Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are three big days!

The 2010 Next Top Credit Union Exec competition is quickly coming to it's exciting conclusion!

All six finalists are headed to Dallas and will be giving their final presentations in front of the CUES/Executive Network audience on Monday, November 8, 2010.

The voting format consists of:

  • 25% online votes
  • 25% attendee votes
  • 50% judges

The judges and the attendees will be voting on Monday. Summary videos of the finalists' presentations and their slide decks will be posted on the voting page. The page is not live now, but it will be live on Tuesday at 8 a.m. Eastern. Online voting will close at 5 p.m. Eastern. One vote per legitimate e-mail address will be accepted.

Tuesday evening, we'll tabulate all of the results and then on Wednesday morning, we'll announce the winner at the conference and right here on the blog! Timing will be before 11 a.m. Eastern.

We are so proud of the finalists and the terrific work they have done. Their blog posts and videos have been inspirational! We can't wait to see how next week unfolds. Good luck to all of you!

The CUES Team

A gentle reminder to our last-minute entrants

We know you're working away on your applications. We know working under pressure and leaving it to the last moment is, well, your thing. And that's okay!

But here's a brief word to the wise.

If you plan to submit your video tomorrow (Tuesday, June 1), give your video plenty of time to upload to YouTube. Our friends at Currency have seen countless entrants come in late to other contests because YouTube was having a busy day or because of spotty Internet connectivity. If this is the first time that you have uploaded a video to YouTube, please be aware that it can take up to a couple of hours to upload and process depending on your file size and your connection speed.

The deadline to receive your completed form is 5:00 p.m. Eastern. That's 4:00 p.m. Central, 3:00 p.m. Mountain and 2:00 p.m. Pacfic. Your form is only considered complete if your video is playable on YouTube.

If your entry is late, we will not accept it, even if your dog really did eat your network cable! We feel strongly that it is unfair to all other entrants to accept late entries.


The CUES Team

Clarification: What does 60 seconds mean?

My #ntcue video is 60 U.S. seconds, which runs about 1:20. I learned that from @2yo 60 Canadian seconds is closer to 1 minute per @devo9911less than a minute ago via web


We've had a few questions come in about video length. This is what we say in the rules:

  • All videos be no more than one minute in length

We've had seven entries so far that are more than 60 seconds. Everything from 61 to 80 seconds. We think this is quite ironic for people in the financial services industry to have trouble with numbers! :)

In the spirit of the contest, we do not feel that this warrants disqualification. Instead, we are somewhat relaxed around video length. If you need a few more seconds to get your point across, go for it. We honestly feel, that 60 seconds is ample and anything longer better be captivating in this busy age of technology. Anything longer than 80 seconds would be considered overly pushing our relaxed approach.

If you have already submitted your entry and feel that your entry would be considerably better with a few more seconds added, go ahead and reupload. Please e-mail us the new YouTube URL. Just remember, getting your message across succinctly is an appreciated and essential business skill!


The CUES Team

Copyright questions

Here's what our rules state about copyright.

"Video must not contain any copyrighted works, including music…"

This spurred these four questions from someone preparing their entry:

Q: Is it within the guideline if the music to be used in the video is purchased?

No. You can't use a song that you have purchased to play on your computer or iPod. Putting it within a video that is uploaded is considered performance and is not allowed unless you have written consent from the artist or the record company and are going to pay them royalties.

Here is a copyright tips page on YouTube. Copyright law is very cut and dried. You cannot use anything that you did not create or have the rights to use.

Q: is it within guidelines if a karaoke version of the original song was used?

No. Same rules apply. Here is a good blog post on the subject from Dineane from HubPages.

Q: Is it considered within copyright guidelines for us to use any song we’ve purchased, as long as we acknowledge the singer, record label, etc.?

No. However, we can recommend a great source for you. The Free Music Archive. Here's some info from The Free Music Archive website.

The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads. The Free Music Archive is directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet.

Every mp3 you discover on The Free Music Archive is pre-cleared for certain types of uses that would otherwise be prohibited by copyright laws that were not designed for the digital era. Are you a podcaster looking for pod-safe audio? A radio or video producer searching for instrumental bed music that won’t put your audience to sleep? A remix artist looking for pre-cleared samples? Or are you simply looking for some new sounds to add to your next playlist? The Free Music Archive is a resource for all that and more, and unlike other websites, all of the audio has been hand-picked by established audio curators

Q: Is it within the guidelines if we reference well-known cultural icons such as a movie character or pop star?

This should be OK. It's considered parody and parody is considered fair use in the United States. It gets a little tricky in Canada, because there is no fair use laws in Canada.

Bottomline, if you are unsure, don't include it. It's really up to YouTube. If you post a video with any copyright works, the owner of the copyright may send a take down notice and the audio will then be stripped from your video. It will be hard to communicate your fantastic project or idea if we can't hear you!


The CUES Team

Who can enter the Next Top Credit Union Exec challenge?

We've had a number of questions about who can enter the Next Top Credit Union Exec challenge. The information is in the rules and regulations and on the challenge overview but, unfortunately, was incorrect in our FAQ section. It's now consistent in all places.

So, here's the scoop:

  • This search is open only to employees of credit unions who are age 35 or under and who are legal residents of a CUES competition region. Regions include all of the US and Canada.

If you are 35 when you enter but are turning 36 sometime this year, you can still enter.

If you work for a vendor or an association serving the credit union industry, you can't apply. If there is significant interest from people within these groups, we will consider adding a separate category next year.

Besides our error in the FAQ section, most of the confusion around the challenge eligibility has come from who is eligible to become a CUES NextGen Member. While this new product is designed for those 35 and under, this membership package is open to anyone with less than two years’ experience in the financial services industry, regardless of age.

Hope that clarifies things. If you have any other questions please send us an e-mail or leave a comment.

We're so excited by all of the buzz we are hearing and all of questions we have received. We can't wait to see the first entries! Remember to tag your tweets with #ntcue for your chance to win a free membership.

The CUES Team