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It's halfway through April when did this happen



FIRST UP. Late con reports. ECCC report is HERE: kiriska.com/blog/2013/04/con-r… (6700 words) and Sakura-Con report is HERE: kiriska.com/blog/2013/04/con-r… (5900 words)

SECOND. I got into A-kon, so my next conventions are Comicpalooza and A-kon back-to-back on Memorial weekend and the weekend after, in Houston and Dallas respectively. Come see me, Texas, 'cause I won't be back until IKKiCON!

I do really, really wish A-kon would finish sending out Artist Alley confirmations though because while I know I'm in, I think only a third of notifications have gone out, and I'd reaaaaally like to know if all my friends are in or not. .-. It is six weeks to the convention. I am really frustrated by this. Among other things, there are carpools and hotel situations to sort out, y'know?

I guess that's all there really is, update-wise....I went ahead and entered the lottery for Otakon (because I dunno!), but I didn't make it in the first wave of 'winners'. We'll see how the rest of the waves go. I'm not especially set on going, but...we'll see.

So how are you guys?


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:iconredstarship:
RedStarship Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Nice to see that you're still kickin' it with tabling at cons! I need to start getting back into that groove at some point (doing a COMPLETE makeover for my table, creating more of a brand this time).

Since you're not...too far away...you should go to Fanime sometime. ;) (and hopefully I'll be able to table there next year)
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:iconkiriska:
Kiriska Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013
If Fanime will stop being Memorial Day weekend, maybe! .-. But as long as Comicpalooza (same weekend) is back-to-back with A-kon, I will keep doing them together as much as possible. Then again, if A-kon keeps having AA reg TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE DAMN SHOW, then I might look into other options for that time...and if Anime Boston also stays on Memorial Day, that's my first priority, lol. Fanime isn't as big and even though it's closer geographically, I dunno that it'd actually be easier for me to attend? WE'LL SEE THOUGH. But yeah, that weekend is a stupid crowded con weekend. 8D
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:iconredstarship:
RedStarship Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
FFFF yeah, that's right! I hate it when they mash cons on weekends like that...lol decisions!

Are you possibly thinking of Wondercon as well? I was hoping to go this year, but they unfortunately moved it down to Anaheim because of renovations issues in the SF location. Hopefully they bring it back to NorCal though >_<;
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:iconkiriska:
Kiriska Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013
WonderCon was the same weekend as Sakura-Con this year, though I don't think they are normally. I don't think I'd do well there though, so it isn't really one I plan to go to for the time being, no.
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:iconcabooosers:
cabooosers Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Student Artist
YENSNENDMCDMEKEOENAKAASSDDFFFF. -clings- <3
Akoooooonnnn
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:iconkiriska:
Kiriska Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013
LOL SEE YOU THERE.
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:iconchrislea:
chrislea Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013
Just gotta hunker down and keep our fingers crossed, the rest of us. ^_~


I love your con reports. You might call them too wordy, but I love getting all that in-depth info and pics of people and tables and CON. <3
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:iconkiriska:
Kiriska Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013
My fingers are crossed for the rest of you too! I NEED PEOPLE TO KEEP ME COMPANY ON FIVE HOUR DRIVE TO DALLAS. ;____;

My con reports definitely wordy, but I'm glad people enjoy them, haha. ;3;
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:iconjohnyume:
JohnYume Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
"How are you guys" .... not to be pessimistic, but in honesty, not too well on many levels.

I really do hope they get those confirmations out too! They said the FCFS jury process saves the staff a ton of time and ease, which is great but the last min stuff is killing ;-; I really hope I didn't give up my Comicpalooza table just to fail to get into A-Kon ;A; <//3 It wouldn't be so bad... but if I miss A-Kon too I'll have an entire year's worth of NO conventions D8

