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Thoughts on Otakon...

This is my theory as to why Otakon has been annoying me lately.

When Otakon was first founded it was with a group of friends who met on a normal basis and had interaction about non Otakon things. They were actual friends

Now, Otakon is no longer composed primarily of Friends, instead it is primarily made up of work friends. If I stopped interacting with Otakon, Do you think you'd still interact with me? I don't think it's possible to answer that until either you, the reader of this post if you are otastaff, or I leave Otakon.

Not that I'm going to soon or anything, but this chain of thought has been annoying me recently.

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
ranmah
Apr. 17th, 2008 07:49 am (UTC)
I'm starting to get the same feeling as you.

It guess it is compounded with my job and being so far away from home is starting to get to me.
cousin_sue
Apr. 17th, 2008 12:39 pm (UTC)
And yet you're still working for Otakon in the way you can as a moderator for the BBS...

: )
ranmah
Apr. 18th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
scarry isn't it. :P
cousin_sue
Apr. 17th, 2008 11:29 am (UTC)
I'm still friends with my Otakon friends who have left the con. And I do more with them than I do with the Otakon people.

Friends don't stop being friends.
hellbuny
Apr. 17th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
It's not that work friends have to stop being friends, but a lot of the time it does happen. I'm quite glad you are still in contact with them, and it does give me hope about the whole thing.

The only question is if you were friends with them before the con...
cousin_sue
Apr. 17th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
Nope. Met them with Otakon.

It's a matter of keeping in touch. Considering that the majority of Otakon contact is done through the internet anyway, it should still work out.
dmlou
Apr. 17th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
I'm in kind of a weird situation, seeing as how I live further away than most of the people working Otakon... but even though I left the con, I still consider myself friends with many of the people I met while I was still working it.
jvowles
Apr. 17th, 2008 01:14 pm (UTC)
I think your work schedule and frequent trips have much to do with feeling dissociated. The regional meetings last weekend did much to restore my good feelings about the con -- as did spending a week in close proximity with the Tokyo crew.

As for "if you stopped being involved", that would depend largely on HOW you stopped being involved.
hellbuny
Apr. 17th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
Though I don't deny that my work and travel life are crazy, I think the post came out more leaning towords myself being the center of it, instead of looking at it as more of a global issue. I think the local meetings are a great step in the right direction, I suppose I just hope that they continue, and grow more so that the friendships grow stronger outside of the contstrain of Otakon. Believe me, I'm quite glad to have spent yet another extended period of time with ya'll out of the country, and I miss everyone who was on the trip! It's more fun with more friends ^_^
hellbuny
Apr. 17th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, and it's not that I'm going to stop being involved anytime soon... I've just been pondering as I'm often apt to do :)
j_train1
Apr. 17th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
Just like Mr Rogers' says "Won't you be my neighbor?" Well I would be if I didn't live 4-5 hours north of you.
hellbuny
Apr. 17th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
Geographic disbursement has a lot to do with some of my concearns... It's much harder to be close friends with someone 500 miles away ^_^
j_train1
Apr. 17th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better I only know 15-20 people on staff by first name basis. Most of them are the original staffers from State College and Philadelphia. Now all them are 3 hours away from me so I don't get to visit anymore.

Ok, Cos Sue is only 2hours ,but I haven't visited her house since 1999. We were lobbing tennis balls over her house with a catapult .
sundancekat
Apr. 17th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
Well, when I stop doing Otakon, I'll still hang out with you (especially when you move down here!). I'll still hang out with a lot of friends who are also Otakon staff when I get the opportunity, even if it means driving up to MD for a weekend just to hang out. But there will be a lot of people who I'll probably never (or rarely) talk to again, or I'll only see them on Live Journal, just because we're more work buddies than actual friends.

My theory as to why Otakon has been annoying me lately is of course entirely different. :p
hellbuny
Apr. 17th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
When I was discussing this with alice, the raleigh crew was the one exception that got brought up. The frequent roadtrips and up to MD and elsewhere impress the hell out of me! And I do look foward to the Otakon free hanging out... hehe..

