burnunit: (madworkin)
61 days until CONvergence 2009

Can I just say I really appreciate the fine work of all the volunteers who make this happen? I believe I just did. I do. Thank you. You now have 2 months to make it happen all over again. This should be a cause for celebration, not alarm. Stop being alarmed, you!

You should register before May 15.

And just 425 days until CVG 2010
burnunit: (Default)
85 days until CONVergence 2009. Even the at the door rate it's a massive return on your investment in fun (please pre-register, though, it's better than ATD).

register today!
burnunit: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] joshuwain wrote some great questions in responding to my very long Four Days post and I wanted to elaborate on that for today's normal* CONvergence Tuesdays post.
Much of this emotional state rises from issues outside of the control of the convention. Most passion -unless I am wrong; correct me if I am- seems to arise from personal life.

How do we reinforce, build, and preserve passion as we go forward? What actions can we take to stoke the fires and keep them burning or, in times, re-light them if they appear to have gone out?
 I'll try to be brief**, and framed in the context of convention related stuff. This post should flow even if you skip the cut texts. 

First, I think I have to dispute or slightly tweak Sylvan's first statement. In the context of CONvergence, we don't actually know whether or not emotional responses are mostly driven from outside or inside issues. I think it's a fair speculation some of them are, but I hesitate to say most. I think the question is well asked though, and I think in fact a lot of passion arises from personal life, yes.

But I argue that passion is only about one third (1/3) of the picture.

It's also imperative to balance Passion with Talent and Organizational factors )

When an organization is clear about its goals and the nature and impact of an individual's role in it; and a person has a role/task that suits their talents ... then that fuels passion. You can come with all the passion in the world but if there's no place to fit to the rest of the picture -talents and organizational structure for example- then you just burn brightly. Then out.

Same goes for an organization that has lots of structure and whatnot, but the roles are rigid and have no potential for growth, or don't require any skill, or things like that. That just sucks out passion.

If a group of people has all the wrong talent or more talent depth than the organization has wider goals—like then people have no passion or lose it quickly.

So I think nurturing passion demands balance among at least two other aspects. Some of which are beyond the ability of a single person to control.

I am able to be concrete: )

Passion needs to be rewarded with organizational interest; as well as roles/tasks that demand the appropriate level of current talent + stretch talent from contributors.

Reigniting passion, the other part of your question, I think deserves a different post, maybe?

*"normal" in this case to be understood as "controlled by my whims and far unrealistic goal of regularity"
**I failed to be brief
burnunit: (Default)
We have decided to change CONvergence to a four day convention, effective for 2009 and going forward. I am going to discuss this change in this post. We have spent a lot of time evaluating the ups and downs of a four day convention. We assert that the potential benefits outweigh the potential harms, by a significant margin. We have learned so many lessons about running this convention effectively in the last 10 years! And in one convention, many of those lessons have been markedly revitalized by the revelation of a four day's potential for greatness.

Since this isn't an official organ of the Society, I want to talk about a four day convention from several personal perspectives. That I am a board member of the Society lends a certain amount of weight to what I'm saying, but not everything I'm saying represents the board as a whole. You will have to take that into consideration.

I am confident that the final conclusions in this post reflect the deliberations of the community and the board. They are strongly colored by personal experience. I want to assert my personal experiences because I have picked up a number of lessons from them. I have a lot to say, and I've reduced it down to the post you see before you. However, you can also click the cuts to read much more in depth. Be warned, behind the cuts is a lot of text, more than you've heard from me in any kind of public way about any of these topics.

I remember Minicon. )

I didn't like their changes, but they found a way eleven years later to continue to exist as they desired to. I believe we have a better idea. I believe we have the right idea for this convention.

We have a tremendous opportunity to extend and preserve the culture of CONvergence from a position of strength, instead of conducting emergency surgery in the midst of a fracturing process. We have a chance to uphold the best of our community, and make it more open and more sustainable, with a simple decision.

We move to four days. We do it now and we do it permanently.

Come away, O human child )

It comes down to the future leaders of this community. You will decide whether or not you want to engage, volunteer, and lead. Each step on that journey your decisions are informed by our convention experience. Will you experience the hostility of a fried subhead who didn't take care of themselves, as I did in my story? Will you find yourself relaxing along with hundreds, indeed thousands, of others and securing long term friendships and opening possibilities?

