Certify, Certified, or Certifiable?
I was recently invited to an “off the grid” page on facebook for a new, very public DJ listing site called Certified Disc Jockey Network. After reviewing the site, I found several things about it very troubling. First the home page starts with this greeting…
Educate and Empower! Professional Disc Jockeys that have CERTIFIED their standards in writing! View – Print – Sign – and Attach to your contract.
Professional Disc Jockeys with Certified Standards
Guaranteed in Writing
Sounds promising at first blush. It gives a pretty strong impression that the DJs listed on this page have ALREADY BEEN certified based on a written list of agreed upon standards. But digging a little deeper reveals something truly bizarre. On their FAQ page in the fine print below their top 10 list of professional standards is the following wording…
Please note, we are NOT an association and we do not pay any fees to be Certified Disc Jockeys. We are independent Disc Jockey businesses that set professional standards for OURSELVES, with the goal of helping you find a pro. We are ‘certified’ by you, our client and your certification matters most to us. … Liability is limited to amounts received for contracted products aor services.
While exploring this further, it was explained to me that the group will provide their members and their clients with a document called “Appendix A” that will be a legally binding addition to any DJ contract to enforce their top 10 list of standards. When a client actually follows up on this idea and books a DJ with this “Appendix A” attached that the contract…their DJ will THEN be certified by them, the client, not by any governing thrid party group.
When I pointed out that such a group would be more appropriately titled “Certify Your Disc Jockey” as that is what they are truly recommending and endorsing, instead of “Certified Disc Jockey Network” which misleadingly infers that their members have already been vetted by a third party, I was promptly booted from the facebook group. The funny part was, when I challenged their use of the word “Certified”, I was told it was appropriate based on the dictionary definition of the word “Certify.”
Why does this feel like a shell game to me? Has our industry become so ignorant that we no longer understand why using the past tense of a word in its adjective form dramatically changes the meaning from the present tense of a word in its verb form? If you want brides to use your standards to CERTIFY their chosen DJ then you can’t promote a list of DJs as already CERTIFIED. Anyone who doesn’t see the difference between those two approaches is probably CERTIFIABLE.
Altough I believe the intentions behind this “certification” are very noble, I also believe they are dangerously short-sighted. When asked what would happen if a bride hired a DJ from the Certified Disc Jockey Network who lived up to their top 10 list of standards, but still SUCKED as a DJ and ruined their event….the founder only the final disclaimer to point to…
Liability is limited to amounts received for contracted products aor services.
And yet their home home page boldly uses the word GUARANTEED while they offer NO information for helping the bride verify the talent and skill level of said Certified DJ. Uncut video footage doesn’t lie. Brides need to be told what to look for and how to tell the difference between an untrained and unqualified DJ and one who truly delivers a professional performance. If this group opts to change their title to “Certify Your DJ” and offers strong advice about how to tell a talented and skilled entertainer from one who is not, I might actually consider signing up. Does that make me CERTIFIABLE too? You tell me.