I've counted 48 unconfirmed invitees, and with 120 tables total there's 70+ tables left. So still a good chance left.
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:iconkiriska:
Kiriska Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013
Yeah...I really hope you hear soon. I'm really not happy with the last minute stuff. I know it's a new hotel and a semi-new method and they had to equalize/adjust for all the people who got the form early, but I feel like maybe they can put more people on this...is it all just down to Hastur? Is there anyone else that she can split the work with? Ugh, antsy! :(
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:iconjohnyume:
JohnYume Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I've still have heard nothing. The fact that the list hasn't even updated is worse since I have no idea what the odds are that I can still get in ;-; I am sure they have extra people working on stuff, but I get the feeling Hastur has to give her stamp of approval too (since I am sure she knows all the problem people). But Hastur is probably busy with rl stuff too, which is fine, but starting the process so late we may not know the final results till a month away! What's worse, is that during sign-ups something weird happened (I did some test runs a few mins before the sign-ups and one of them went semi-through O-0 ) I told Hastur about it and she said it could have been me and she asked for more info. I gave her the info, but she never replied back with anything. So now I'm REALLY anxious that maybe they'll reject me due to them thinking I've tried to cheat the system or something QAQ and I'm afraid to ask, least I bother Hastur TT-TT <///3
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:iconkiriska:
Kiriska Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013
I dunno, afaik, no one that refreshed/submitted early is being penalized for it (I also submitted early, around ~17 seconds left on the countdown), but I'm assuming the need to equalize these early submissions against those that were sent after the page flopped over is what's taking the most of the time. Even with this assumption though, I'm honestly not seeing how it's taking over three weeks to process the results because if each submission is recorded in the database, then it's just a matter of running an algorithm to calculate the FCFS order based on the multiple times, taking that sorted list and cross-referencing with whatever blacklist they have of problem people, then sending out emails? If there are only ~120 spots in the AA, there is no need to even look at anything after that until the first 120 are processed, and in my head, this should not take more than a few hours of straight working.

If there is an actual blacklist that can be passed around, then one person can work the blacklist while another handles emails, which would expedite things without giving away two much personal information; though I also don't understand who is/isn't on "official" AA staff because shouldn't all official staff be clear to process personal information?

And hey, maybe I'm completely off on what the process is behind the scenes, but it isn't like they've been especially transparent about that either, so I am left to speculate. I was/am also concerned that my criticism is going to somehow make me out to be a "problem person," but I think these are all very legitimate concerns. If A-kon AA is understaffed, then they should get more staff people. I know they're all volunteers, but being a volunteer isn't really an excuse for substandard service? A-kon is a business. It is immensely frustrating that we still don't know who's in FIVE WEEKS before the convention. It's really no wonder so few out-of-state artists seem to attend A-kon compared to other cons its size. :/ People need to get time off, have travel and lodging to figure out, etc, and barely a month to do that in is kind of crazy if you're not already in the state.
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:iconjohnyume:
JohnYume Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Well I didn't submit the early one, since it was like 10 mins early (obviously a fluke @-@;; ). When I submitted my entry I waited for the screen flip. I am not the faster person when it comes to typing and forums BUT I really thought I would have made the top 30-50, so I am getting concerned ;-; Even people who did wait for the screen flip have gotten in already ;___;

Well since we have no idea what the hold up is, we can only speculate. Though Spizzy said something today that does make it sound like it's all on Hastur. So it may be a "bottle-neck" issue. I don't think Hastur is a programmer, so the hold-up is likely approval/administrative or information/tools/whatever only she has access too. Which if that's the case there does need to be more staff and more responsibility handed out because if it's all on Hastur that's too much stress and dependence on one person and it slows down everything :/ Hastur should be letting others do all the legwork while she just does a quick look-over and approval and lets someone else e-mail confirmations. Though I know that's easier said than done.

I cannot see them labeling you a "problem person" just for making helpful suggestions and offering solutions. Even if people are stressed and helpful criticism is annoying from outsiders, like you said it's all legitimate concerns. Who in their right mind would condemn you for that? I honestly don't believe Hastur is that unreasonable. They probably just feel like they can't discuss the exact issues publicly OR they can't implement tools/solutions because of other factors or the lack of expertise. Now I'm not well versed in databases, but SURELY they would have done some automated functions to clean up the time problems and nix anyone who's an known offender. Some of the things Meauho said sounded like the time thing wasn't a big deal for them. Though I do know that problem people try to sign-up under false names or by multiple people so that may be part of the fodder they have to shift through. Moreover depending on how in-depth they are reviewing each and every person's website/info it may be adding way too much time. They may have to go through 200-400 applicants (appose to just 120) before they can approve 120 of them. They might be nixing a lot more people than we think too. IDK, whenever there is a new system of doing things there will always be inefficiency and they are likely learning (albeit a bit late) what works and what doesn't.