When we open up, arms unfolding , they rush in, sprites amid the seafoam, fresh spirits of change eager to dance. When the wave rolls back out, will they come with us and crash again at the shore next go-round? Or if they meet a hollow and drowned man among the waves, glowering amid the Great and Terrible Burden He Alone Must Bear, they will flinch and draw back.

I am not asking you to trust me. )
I am asking you to join us and lead with us. We are determined to see this through and set everyone up for success, not failure. (Joy, not misery!) I don't want you to follow into some real or metaphorical breach. I want you to come along and help lead. Right now. You, right there.

Especially you. We have a lot of work to do. We need to position all members of our community to be included and to succeed. We need to succeed at sustaining this event and the Society. We have a lot of changes to undertake and new levels of challenge to uncover.

When you join us, people will be there waiting to support you. )

That's what I want. That's not too much to expect from this change to a four day convention. Because dude, you ain't seen nothin! You have not seen a thing if you think this is just about a four day CONvergence. When our volunteers and organizers and attendees experience a relaxed, comfortable, exciting atmosphere instead of a cramped, anxious, crumbling one, they will be drawn further in. When they are connected like that, they will want more.

This convention is ready to be a bridge. When participants at all levels come looking for more, we'll be ready. We can steward a new kind of growth, one that opens up the Society to new opportunities. With a strong sustained convention, we open up a strong, sustained Society. Moreover, we can work toward a convention as a celebration of our cultures and accomplishments. When that happens, we can move the Society into new places and new ways of fundraising, new ways of operating, and new engagement with the non-convention community.

I am excited to help lead this change. Please join me.
burnunit: (Default)
Second community meeting to discuss the proposed move to a 4-day model for CONvergence will be held Wednesday October 22 at 6:30pm at the Rockford Road Library, located at 6401 42nd Ave. N., Crystal.

Progress? Some changes have been made to the FAQ. Among them some updates to the parties Q&A. This is still ongoing and I hope to bring additional updates to tomorrow's meeting.

More information to continue to come.

Please take to heart the comments I previously made on this topic: Now is exactly the time when I most need input from a wide array of perspectives, including fervent support or vociferous dissent. If someone has not reached out to you specifically, it is not for lack of interest in your questions or opinions! Please take time to weigh in through any of the normal organs.
And yes, for now I still include this livejournal in that list.
burnunit: (Default)
The return of CONvergence Tuesdays? A provisional maybe, since the last time was so consistent (I have bad journaling discipline. meh.)

Community Meeting tonight October 7, at 6:30pm
meeting room of the Edina Library
5280 Grandview Square, Edina -

A SECOND MEETING has been added
Wednesday October 22 at 6:30pm
Rockford Road Library
6401 42nd Ave. N., Crystal

The topic dujour is a proposed move to an annual 4-day CONvergence. These conversations are not the first, nor the only opportunities people have (or have had) to raise challenges and positives—we have spoken to concom departments and begun gathering feedback through those and our extended networks.

What's going on right now
Currently I'm in listening mode: I want to know about the positives and negatives associated with this intended move. This is intended, which is a different category from decided or a done deal; and I think it's worth saying that this intention is also different from hanging by a thread.

Our directive from the whole board of the Society is to move CONvergence to a four day convention, pending a determination of feasibility. So, along with other members of the board I'm listening and actively seeking input in order to make this determination. Now is exactly the time when I most need input from a wide array of perspectives, including fervent support or vociferous dissent. Please take that time through any of the normal organs. And yes, for now I include this livejournal in that list.

Food for thought
You should know, however, that my reason for thinking of livejournal as a less-than-optimal forum is not because "internet discussions suck." Instead it's that since it's my journal you can't know for sure if or how I'm limiting discussion—pro or anti. I won't do that, I'm just making a larger point. When you send an email or come to a public meeting, there is a record and/or a wider community witnessing to your statements. When I—or anyone else—is able to control what messages get seen, with self-oversight-only in a forum of my own making, then the level of paranoia rises and trustworthiness fades.