What's your theory?

sundancekat
Apr. 17th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
OK, my theory of why Otakon annoys me now is, I dunno, lack of patience or antagonism, or paranoia. It's hard to describe.

It's the feeling that, every time something happens or someone does something that someone else doesn't like, it's automatically assumed that the person who did the thing is deliberately trying to be subversive or harm the company. Like, a few years ago if someone fucked up (or make a snap decision that ended up being unpopular), people generally forgave the person and assumed that, well, you're only human, just don't do it again. Now it seems that when the same thing happens, people automatically assume that the person is trying to damage the company, steal money/things, try to take more power than they should, whatever. Sure, there are specific examples of this in action that I could list, but overall it seems like the general level of snark is much higher than it used to be. And that's a large part of why I want to step back next year; I don't mind killing myself for a cause as long as it's something I enjoy/believe in, and as long as either people thank me for it or at the least just leave me alone, but when I have to listen to all this snark (even if it's not directed at me), it makes me wonder why the hell I'm doing this for free when I don't have to deal with near as much snark at my paying job. Does that make sense?
docthestampede
Apr. 17th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)

Most of my close friends at Otakon, I will continue to hang out with... but my answer is cheating, since its my fault some of them staff.. ^_^

I think its a mix. I enjoy spending time with you, Jim, Toshi, Taka, etc, but some others I only work with. Its also hard to say that Otakon's the only glue that holds us together, many of us socialize at other events.

What's more pressing is a statement I started making a while ago about con friends in general -- you don't NEED a con to hang out and spend time together. There are alot of people in fandom who only socialize and spend time together at cons -- you don't need that. Hell, it seems every fandom social circle eventually goes through a phase where they call everything "X-con" -- its like life revolves around the cons. It doesn't have to at all.

Anyway, at work so can't theorize much. Even after I leave staff, I'll be around. You and alice owe me a trip up to NYC. XD
matttheminion
Apr. 17th, 2008 02:58 pm (UTC)
Well Sean I can say that I would still consider you a friend if you or I decided to quit Otakon. Although, right now I can't say I really hang out with the friends I made through Otakon on a regular basis since typically I live 400 miles or more away from them. For me this distance is pretty much the biggest limitation, this doesn't mean it couldn't be overcome just that the frequency of interpersonal interaction drops significantly (unless of course one of us became independently wealthy, which would be nice). But because of it, there are some people who will never be more than 'work friends' because we'll never get the chance to hang out enough to be more than that, no matter how much I may want to.

As for my recent message to the board, I sent it knowing it would likely torque you and Ivy off. I knew full well that it was not the 'friendly' or necessarily 'best' way to accomplish it's goal, but I also knew it would work, get somewhat immediate results, and put most of this particular issue behind us in the fastest way possible. The largest downside to this was that I by doing it I had to piss off people I care about, and I accept that responsibility.

Now with all that being said, I too have to agree with Jim that the April meeting went over really well. I don't know about other people, but it put some crazy ideas in my head that if we can implement them next year, should put some heart back into things.
hellbuny
Apr. 17th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
I think I may need to edit the original post a bit... I was trying to go for a more global view of things than than a "Look at me, give me attention kinda thing ^_^;;;;"

From all accounts I've heard, I think the april meeting was a great success, and needs to be repeated more that once a year imho. I like the idea of people of a similar mind hanging out... That's what needs to grow to help people shift from just work friends.

As to the thing with the minutes, Honestly, the thought that went through my mind and still is, is that I hope Ivy is ok. I would have thought she'd be glad to send those damn things out since I had taken so long to get em done. Unfortunatly since after I sent them out, I've been wrapped up in travel and didn't, though I should have, follow up with them with her sooner.

But seriously, I wasn't mad in the least about the BoD message... It is, in its purest sense, a way to make sure a response is gotten. I've done the same thing, and I'll wind up doing the same thing eventually to someone else ^^

I am greatly happy to count you and Jen amongst actual friends... of the things that have come from Otakon, all my friendships are at the top.

mistresschimera
Apr. 17th, 2008 03:39 pm (UTC)
Well I guess it's fair to to turn this around and say do you think you'd be friends with someone on staff if you decided to leave staff?


