Monday, September 21, 2015

Jaded Gamer Diaries - Archon part one

How to be stupid while running a convention. This could be a title of a book, one written by the higher up staffers at Archon. I swear I've seen some pretty sure signs of stupid there over the years. But this time I'll only touch on one piece of stupid at a time. For those who don't know Archon is a large scifi/fantasy convention that takes place in Collinsville, Illinois.

Lets kill off a social media group that fandom has built. There was an official Archon Facebook group. Was. It's not there anymore but let me give you a few details stacked up here first.

The group was started up pretty shortly after Facebook popped really big so it had been around for quite some time. Plenty of time to build up a lot of members and that it did very well. A nice good variety of folks from a variety of places. All of which either currently attend or attended the con over the years. Now one special thing of note, this group was busy ALL THE TIME, not just a little before con time and a little bit afterwards. ALL THE TIME. Constant posts, costuming discussions, scifi talk, general fandom type stuff. If you needed to get that geek fix you knew right where to go.

Years of pictures had been shared on there, from the Masquerade contests, to hallway costumes. Just tons of images documenting the years that had gone by. There near the end more and more videos as well. It was a really nice retrospective of what had come before.

It was an excellent resource for the staffers if they wanted to utilize it. Large chunk of your fanbase right there at your fingertips.

They had no fucking clue how to utilize that.

Instead they bitched and whined that people wanted to discuss stuff on there INSTEAD of driving hours in the middle of the week into St. Louis once a month to discuss things with the few of them face to face. Which, as we were told by the few who did, they didn't pay any attention then either.

So they got upset that they were to lazy or too technology stunted to use social media.

After many huge blow ups (costume peace bonding stupidity, security stupidity and inviting a Fan Guest of Honor who publishes a zine that regularly features racist, sexist and homophobic jokes and slurs, much of this I'll cover in future installments) they decided they had enough. They put one of their lackies, who also had no clue how to properly use social media, in charge. Draco Fornax made it very clear he had no idea what he was doing in fan relations... at all.

So he created an Archon “page” on Facebook. Y'know the pages where there is almost no room for interaction between people who are members... oh wait, no members, just people who 'liked' it. Then he had them put up an old style forum on the Archon webpage, those things people got sick and tired of years ago and moved on from. Also the sign up process made sure they could tell exactly who you were so they could spot trouble makers easier. Hell even Wizards of the Coast has recently announced that they are shutting down their forums and going to social media instead.

Wizards announcing they are canning their forums.

Then they made the group private and nobody was allowed in without Draco Noclue's permission. Finally a bit later one day he just went through and started kicking out members. All of them as far as any of us know. Right down the list, the group just ceased to exist for us. The years of community building all gone because 'social media hard and people gripe at us there' reasons.

So Archon how to be stupid lesson number one, kill what the community builds. Now in the future I'll tell you the details behind a few of the reasons they killed it. Hint: It's because of those damned con goers using it to complain when we do something they don't like.

At least some of the fans have gotten together and formed their own group to take it's place.  But it's going to take a long time to rebuild that.

Archon STL fan formed group.

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