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It's like being friends with a divorced couple - RonO's Ramblings — LiveJournal

Feb. 11th, 2010 07:40 pm It's like being friends with a divorced couple

Tonight, a new con was announced for the Chicago area in August - Musecon. After very little investigation I was able to determine that is is largely the people who left/were kicked out of DucKon.

Now, they are taking a bit of a different approach -- trying to more of a creative arts/making stuff type event. But it sounds like they are planning on really doing a lot of the programming that won't be at DucKon.

In my heart I'd like to wish both DucKon and this event good luck. And I've seen splits like this result in two strong events. But I very much fear that this new event, unless it fails, will either doom DucKon or drain the last of what I liked about DucKon away.

But this has me also feeling like when friends divorce, and you are left with the awkward situation where you'd like to stay friends with both sides, but each side keeps doing things to pull you into their camp.

In this case, as I alluded to before, I suspect that there is enough wrong on both sides to go around, and I'm upset that they didn't try harder not to get into this situation.

But since then, other than some personal responses from the group that are no longer with DucKon implying that I was siding with the other group and making bad assumptions from what said other side was saying, I've supported most of what they've done. They've stayed, or gotten, involved in the other cons and mostly taken the high road. Now they've started a new con that can have the science and hands-on programming that was some of the best that DucKon had to offer.

On the other hand, the people still with DucKon have refused to share what happened in any details, and when they started to report what happened used inflammatory language and possibly misleading details. Then they've all but ignored my warnings that it is important to make sure programming remains strong.

While I like the people involved there personally, and still believe in The Golden Duck awards (to the point that had we not had to cancel our trip to Aussicon, Tara and I would have presented them there), I'm very worried that they are going to either collapse, or turn into an event that caters to the groups I wasn't as interested in.

So, once again, I'm glad I'm more or less out of the firing line, but wish I could restore the friendships that may have been damaged due to my possibly mistaken loyalty.

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Date:February 14th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
I've only heard one side of the story, as I don't know anyone on the other side.

As I wrote, I was annoyed that the new con took over Faux Thanx for a meeting, and for that reason am not too keen to join in, though will plan to go. (And that's just me. Other members of my family are ready to do what they can, and of course I support that.)

What I saw of the new con at their party at Capricon is that as their focus turns to getting this con off the ground, the bitterness at Duckon lessens.

Duckon, on the other hand, did not advertise that there would be no Birds, Blinkies or Teslacoils this year--something I distinctly heard one prospective member raving to another prospective member about. I suspect there will be a lot of surprised con-goers when they get there.

You are right, Duckon is going in another direction, whatever it is, and they should be making that known, and recruiting the people they are aiming for, rather than letting the fans looking for the old Duckon come and be disappointed.

We'll probably go to Duckon for awhile on Saturday, to see the Michigan crowd who have not been in on any of the politics and already have memberships. We'll treat it like other cons where we never make it to programming.

Edited at 2010-02-14 04:34 pm (UTC)
Date:February 14th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this scares me too. Do you know how many people turn up at Duckon every year just for the techie aspect? I believe it's the majority. This is so frustrating.
Date:February 15th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
Good analogy, Ron... I'd had to move out of doing anything with Duck other than kibitzing for a while due to distance and finances... wasn't involved in the fighting (other than as a shoulder) and don't have "both sides" of the story... but nearly everything I liked about Duck has moved over to Musecon, and so I'll do my kibitzing there :)
Date:February 18th, 2010 05:54 am (UTC)
Points of information-
1. The Birds will be back.
2. The Blinkies will be there.
3. I don't know if the Tesla guys plan not to be there because of MuseCon or if they think they weren't being invited, so I asked programming. Turns out that no one had contact information for them. I provided it (assuming that the info I had is still correct). IIUC, they are actually invited, or at least will be once the programming person gets her email fixed (there was a major hack where she works, and she's lost ALL her old stored email, and her access until they can patch the hole the hacker made).
4. There is a science programming track head, and he's working to develop an excellent technical track because we're aware that it's always been a DucKon strength, and we learned from our surveys last year that people want more science programming, so we plan to provide it.

The Chair has also reinstated the Masquerade and is trying to reach out to elements that have been lost over the years and to return to the roots of what DucKon was developed to be- an eclectic "Big Tent" convention with a strong science bent. The idea is to include more, not exclude more.