I've had my roller coaster of emotions stemming from Otakon for the last 2 years were I've asked myself the same question. I've been able to remain friends with several people who left staff and maintain contact with them via e-mail, facebook,txt messaging and LJ..I do the same with friends of mine who were never associated with Otakon that I have known from school, growing up, and other jobs.

It can be hard to make the effort to be friends when you live far away, but maintaining true friendships is not hard if you really consider the person a true friend (and not in the work aspect). I aleady know that if I ever left Otakon, there are people who are true friends that I would go out of the way to visit and always remain friends with. Yes, there are some who are probabaly just "work friends", but even then...I'd at least try to make the effort to remain friends.

Now to answer your original question, yes, I would find a way to harass you even if you left Otakon staff. XP <3 You and I go way back. You were one of the friends who helped me get through one of the biggest ordeals of my life when my father died and offered me a shoulder to cry on when things were really bad then. Granted there are times where you're too busy to talk or I am, but I do now how to keep in contact with you. ^^
pockyman
Apr. 17th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
I think I would be - I just wish we had been able to hang more before I moved. :/

I'm just notoriously bad at keeping track of things. ;_;
eustacia_vye28
Apr. 17th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
*nods*

It's slowly become more of an obligation than something that's fun and enjoyable to work for. I've noticed that more and more over the past two years, though I think it's worse because of internal wank.

I'd love to interact with you outside of Otakon. Dude, we had fun hanging out before the wedding. We met you because of the con, but it's not why we're friends. Yes? Yes. *nods firmly*

I feel safe to say that because I've kinda withdrawn from staff life, especially since Com Con. I've scaled back a lot of stuff due to Real Work constraints, and I think the Peanut was the last nail on that coffin. I don't know why I'm there sometimes. Well, I know why. It's that sense of obligation and the sense that I wouldn't see some of my friends otherwise. ^^;
shirankirei
Apr. 17th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
The sense of obligation has definately taken its tole on my view of Otakon. When I started, I had "no clue" what everything was - all I knew is that I was tagging along with Matt because it was something he enjoyed. From there, I made some awesome friends and from there, well - we all know where we are now.

There are quite a few people I would hope to still be friends with long after I move on from Otakon and there's quite a few folks mentioned above, at least for me, that fall into that category. I guess I have a little more clarity on this with my current situation being as it is. I'm going through the same thing with folks I work with... will we still be friends once I'm gone and time has passed? I'd like to think that the friends I have made will still be friends - regardless of whether we work/don't work together. I would actually hope to become better friends because "work and politics" weren't getting in the way.

Frankly - I would enjoy friends more outside of work and Otakon because it would be more about hanging out and less about WORK! The hardest thing about the convention is that we're all (or a good portion of us) are friends. It's always hard, regardless of anyone knowing that it's "what you have to do for the corporation - as part of your job" to seem like you're coming down on someone you care about. For me personally, it's been difficult to balance and more often then not, I've considered removing myself from the picture - because I would rather work along side of friends, instead of having to "discipline them" and hope that the line is still drawn between the "con relationship" and "friends relationship" - does that make sense? Ok, I'm tired and rambling and henceforth... done!

YES WE WOULD STILL BE FRIENDS! :-) And that goes for your pretty lady, too!

Edited at 2008-04-17 09:47 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
geoffimusprime
Apr. 18th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)
I often wonder about that myself. I have met lots of rich and interesting people during my tenure at Otakon. Many people I've met, I get along with well enough and I enjoy hanging out with at con events. The fact is, however, I do consider the vast majority of said people "work associates". I probably wouldn't hang out with a number of them outside of Otakon gathering, and were they or I to leave Otakon, it doesn't seem likely that I would continue to communicate with them. That's not to say I wouldn't want to, mind. But unless the bond you create with them is really strong, it typically won't survive long past the end of that event.

Now, as for you and me, I do like you. I enjoy spending time with you. But we don't really interact outside of con. I had hoped that would have changed when I moved out to the east coast. I still hope it does. But, as things stand now, were you or I to leave con, I can't say that we would continue to be friends. I hope I am wrong, and I suppose that, yes, it is something neither of us could predict until it actually happens. Time will tell.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )