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Kevin Standlee: Fandom Is My Way of Life
 
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Monday, November 14th, 2005

Time Event
3:48p
If That's Elitist, Then I Must Be One
Buried down in a series of comments that probably nobody but me and Cheryl would ever see (because we get the moderator-approval requests) to this entry on the Emerald City blog is an exchange between me and someone in Calgary regarding what conventions should provide, how much you should listen to feedback from attendees, and the meaning of "elitism." I expect it's possible to interpret what I say to mean, "Unless you volunteer to work on the con, you don't matter," which overstates things. But what I do mean is that the average attendee who has never participated in the work that goes into organizing an SF convention is IMO unlikely to understand the constraints that organizers face. It's easy to say, "We should bring in these television and movie stars! Lots of people will attend and it will be So Cool!" when you aren't the one having to take on the risk of failure.

I welcome people organizing events that better suit their tastes. As a Worldcon regular and conrunner, I can be annoyed that Dragon*Con draws 40K people and has a negative impact on Worldcon attendance because there are people who would attend both if they could, but given a forced choice go to D*C. However, I think the organizers did the right thing by their lights: they organized an event that they wanted, and they're getting from it what they want. There's no denying their success.

So a word to anyone who thinks the local "literary" con is stuck-up and snooty and won't do what you want: If you think it can be done better, try it! You may even be right.

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