Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The Guild

The Guild also features Felicia Day from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. If you're at all familiar with online games like World of Warcraft, this would be for you.

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Monday, July 21, 2008


The Web Tablet

I'm quite intrigued by a $200 web tablet like the one proposed on CrunchGear -- at that price I'd certainly consider it, and I know places where I'd find it useful. I'd be interested to see how text entry goes -- and perhaps if it was smart enough to support a bluetooth keyboard you'd be in really great shape for the times you wanted to pull something out and type on something besides a touch screen.

But it'd be great for a lot of reading and other similar activities. I figure it's more or less inevitable that we'll see something like it -- after all, it's basically a bigger iPod Touch in a lot of ways.

I'm sure we'll see something like this at some point.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Campaigning for the future

It's really interesting to see someone put together an xkcd style campaign pitch. I think one of the fantastic things about the internet is that it makes little things bubble up like this. After all, the chances that I'd hear anything about a State Representative race in Kansas is very, very low in the pre-internet age. But now, I'm not only aware of one race, but there's someone I'll be rooting for...


Thursday, July 17, 2008


The Convention Con

Mojo recently posted an article asking if conventions are doomed -- especially in the fall out of the fiascos of Jumpcon and Fed Con USA over the last couple of months. I paid some attention to Jumpcon -- and I'm sorry, I never believed for a second that they'd be successful. They were unrealistically ambitious, and they seemed to be stuck in a time warp from the 1980s.

I think Mojo has a very good point -- the internet *has* changed the nature of fandom, and how conventions work. For years, I've noticed that new television shows don't tend to generate the "fan clubs" that I remember from my high school days. You don't NEED a local Doctor Who fan club when you can go over to the Doctor Who forum and get your Who geek on.

But there are still organizations that do good work -- even in the very difficult media-specific space. United Fan Con has been doing conventions in Massachusetts for 17 years, and they're trying to make something out of the Jumpcon disaster.

Some people think throwing conventions is easy -- get some guests in, and the fans will come. That's really not at all true. I think people want to get together face-to-face -- perhaps even more now, since you have connections with people that you mainly communicate with online. But it's not just "throw a bunch of guests together, get some merchandise, and go" -- you have to plan for more than that. And that's the problem with the people that think that they can make money on a convention -- you really can't. CONvergence is a great and successful fund raiser for the Minnesota Society for Interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy non-profit -- but it wouldn't be a successful business venture. You couldn't pay people enough to do the things they do for love...

One of the things that I'm very proud about my involvement with CONvergence is that so many people do crazy things purely for the love of it all. It irritates me when some people try to exploit that -- and we've had the occasional person that don't understand the nature of volunteering, or take advantage of the organization and community in some fashion. And that makes one tempted to get cynical at times.

I don't think conventions are dying by any means -- certainly in the Twin Cities, I think we have more conventions in 2008 than any year I can remember. And really, it's not that they're that much smaller either -- both Anime Detour and CONvergence are over 3000 people now. And while there is some overlap in audience --- it's certainly more people attending a fan-run convention in 2008 in the Twin Cities than when Minicon was at it's peak fifteen years ago.

But the challenge for those of us organizing is this -- how do we make them relevant? What is the best way to make a dealer's room?

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Cool Britannia

One of the things I promised to do at CONvergence was to put together a list of the various DVDs that we recommended at the panel. It took a while to get around to it, but here we go...

  1. Spaced
  2. Jekyll
  3. Second Coming
  4. Bob & Rose
  5. Coupling
  6. Ultraviolet
  7. League of Gentlemen

There are some shows that aren't available yet in Region 1 -- some may never be, but others may. We talked about Terry Nation's Survivors, which is getting remade by the BBC. And then there is also Life on Mars, which is getting remade for the American audience by ABC -- and probably delaying the region 1 release of the UK version. Primeval is starting soon on BBC America.

I probably forgot some that we mentioned as well.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Great Daily Show Bit

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Dr. Horrible

I wasn't quite getting into the pre-publicity for Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog -- but now that the first act is out, I can certainly recommend it if you think a superhero musical is long over due, and, well, are in favor of watching something by Joss Whedon.

It is free...for now... so definitely check it out.

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Friday, July 11, 2008


CONvergence Video!

We've had the opening ceremonies video posted on You Tube. I'm in both parts -- though I'm pretty well covered in the first part!

Though I can be seen in the second part:

It's not a secret that we'd like to convince Jonathan Coulton to come some year. And certainly, if this video is any indication, Mercedes Lackey would agree:

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008


CONvergence on You Tube

A bunch of videos shot at CONvergence have now been uploaded to YouTube, and you can find links to them on

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Starting the CONvergence wrap up

A nice City Pages wrap up of CONvergence.

And lots of comments from Mark Evanier on his blog as well. From here, here, and here.

I'm sure there will be more in upcoming days. I also promised that I'd write up some recommendations of videos from our Cool Britannia panel over the weekend, and I'll get to that soon.

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