Tag Archives: worldcon

Necessary Evil

Nobody likes eleven hour flights. As much as I love going to places on the other side of the world, I don’t like eleven hour flights. But I need them. 

I frequently find it impossible to disconnect from the world. I feel itchy if I don’t have a wifi connection that can help me connect with people. Some of that I’m sure has to do with the volunteer work I do for Worldcon, but it’s also because of how I keep in touch with the majority of my friends and family. 

For the last five years I’ve lived at least several hours away from the large groups of people that I love and I used the internet very heavily as a crutch to keep in contact with them as I didn’t have the money to visit as frequently as I would have liked. 

Now, while I have the means to visit my friends frequently, I still live mostly in isolation and my phone and my laptop are very real extensions of myself that allow me to keep up with the world around me and the world my friends are in. 

But sometimes, I just need silence. I don’t get as much as I should. The ability to be connected to everyone has turned into what feels like an addiction, and even if I’ve sworn I’d put my phone away for dinner, I’ll sneak away to the bathroom to catch up. The ability to connect like this allows us to ignore our reality, and to a certain extent, ourselves. 

So, what does an eleven hour flight have to do with this? Well, turns out that most flights from Tokyo to England or the US lack wifi. I cannot connect. It’s a blessing and a curse. After I get rid of the shakes that come with the realization that I can’t in fact open Chrome and play on Tumblr or Facebook, I relax. I listen to music, I read a book, I sleep, I ignore the rest of the world, sometimes I even write. I cannot be productive in the usual way that I crave to be, but I am given the time to recharge so that I can be. 

I hate eleven hour flights. I love eleven hour flights. 

Corporate Fandom

I was at Smofcon this weekend in Toronto and had a fabulous time. Saturday I was on the ‘Song of the South Ate My Life’ with Colin Harris and one of the questions caught me completely by surprise.

The person, whose name I have completely forgotten (I’m not actually sure I ever knew it…) asked me if my work on Social Media for other conventions had negatively impacted my own personal levels of interaction with Social Media. Basically, do I still post on my own feeds anymore?

Well, clearly the answer when it comes to blogging is yes. I have so much less time to document my thoughts, or hell, even spend the time to fully form them because something is always going on with one of the conventions on social media that I need to be monitoring. Some people are surprised by the idea that it takes so much time to properly keep track of the various accounts I run. “But it’s just…Facebook! How hard could it be?”

The average person in the United States spend between thirty minutes to two hours a day online on Social Media sites. That’s for their personal stuff. Think about how much time it takes to stay up to date online and to post and read everything you do. Now multiply that by four. The way that I manage the social media accounts for the cons that I work on demands just as much work. Now, yes, I could manage them in different ways, but I think those other time saving management styles wouldn’t be as good for Worldcon, and since this is a rough time for conventions with social media, time and attention must be paid.

But I do feel the pinch, so to speak. Weekends I take off are especially sweet because I can monitor my own networks and not have to worry about others. Con weekends are especially sweet because I can ignore it completely and talk to people. I have officially declared that 2016 is the last year that I will be working on Social Media for conventions. Kansas City is near and dear to my heart, and it’s important to me that they get it right. So, if you have any desire to learn how to work on Social Media for Worldcon, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to teach you. Hell, if you want Social Media advice for any level of convention, I’d be more than willing to help you out. I’ve been doing this for coming up on three years now, and by the end of things, I’ll have five years of experience that I’d love to pass on. Maybe I’ll write a (very short) book about it.

More on Smofcon later, but I had a wonderful time. There were many great conversations and I met a ton of new people (young and old) that I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with.