Moreover, If this was Oni-Con (and Oni-Con has done this 1 month prior deal) everyone would be blasting them for not having their act together. I know the A-Kon staff has complained about Oni-Con. Unless they are in denial and unrealistic about their faults, everyone's problems and concerned caused by the delays in the AA process are justified. So how can they be mad at you or anyone else o-o ? There may be reasons why things aren't going very smooth right now, but that doesn't means it's "okay" when others are depending on you. Though I choose to be gracious about stuff like this because it's not fun to be in that situation nor does it any good to "blast" people for it. We can only try to be helpful and be gracious and that's all I've seen people do ;u;

I just hope next year will be an improvement, but I can't help but recall that each year A-Kon sign ups have gotten later and later o-o I wonder if Hastur is okay... maybe she grown tired of AA staff woes but just hangs in there? Maybe she growing too busy? Maybe staffing has become such a drag that it's hard to start/finish the work? Maybe everything mixed into one? And with the major change like this year everything might have just imploded? ;-;
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:iconkiriska:
Kiriska Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013
Well, ten minutes is a big gap, so those are easily discarded. I'd say you probably got in though, just because you're totally prepared and know the system well and that should do well enough to make up for your not being the fastest typist. :c

Yup, us being left to speculate is part of why I'm so frustrated? Because I can't imagine what the hold up really is. Nothing I've come up with for what's going on behind the scenes doesn't add up to three weeks of wait time. After whatever they did to equalize the submission times is done (which again, should be a matter of plugging in an equation), it's just 1) checking for problem people, 2) sending emails, 3) confirming payments. It does sound like it's all on Hastur though, and I definitely agree that those three steps should be split up.

If there's a master list of problem people, all of the AA staff should have it, not just Hastur? That would make the most sense, even if it isn't actually the case. It should also be really easy for another person to check all the websites too -- having the database spit out a list of websites is basic as hell and wouldn't expose anyone's personal information.. Hastur probably has to do the emails/payments since she's using her personal business account for this (which I think is really unprofessional on A-kon's part. A-kon business transactions should be done through A-kon's Paypal, not the business account of one of their staff!) Yes, having two or more people on the job instead of one would require back and forth communication between staff, but...shouldn't this be a given anyway?

I feel like I kind of am blasting A-kon for not having their act together, because new system, new hotel, or otherwise, lack of confirmations a month ahead of the show is pretty unacceptable to me. <_< Among other things, it really adds weight to my general argument that Artist Alley is never priority for any convention. It is thought about last and dealt with as an after thought. If AA were important to A-kon as a whole, then they would have carved out the space for it long ago, figured out how many tables they had room for, and -- knowing that they want to do a partial jury -- would have done sign-ups way earlier. If this were Dealer's Room instead -- if dealers didn't have confirmation a month ahead of the show, I don't think A-kon's DR waitlist would be years long, y'know?

If Hastur is having work/life/etc issues, that's fine, and I understand, but then she should know well enough to let someone else take the reins? I know how it is on the other end of things, so I can definitely sympathize, and I do feel that Hastur & etc are doing their best, but that doesn't change the fact that their best...doesn't seem to be good enough at the moment. <_< I'm not trying to be ungrateful, but business is business, and A-kon is a business.

Anyway, I hope they let us know what's up soon so everyone can stop fretting, myself included. You'd better get in! <3
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:iconwhiteoblivion:
WhiteOblivion Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013
Uuuuugh after reading your con report of Sakura, I really really want to go again next year. >:
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:iconkiriska:
Kiriska Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013
AND YOU SHOULD BECAUSE IT'S GREAT. :|
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:iconwhiteoblivion:
WhiteOblivion Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013
Okay okay, I'll make it a goal to get back up there next year. ;-;

And ugh I know what you mean about A-kon. I just wanna know everyone that got in already. Also that list hasn't been updated like all week because I totally paid for my table already. ._.
On the bright side maybe since we both got in we'll be neighbors?
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:iconkiriska:
Kiriska Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013
Yessssss, visssitttt meeeee.

I'm trying really hard not to be mad at A-kon, but I'm kind of mad at A-kon. .-. OH WELL, yeah I hope we're neighbours!
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:iconag-cat:
Ag-Cat Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Things are fine here. Good luck with your stuff! :D
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