June 23rd, 2003

Anime MZ

And so it goes...

Things have been crazy lately. The past week at work has been very busy. We've had a few things come up that have needed fixing. Nothing too bad, just interruptions that mean other things aren't getting done. I'm trying to update some documentation, but I really haven't made any progress. I really don't know where some of the days went, time flies. I was also having a lot of trouble sleeping last week - I kept waking up during the night, then I'd have trouble getting up with the alarm. Between that and the pollen I felt sick on Thursday and ended up going to work a bit late. Friday I oddly felt pretty good - which just meant I'd crashed through the wall - I actually conked out at my desk late in the afternoon. I was so tired when I got home Friday night that I didn't manage to have dinner, and I'd only had a couple of glasses of iced tea with lunch, and a can of soda later. So after crashing, hard, I woke up in the middle of the night with a massive headache. Actually it is more accurate to say that the headache woke me up because it was so bad. I managed to stagger out to suck down some Excedrin and a bunch of water, then back to bed. Once I managed to slip into blissful unconciousness once more I stayed that way well into Saturday.

I'm feel a bit badly because Friday was z_gryphon's birthday, and he's up in northern Maine. He was trying to get a bunch of people to come up for the weekend, but no one was able to go. I was hoping I might get up there, but this is my last weekend before I leave for California on vacation. Between being fried and needing to get some stuff done, I couldn't get away for two days to go up and back. I feel bad that I didn't go up to see him - he's my best friend and he didn't have anyone to hang out with on his birthday. And he can't go to AX since it is July 4th weekend, and as a reporter that's a 'big news' weekend - so he's not allowed to take it off. The following weekend is a BBQ/party I have an extra pass for, so I'm hoping he might be able to come down. Or that I can go up for the one after that. It has been too long since we got to hang out.

I spent most of the weekend resting, and I feel pretty good now - and once I post this I'm off to bed again so I don't start the week sleep deprived. When not resting, I managed to get a few things done. Over the past week, between work and not enough sleep, etc, I finished setting up the new Pacific Media Expo forums and wrote up the blurbs for my divsion for the first flier. Our webmaster is working on the site, hopefully we'll have a prototype to check out soon. We plan to have it up before AX, since we're planning to distribute fliers and it'd be good to have a place for people to go. ;-) The pmx community is up too, of course. We're actively recruiting staff now, so if you think you might be interested just go here. All this stuff going on meant I had to skip the festivities this weekend that friends were hosting. I hope this week goes a bit smoother, I need to get those docs done, get ready for the trip, and take care of PMX stuff before I lose my network access when I leave. (Not sure what kind of connection I'll have at the hotel, if any.)

I also have to finalize the organization for the FanFic and Fansite panels at AX - I'm running both of those. Fansite is 20:30-22:00, FanFic is 22:00-23:30 - both Friday in LP2. So come on by if you'll be at AX.
Anime MZ

Otakon

I think I might go to Otakon this year. Since I'm involved with PMX it'd be a good opportunity to meet with industry reps and dealers in person, being the second largest con - after AX. And I think a bunch of people I know will be going.

Guess I should see if I can still find a hotel room tomorrow.
Anime MZ

WTF is Word-Of-Mouth.org?

A month or so ago I got a spammish email telling me someone had submitted a report about me (well, my email address) to this site Word-of-mouth.org. So I looked at the site and it looks pretty bad - garish color scheme, etc. Something someone slapped together after reading 'My First Website'. They want to charge you for an account to be able to view the reports. So I tend to think it is a scam - they send you email telling you that someone is talking about you, which is designed to make you curious, then you have to pay to see what they said. I shrugged it off.

Today I got another one, saying that someone else supposedly left a report about me. Peaked my curiosity again since it goes straight for me 'people talk about me behind my back' soft spot (that whole self-image thing). But no, I'm just going to ignore this site. Especially since the second notice was exactly a month later (5/23 and 6/23) - smells too much like a scam.

Google didn't have any hits for 'word-of-mouth.org'. Oh, but Google Groups did. Good nose - if it smells like a scam, it is a scam. Apparently these lusers have been at it for a few years now.
Anime MZ

Dear Anime News Network

Sorry for the line wrapping, cut & pasted from an email I'm sending:

It was just brought to my attention that someone at ANN took pieces of
a post I made to the AnimeCons mailing list, quoted them out of the
context of my mail, and used them in a news item on the ANN website
without notifying me in any way:
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/article.php?id=3753

I find this highly upsetting. The AnimeCons mailing list has long
been a place that those involved with running a convention can speak
freely to exchange information and help each other. If anything said
there is subject to being quoted without notification, let alone
request, then the value of the list is greatly diminished. People
will have to remain guarded with what they say, the ability to speak
freely is gone thanks to this.

The way my words were quoted it makes it look like PMX is somehow
pitted against AX, since it is pointed out that most of the people
involved are ex-AX. Yes, that's currently true - but it is most of a
fairly small group, the core staff. And the fact that we're ex-AX
isn't the driving issue, we're involved because we know each other and
have worked together. And yes, it most cases that is through AX. But
it isn't an important issue, and we're taking pains to *not* be seen
as trying to go against AX, etc. Many of us worked for AX through the
AX-AnAm 'Con Wars' in the mid-90s, and we'd really rather not repeat
them. We expect to have staffers who will be working both AX and PMX,
as well as other conventions such as Anime Boston. We're very much
trying to avoid this becoming an us vs. them issue.

The text you quoted about renumeration was meant for the closed list,
and therefore not really worded as I would something for the public.
We don't know *if* we're going to do it, but we're structuring things
so that we *can* if we decide to do so, and if we have the money,
etc. Many, many ifs. This is a new convention, right now we're just
working on the initial plans and budgeting. Being able to offset the
expenses traditional born by the staffers (travel, etc) is an issue we
won't be addressing for some time yet. There are many things we'd
*like* to do, that we may not be able to - or may not be able to at
first, and only once the convention has established itself, etc.

What I find most distressing is the juxtaposition of the ex-AX staff
issue and the renumeration issue. I'm sure you're aware that there
has been controversy surrounding the SPJA and AX, largely focusing on
renumeration issues. By mentioning the ex-AX staff aspect of PMX, and
following it immediately by quoting me with "instead of the money
going to the people at the top, we're going to try to reward the
general staff" you make my words sound like a dig at AX. Nothing
could be farther from the truth - I'm friends with many of the people
at the core of AX, including Jen, the chair, and members of the board.
I staffed Anime Expo 1992-2002, including AXNY in 2002, and I may
still return to AX staff - I took 2003 off from convention staffing
because I needed a break.

Ideally I'd like to see the article pulled - but at least remove the
4th paragraph, the one about the renumeration policy. Taken out of
the context of the discussion in which is was posted, the meaning is
far from clear.
Anime MZ

Sluggy

Well, Phil Foglio is drawing Sluggy Freelance this week as a guest artist. Interesting. Zoe looks, um, different. ;-)