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This is a reply to burnunit's comment here.


God forbid I should argue from authority (because nobody would believe me anyway, LOL), and I could be horribly wrong, but I don't think either you or michaellee have done your homework when it comes to looking at the history of fandom. This kind of thing has been tried before and it doesn't work. If it did, the N3F wouldn't be just another obscure fannish organization and the L5 Society would have an O'Neill station or two at the Lagrange points by now. You can hardly get fans to cooperate at the convention level without drama and stupidity breaking out, and part of the reason is that for the vast majority of us, Fandom Is Just A Goddamn Hobby. It has to be, because there really isn't a whole lot of money to be made from acting like Fandom Is A Way of Life. Unless you're in the T-shirt business, I guess.

Fandom is heavily reliant on a volunteer labor force because there's not a lot of loose money lying around to be spent on hiring professionals to do the heavy lifting. When you start getting into the SERIOUS BUSINESS world of non-profits, you'll have no choice but to hire those people, because the demands of operating in that world won't allow you to get by with volunteers any more. And this will generate drama, which generates schism, and then the failure cascades.

Yeah, maybe it won't go like that. Maybe LoW will have just the right combination of personalities and lucky breaks to avoid that. But given just the examples provided here by qob and fsf_rapier, and what I've seen in the history of WSFA and BSFS, that's not the way to bet, and that's what phoenixalpha and I have been trying to say.

Look, I'm not saying MISFITS and ATC shouldn't talk to each other. God forbid I should ever say that, because we have ties that go back to the beginning of ATC and beyond. I'm not saying the other clans of Twin Cities fandom shouldn't be a party to those conversations. What I am saying is that there are very good reasons why MNSTF isn't (and never was) the only game in town any more, why fandom in general is not one big happy family, and why you need to study these things before you try and bring all the clan chiefs together to talk about helping each other out and acquiring a Spiffy New Edifice Complex to hang out in between conventions. Because otherwise somebody's going to get hurt, and it could well be you and michaellee. Funny thing. It's usually the guys with the good intentions that do.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
burnunit
Jul. 12th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
Here let me fix that sentence for you "it doesn'tdidn't work."

Okay, that's just being a tiny bit snarky, though it contains what I hope is a pretty obvious grain of truth.

I appreciate the concern on everyone's behalf in general and mine in particular. And for as long as it stays concern (rather than downshifting into Bad Intentions) I will stay appreciative. We're in the early part, not endgame, thank goodness. So there's time to do all kinds of things.

I'll say again (not for the last time either), the point is exactly not so that people will be "a big happy family" and for many of the reasons that you will hasten to point out should be obvious. I don't want to be everyone's friend (I feel I'm recovering from that kind of codependency), but I do want to build on successes. How we do that is not entirely reliant on me, so it has to be put out there and the community engagement with it has to be tested.

My final point in making it public now, before it's in any kind of endgame, is that I generally disdain the S in "smof", and felt it necessary to begin the conversation in a public way. My associates agreed, and we went forward. The reasons for that have a great deal to do with the very trust issues described here and elsewhere.
wombat_socho
Jul. 12th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I've been hanging around with The Other McCain lately and some of his catchphrases have rubbed off.

If you're not trying to unify TC fandom (an Eight Corners of the World Under One Roof policy, so to speak) then a lot of the concerns I expressed obviously don't apply, and I apologize for assuming that's what you were doing here. I am concerned that one of the first things mentioned is acquisition of a building, which implies a number of things organizationally that I and others have commented on.

Don't take the SMOF comment too personally. You don't have to be a SMOF to engage in smoffing. After all, we're doing it here and now right out in public, as you correctly assert. Nothing secret about that. :)
burnunit
Jul. 12th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
I didn't take it personally. I thought the timing very apropos, because I was planning to make my recent smof-related post anyway, and the term showed up here. Kismet, I say.
wombat_socho
Jul. 12th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
OK, cool. Be interesting to follow the discussion and see where y'all wind up.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )