Each year, The Dorsai Irregulars have their own annual convention known as “Dorsai Thing”. It is a weekend long event, held in a different city each year, where we all gather, socialize, and hold our semi-annual business meeting. This year, it was held in Phildelphia, and it fell on my shoulders to run the event, dubbed “Liberty Thing” While I’ve worked at plenty of conventions before, this was the first one where I was effectively the Con Chair. This was an entirely new thing for me, and I wanted to write a blog post about some of the things I learned during the experience.
When hotel reservations open, that is the single busiest time of the year for Anthrocon’s webserver. In fact, it even caused us performance problems last year. That was not so good.
So this year, I decided to try something different. Instead of leaving the regular website up and running, which involves using Drupal, I instead decided to replace the entire page with a relatively static “countdown” page, which displayed a countdown timer and automatically started displaying the hotel link at 11 AM on the opening day.
First, some stats for the Anthrocon website:
Peak bandwidth: 1.6 Megabits/sec
Peak connections: 1,400 concurrent connections
And now some status for Passkey, who handled most of the traffic:
Often this is done on the basis of referrals–if I think a con is interesting/cool, there’s a chance I’ll know someone who is on staff and inquire through them what the staff experience is like and if it’s worth working. If I receive positive answers, I’ll inquire about joining staff.
If it’s a convention where I don’t know any staff, I’ll volunteer first and see how I like it. If I have a positive experience, I’ll inquire about being on staff in a future year.
Why Do I Work So Many Cons?
Many reasons. First, it gives me a chance to make positive contributions to the community. Second, it provides me with a bit of structure to the convention–having to be in certain places at certain times helps me better organize how I spend my time at the con. And finally, it gives me an opportunity to meet people–I’ve made many many friends over the years just by staffing cons… and getting to see these people again at future cons makes the experience just so much more fun.
The totals from the above cons are as follows: 89 total conventions, 64 of which were furry conventions. I staffed64 of those cons, most (but not all) of which were also furry conventions. The full spreadsheet of conventions I’ve attended and staffed can be found here.
Pictures of Giza, my leopard “fursona” in the furry community.
Some of these pictures are gift art, others are random sketches and conbadges that I’ve gotten over the last 20 years or so. Starting in about 2010 I began dressing up like a White Mage from Final Fantasy, it turned out to be a really cool idea, and now I get art of me drawn as a White Mage.