That said, there's also other Convergence directors, info@convergence-con.org, info@misfit.org the rest of the board, and of course any of their private email addresses if you know them.

Feel free to review and respond to the current edition of the CVG four day faq.
burnunit: (Default)
As [livejournal.com profile] michaellee points out, we're now officially on board. This only changes a few things: my attitude toward Tim and Jeremy (the mild contempt generally held for all lesser beings), my belief in a loving God who endows us with his mercy and justice (challenged), and the way I part my hair (left side).

What this means for the rest of people--such as the many CONvergence participants and attendees who read this--is that I promise to try to do an exemplary job and listen to our community.

But I wouldn't cross me. Lest one of my six mouths sings the song that ends the earth.
burnunit: (Default)
Dropping Eleanor off at the YMCA. The kids in her group did a "flag activity" and there's little 8.5x11 crayon flags from Canada and Jamaica and the USA around the wall and door area of the room.

"Which one is yours honey?"

"It's over here."

drastically different "flag" from the others: small heads (which I recognize as robot heads in her drawing style) scattered around and stars, and some smiling faces, and a big kind of oval in the center.

"What's that a flag for sweetheart?"

(in an 'of course' tone)
"That's Connie's Space Lounge!"

I'm proud of course. Should I also be terrified? I didn't notice at first but it was generally in a green and purple palette
Perhaps not *I*, but certainly all of you.
burnunit: (Default)
I've combed over my friends list the last couple days, surely I just missed someone saying something about this. OTOH, nobody mentioned it at the last Concom:

City Pages Best Of 2008
Best Fan Convention: CONvergence

Kinda cool. Space Lounge got a name check.

I bet "Mary" Wolfman will think it's funny they think he's a chick.
burnunit: (Default)


So. Fucking So. Agh. I was just reflecting on how depressing some work colleagues are being.

For this week's Con-related postings I will say something that is not controversial: It was a pleasure knowing Roadkill; and an honor to stand behind "his bar," that is, the Omegacon consuite bar in which he had so much hand.

And I will make no idea-playing notes in this post except this: we're doing something cool as a memorial at Con this year guys, right? right? I'm sure I'm not alone in being willing to volunteer.
burnunit: (Default)
I started putting thoughts like these in public two weeks ago and promised more troublemaking. Failed to deliver the next week cuz I was traveling for work. So
this week... Big enough? How big is too big? How big should CONvergence get )Whatever happened to that list...? )
burnunit: (madworkin)
When I recently ran for election to the board of regents there were some questions and comments raised that I thought were worth exploring. So I'm going to regularly explore these thoughts here. I know this journal is read by a number of concom members, so let me say I'm not in this to do any drama (if drama happens, call me on it). And I'm not going to say anything here that I won't or wouldn't say in a regular concom meeting. Or that I wouldn't say to someone's face, or that I wouldn't take time to go to a Misfits meeting and say then. I also happen to think that livejournal is a good space to work out ideas in draft mode. That I happen to enjoy thinking out loud in the town square should be taken at its face value.

More than one person asked about the size of the Events division. It came up in the Events Division meeting before the Concom, and someone asked during the regular Concom. At the time I indicated a) I did not think it was self-evident Events was too large or inappropriately organized, and b) I considered it a part of my "platform" to be open to changing division, and c) I wasn't going to campaign on a platform of change for change's sake. I still believe those things. Though I'm no longer campaigning, I don't think a change is a no-brainer. So let's make it a brainer. At least one brain. You other brains should feel free. So behind the cuts I discuss:
Is events too large? )
What if we split it? )
Please don't take this all as raving megalomania. It's just I keep muttering about "having ideas" and thought I'd put up or shut up. Anyway, that's my current thoughts. You're always invited to comment on my journal, so you might as well do so on this one.
burnunit: (so hungry)
dewey defeats trumanMichael Lee you have made a powerful enemy today. Convergence, I shake the dust of my sandals at thee! Woe to you who have turned your back on my powerful offer of strong, Christ-centered leadership, and the one shot at aligning our convention's Events Division with life saving biblical principles! We will look back at this moment as the beginning of the babylonian captivity of our organization. We enter the dark and deserted time of The Tribulation, the fall of night, the dry hot wind of perpetual absence, the crow-plagued unraveling, the barrens, and the descent!

