starlady: Holmes and Watson walking around New York (springtime in new york)
[personal profile] starlady
I actually attended far more of the con than I did four years ago, starting with the Thursday night pre-con meet and greet, at which [personal profile] franzeska and I looked at each other across the crowded room (~cherry blossom petals~) and said, "I didn't know you were going to be here!" And, oddly enough (because we are definitely different in our orientations towards what kinds of cons we tend to attend and to some extent what we want out of them), we had similar reactions to this year's Con.TXT. You can read her con report at her journal.

It was great to see many awesome people who I haven't seen in way too long; that was, in fact, the best part of the con, and I also heard a lot of people I hadn't met before say a lot of smart things. But compared to 2010, when I felt spoiled for choice in terms of panels, there seemed to be much less interesting programming, and the vibe seemed…different, somewhat narrower in terms of range of interest. Partly I think this is because I personally am less close to the center of the mainstream fandom id, if such a thing can be said to exist, than I was in 2010, but OTOH, I kept comparing the discussions to Wiscon and thinking Wiscon was at least as good, which is quite a change from four years ago. I suspect this is partly because Wiscon has come a long way in the past four years in terms of its fandom panels and discussions, and also because I had a particularly excellent Wiscon with a particularly excellent, somewhat select group of people, salted with excellent impromptu panels.

Like Franzi, I also thought the vidshow could use some work, and I will 100% admit that this is partly because this year's [community profile] wiscon_vidparty was so excellent. The 2014 Con.TXT vidshow needed better curation as a playlist, and it also needs not to feature multiple vids by the same creator, no matter how famous they are. They also need to adopt the common definition of "premiering vids," i.e. vids that have not been shown publicly before the con, which ≠ "recent vids," i.e. vids that have premiered within the last six months. (Which is not to say that I didn't like many of the individual vids; I do and did, and there were several that I went back and downloaded immediately. But there were more than a few that qualified as LKBVs in my opinion, many of them unintentionally so--which is not to say that there is anything wrong per se with LKBVs! but I don't think the curation realized that they could be interpreted as LKBVs, which is a failure of the playlisting--and compared to Wiscon, the party vibe felt way less fun. IDK. I was glad to be sitting in the group of people I was sitting with, since we weren't afraid to laugh for the most part.)

My panel on Sunday did at least seem to go pretty well, and thanks again to my co-mod dee_laundry and to our intrepid volunteer "token AO3 tag wrangler," who may or may not wish to be named in this post. Speaking of moderation, however: I understand that there is a different, much more group discussion-based vibe at cons like Con.TXT than at Wiscon, but that said, in terms of accessibility, there need to be much more stringent guidelines about moderation so that panels don't descend into chaos of people talking over each other so that everybody can hear. Compared to Wiscon's Access team and concerns about access, that was a fairly glaring oversight.

Short version: I had a good time, though not as good as in 2010. I go if and when I'm going to be in the area, and it's totally worth it if you're local, but not something I'm going to travel cross-country for in the future.
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