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From A Distance

A very good friend of mine made me an offer I almost couldn't refuse with regard to Convergence this year, but the cash flow situation made it impossible for me to accept that offer, and so I find myself reading various LJ posts and Facebook entries to get a feel for a convention I probably won't be going back to ever.

I have to admit that I am enjoying reading the Facebook entries in the Convergence page for the same reason I used to enjoy the staff post-mortems at both Convergence and Detour. If you're a staff member, reading the feedback forms can be a soul-crushing experience, a hideous journey into the dark ignorance that lies within the brains of fanboys and fangirls alike. You wind up having to laugh at the ignorance and sheer idiocy, otherwise they're going to find you all rolled up in a fetal ball, screaming your lungs out in horror. Yeah. It's like that. So while I feel really bad for 433, tlhinganhom and all my other Minnesota friends who are still working or volunteering at Convergence, I am afraid my emotional response to a lot of the criticisms -especially of Consuite, which so often boil down into "I couldn't get the food I wanted when I wanted it" is much the same as nickiq's: FYFIF*. Been there, done that, and in fact I do have the T-shirt, thanks to the love and hard work of thaadd.

At any rate, it seems pretty clear that Convergence has at long last arrived at the same place Minicon was before its implosion. Actually, they've blown by that, with a warm body count in excess of 5500, but considering that the con was founded by renegades who didn't buy the MNSTF Board's argument that a convention of ~3000 was unmanageable and unsustainable, I am confident they'll find a way to deal with the crush, just as Detour has, though probably in a different way. Despite having a lot of staff and members (and now a facility) in common, the two conventions are very different in the way they operate for what should be very obvious reasons. It is worth noting that Convergence has finally adopted some of the volunteer policies that Detour had almost from the beginning, which gives me a warm feeling inside even if I didn't get to do the ADVG "Flying Tiger" thing back in the day. stuckintraffik was right, as he usually was about such things; it was a bad idea at the time and they eventually got to where we thought they needed to be anyway. But I digress; it has been amusing to read reactions on FB to the suggestion that membership be capped ("NOOOOOOOO!!!!") and the many unrealistic or poorly-thought-out suggestions regarding facilities. I was especially amused by the notion that GPS could hold a kickstarter to add space onto the Doubletree, as if the hotel management had nothing to say in the matter. Ignorance about the Convention Center I can understand; it looks like a great idea until you start actually looking into what's involved, and then you get down to the hard question of what you have to sacrifice from the rest of the convention in order to have the $$$ for the increased expense of the space.

Anywho, judging from what cipherpunk and dreamshark (among others) have been saying, Convergence sounds like entirely too much of a good thing these days: far too crowded and too far away to be really worth the expense and trouble. YMMV. I wish cajones, chebutykin, and the rest of the folks I know who are involved with Convergence the best of luck; I am confident that unlike their predecessors who drove Minicon straight into the ground, they will do what needs doing in order to preserve the convention's purity of essence. :)

*Ask me offline if you don't already know.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
433
Jul. 12th, 2012 02:52 am (UTC)
I think it will be okay. The complainers are always going to be louder than the people who think that it's fine, and I know a *lot* of people (unrelated to concom) who think it's great.

I'd be fine with a membership cap (6000 sounds fine to me).

Oh, and to be clear, GPS has no hold over CONvergence, it's a separate organization that gets money from the con. So that's another reason it couldn't do anything on CONvergence's behalf.
wombat_socho
Jul. 12th, 2012 09:59 am (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification.

I have no doubt you guys can manage just fine, even at this size; I'd cap it somewhat lower, myself, but that's just me.
(Deleted comment)
wombat_socho
Jul. 14th, 2012 12:57 pm (UTC)
CONvergence is nice and has been nice, but ... it's simply become too large and too crowded and too noisy and too everything else.

That's definitely the impression that I got from what people were saying. I haven't been there since 2007, and I have to say I'm not that interested in going back. I'll make Liberty SF if I can, and I've already prepaid for Detour next year...but no Convergence. There are closer cons that do a lot of the same things and aren't nearly as crowded.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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