Or, you know, if you prefer, congratulations to Mike, who I happen to think is a really excellent choice. Being honest with myself I imagine a few statements I would have said differently, but my message and intents are not really changed. (Yeah, and being just as honest with myself, I think I would prefer not to delve into election analysis (oh gawd, as I gritted my teeth knowing my beloved Chargers were down late in the biggest game of the year, I imagined standing there listening to one honest person or another explaining carefully why they didn't vote for me and thought "yeah. no analysis, please."), and instead trust the decision making ability of our group to continue to find good leaders, which I firmly believe we did today. Mike & I joked about it, but there's a kernel of truth in this consoling thought: hey at least I don't have to go to all those meetings now.
burnunit: (Default)
So things got interesting in NH tonite.

Much much closer to home and reality, I offer this: a while back I mentioned that I'm standing in the CONvergence events coordinator election. My statement or "blurb" is over at the misfits website, as is Mike's. The key things I want to emphasize are in there. And if you have questions, just ask. I mentioned my Connie's Space Lounge experience pretty prominently, so that's a source in the public eye. I imagine you could ask any of them ([livejournal.com profile] spacebug, [livejournal.com profile] star5, [livejournal.com profile] s4, [livejournal.com profile] yaaren, [livejournal.com profile] dangerdhotrod). I think they'll give honest assessments, including positives and negatives. Shoot! Some of them might even tell you it's a bad idea, especially if it would mean our CSL staff numbers are going to be cut into by my boundless ambitions ;-). But I hope if you ask you'll hear that I am good at fostering ideas and not afraid of logisitics. Also I think I "play well with others" as far as inviting participation and feedback.

**edit: oh I'll also note that I took the length of the others' statements as my touchstone, and that mine is actually shorter than Windy and Perrin's (274 words vs. 299 for both of theirs). this means nothing. well it means that Mike is able to be more concise than I am.
burnunit: (maw)
In the event you missed it, or if you heard rumors about it, here's a deal:
I'm going to run for the position of Convergence Events Coordinator on the Misfits Board of Regents. This is the position currently held by [livejournal.com profile] petsnakereggie, who will not be seeking reelection. I believe there's one other candidate--or will be soon.

I thought I'd make a mention here, though this isn't going to be run like a Campaign or anything. (I do have photographs of my opponent and the outgoing regent personally implanting the harvested organs of wounded Iraqi war soldiers into the bodies of unwed teenage homosexual illegal immigrants.) I have some positions and have been thinking about the "agenda I would advance." Election's in January. I feel comfortable answering questions about it as that develops. But I hold the opinion--and talking with the "current occupant" suggests I'm generally correct--that the board positions require a lot of on the job learning initially (like so many other things in life) and a great deal of willingness to flex, hone people skills, listen, advocate ideas, and stand together once we reach agreement on decisions. I'm pretty confident, because that's what I do every day anyway.

Realistically I think you're going to see an election with two (three?) experienced members of the Convergence community with fairly appropriate--if slightly different--skill sets. So... I guess that makes it a popularity contest? :-p Okay, maybe not. (whew) But it does mean I feel it's appropriate--necessary--to present some substance. Which I will endeavor to do as we go.

You can repost or forward this, but I'm just going friends-only. Largely cuz nobody reading this outside my friends list is going to care!
burnunit: (Default)
today's PVP poses a geekly conundrum, which from a certain point of view is amusing. I for one strongly oppose the abuse of badgers at conventions, lord yes! But if you were on your way to propose, would you excuse it? Hm.
Mercifully, most of the badgers we get are nothing like that guy.
burnunit: (so hungry)
Now that we have a significant common event to adhere it to, I propose we replace the "hit by a bus theory" terminology--popularized by contingency planners everywhere--with the "bridges do fall down theory."

As in, "hey let's transfer some knowledge about this job function. you know, just in case a bridge falls out from under you." "I'm gonna document how to update this website, in case a bridge collapses on me."

burnunit: (identify)

Meet Christopher Mintz-Plasse, one of the kids from the new Superbad movie.

Who did you think of first when you saw him?


burnunit: (Default)

May 2009

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