this contest. (And yeah, yeah, I know I’m playing with numbers here. All I can say in my defense is, good thing this is art, not science!)

1,200 hours were invested in this project by us remixers. (“Invested.? There I go again with that value analogy stuff. Jeepers, you’d think I like money or something.) Oh, I guess that was conclusion number the third, at least.

(A typical “person work year? in the usa is around 1,900 hours, for perspective.)

What does this all mean? You tell me. But first, I have an anecdote (latin for “boring story with obtuse moral?). I do some work with volunteer organizations. (Hmmm, I guess I’ll add ccMixter to the list of volunteer organization for which I work.) The more organized of these organizations are very careful to account for all the hours of my time that I give to them, as well as the time of all other volunteers. Why? Because when said organizations go asking for grant money (from state governments, from foundations, from rich old geezers, etc.), the holders of the grants first ask, “how much time is being volunteered?? The projects that have more volunteer hours get more grant money (or are first in line to get grant money), because they are considered the more valuable. More people care about them enough to give time to them. Substantial time gives the appearance (at least) of substantial worth. Time spent is a yardstick (or meter stick, if you will) of the value of a project. That said, let’s remember it’s one way to measure the worth of a competition, but only one way out of many.

Other ways to measure the worth of this remix project were touched on in many of your responses. The word “fun? showed up a lot. That’s a great indicator of the “worth? of this project. Simple the fact that a whole bunch of us responded to this question is an indicator of its worth as well. Also, I think it’s safe to say that just getting a project into the can (as Covid says, referring to that blessed deadline) is a value of great worth, in itself.

Was the preceding paragraph one conclusion, more than one, none? I’m losing count….

1,2000 hours (or even “just? 450). On the one hand, my time spent compared to the total seems like a drop in the bucket. On the other hand, I contributed to a “big? project. I guess I’m more content seeing 1,200 instead of, say, 120 (or even 12). (Or 14 minutes, cdk! I rounded your time down to zero, by the way, so here’s lol back at ya!) I can proudly state that it wouldn’t have been a 1,200 hour contest without me, and each of you can proudly state the same as well.

One more way to look at this, maybe yet another conclusion, but probably just idle thinking (I do think on some weekends, remember?): Let’s say for argument that an average of 16 or so hours was spent on each remix. (I know, I know, nobody really DID use the “average? time, so that number is a) meaningless, b) spurious, c) banal, d) ephemeral, e) all of the above. All I can say in my defense is, good thing this is the internet, not science!) What if 740 people participated for and average of 1.6 hours per entry? (Around 1,200 hours total.) What if 7,400 people participated, each spending about 10 minutes of time on their entry? (Still around 1,200 hours total) Now we’re talking a myspace video competition, right? (Hey, google, just kidding guys! Luv ya! Please don’t mess with my search rankings!) Same total hours, but there’s a change in the—dare I say it?—“quality? of the proceedings. (I dared.)

One conjecture that springs to mind, I can’t help it. (All right, I didn’t really try to help it very hard.) Would the 1,200 hours still stand if there hadn’t been a prize offered? All sorts of ancillary (latin for “time-sucking?) conjectures spring from that avenue of thinking: Do “bigger name? artists get more time spent on their sponsored remix projects? Do they get higher averages per project? Should promoters be looking at total entries submitted or total time spent? (All this thinking make one think, you know?)

Obviously, we all have personal thoughts on these numbers that I have tallied up. The preceding were a couple of mine. I’m sure you have thoughts to add as well. I will, with your indulgence (latin for “try and stop me?), make this final conclusion: I’m glad that I freely spent my time on a project that was taken so seriously by like-minded folk. Keep up the good, quality work.
 
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permalink   sankey Mon, Mar 26, 2007 @ 6:34 PM
JEEZ…IT’D TAKE ME 16 HOURS JUST TO TYPE OUT WHAT YOU JUST SAID. ALL THE MORE AMAZING BECAUSE IT SEEMS SO MEANINGLESS. GRAMMER AND SPELLING ARE EXCELLENT THOUGH.
 
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permalink   jaysmurch Tue, Mar 27, 2007 @ 1:34 AM
Hmmm….

Meaning = 0 out of 70%
Grammar and Spelling = 30 out of
30%
Score = 30 out of 100%
Blah. Oh well, on to the next remix….

Hey, sankey, it may seem so meaningless, but it really is! So there!….Uh, that didn’t EVEN come close to sounding right, did it? Regards.
Ran Dumb Dots...... .. .
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permalink   Tue, Apr 3, 2007 @ 6:31 PM
Uh, at least this tells me I shouldn’t feel bad when I can’t complete a decent remix in the 2 or 3 hours I occasionally have to work on one ;). Meaningless or not, it is interesting (to me) to see the remix production times from a decent sampling of people….. .. .