RavenCon 2014: A Homecoming in April (Hail, Hydra…)

This week has been one temptation after another to rant a bit on topics ranging between Game of Thrones to pretentious nitwits in steampunk, but I have chosen a different direction for my weeks blogpost:

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That’s right — RavenCon! Finally, after years of trying to make my hometown event happen, I am finally coming back to the weekend in April that I helped kick off seven years ago alongside Con Chair Michael Pederson. I, for one, am looking forward to the weekend!

It’s been a little frustrating not being able to make it, mainly on account of things like the lack of a day job; but after balancing the books and making sure the numbers weren’t misleading me, I can finally come back to my hometown (the second time within the month!) and enjoy some good old-fashioned geekery alongside such terrific people like Bill Blume, Gail Z. Martin, Michael A. Ventrella, the Geek Radio Daily crew, and Guest of Honor (and all around great lady!) Elizabeth Bear!

Want to know where I will be this weekend? Continue reading

Skylanders: Where Gamer Girls (and Their Characters) Kick Butt Too!

Roughly six weeks ago, as you might have heard on a recent episode of The Shared Desk, a friend of ours — Lisa-Anne Moore — introduced me, Pip, and Sonic Boom to the new Activision game Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures. Sonic Boom was intrigued by the concept of this game, that concept being that at any point you can swap out characters within a game, all dependent on what you need at that moment. The Boom perked up, however, when she heard about a character named “Sonic Boom.”

Imagine her elation when she found the character of Sonic Boom was a girl.

From the Skylanders Portal Masters’ website, here’s Sonic Boom’s story: Continue reading

So Long, and Thanks for All the Tweets: My Final Friday at Intersections

Staying on track.You might have noticed a few enigmatic tweets from me on Friday. I got a few responses of concern but I was okay. Still am.

No, really, I’m good. January 6, 2012 was a date for the books so I’ll just go ahead and kick off this blogpost with what happened.

Somewhere around 10:15 a.m. last Friday, I was told my services at Intersections, Inc. was no longer needed.

If you’re expecting a complete and utter meltdown against my former day job, you’re not going to get it. Never will. I will only say this: Continue reading

Black Friday: The Dark Side of Viral Videos

Social Media carpetbaggers (as I call them here, and I’m liking the term the more I use it) would challenge me on many of my work beliefs and ethics, two of which that have been brought to light just this month:

    • You can’t make a viral video. They just happen.
    • There is such a thing as bad publicity.

      I have seen this as a topic on many a conference track — “How to Make Your Videos Viral!” or some such nonsense — and I also get the “Let’s make a viral video…” request a lot from my day job. After my skin stops crawling, I pull no punches and speak the best-kept-secret truth that the carpetbaggers won’t admit: you can’t make a viral video. A video goes viral due to traffic on social networks increasing awareness (of a product, person, or cause), and through self-replicating processes that gain momentum on both the Internet and mainstream media.

      Did you catch that “self-replicating” part? That’s key. No one can make self-replication happen. You can promote a video, sure, but that does not necessarily guarantee it going viral.  The constant thread (if there is one) is luck. Good or bad, it comes down to luck. You can’t predict it. You can’t produce it. You never know what will strike that nerve. Viral videos just happen.

      And in the case of Rebecca Black, that is exactly what happened. What two comedians referenced off-handedly has now become 2011’s viral sensation. Continue reading

      Kia Ora from the Future!

      Hi, everyone!

      It’s been a week and what a week it has been. Sonic Boom, fresh off her first-ever plane ride, walked the now-working set of Hobbiton, settled in Rotorua for the night, got up close and personal with Ella the Lion Cub at the Paradise Valley Reserve, and then worked the Poi Dancing as the youngest in attendance at Te Puia. Safe to say, we’re having a blast! There will be YouTube videos coming.

      This week, we’re looking ahead to WorldCon 68, also known as AussieCon 4. Pip Ballantine, Sonic Boom, and I arrive in Melbourne, Australia (Yes, her second country in two weeks. Pretty impressive for a six year old!) and alongside familiar friends John Cmar, Laura Burns, Mur Laffery, and Gail Carriger, we’ll be taking part in good geekery from the Southern Hemisphere. This is my first WorldCon, and the Australians have handed me a rather robust schedule: Continue reading