September 6th, 2010

WSFS Captain 2

Aussiecon Ends

Aussiecon 4 ended this afternoon, and I recorded the Closing Ceremony. Like all of the recordings I made except the three business meetings, getting the material online is going to need to wait until I get back to the USA and have time to process and upload it from a good, strong internet connection.

The convention went fairly well, and the frantic paddling to make it do so was in many ways probably unnoticed by most of the attendees. The attendees seem to have had a good time.

Most things went well for me, but not all of them, and one thing in particular I will cover in a separate post.

Sour Notes

To me, Aussiecon 4 was an enjoyable symphony with some sour notes in the final few bars. I'm trying not to let those closing problems color my entire experience, but in light of how hard I worked on these things, I'm not feeling particularly good.

Those of you who follow me know that I made a big issue over the election to the Mark Protection Committee being a policy referendum on my own performance and leadership abilities. The attendees of the Business Meeting itself responded by returning me to office, apparently (I haven't seen the details) overwhelmingly.

The MPC itself, however, chose to ignore any signal this may have sent. The MPC has 14 members, and thus a quorum of eight. The MPC finally managed a quorum on Monday morning, just barely. I put forward my name for the Chairmanship, but the members voted 5-3 to give it to Ben Yalow.

The MPC then voted to adopt a policy (I certainly don't agree with it, but I'm outvoted) that says than anyone who accepts election/appointment to the MPC or to any of its subordinate committees (which includes the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee) must agree to decline nomination for a Hugo Award in the subsequent year.

Although the MPC continued the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee (HAMC), appointing Rene Walling as Chair, and although the MPC offered all of the incumbents re-appointment, I'm sure nobody is surprised the Cheryl was obliged to decline reappointment to the HAMC under those circumstances. This leaves me, the website assistant maintainer, responsible for doing all of the work. I don't blame Cheryl at all about this. The newly-adopted policy makes it impossible for anyone who is a potential plausible Hugo Award nominee to volunteer to help with the committee to market and promote the Hugo Awards or any other MPC subcommittee.

From my discussions with a number of the principle players in the little drama in the SMOF-filled backroom this morning, I think it pretty clear that a number of the individuals involved hadn't heard my speech on Saturday or anything else I'd said earlier. At least two of them appear to me to have been completely unaware of the issues. To that extent, I did a bad job of communicating.

Lest anyone claim I'm leaking privileged information, note that the MPC meetings are open to the membership (a couple of members attended), and that I've already sent the MPC (including the members not present at Aussiecon) a summary of actions taken in Melbourne, and I've also advised the members of the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee of the changes.

I'll have more to say about this when I've had more time to think about it, but I'm not at all happy. But right now, I need to repack my luggage and get some sleep.