daveon: (Default)
Several of the comments on the thread on Staffer's about awards have been rattling around my head.  There's a set of people whom I've discussed things with before who don't actually like Conventions, I think one of them described the idea of meeting up with people as a bit creepy.  Several others have suggested that replacing a convention with a giant Google hangout would be really cool.

Hmm...  I guess.

So here's the thing.  Back in the dim, dim, dim distant past of the internet, back in the late 1990s where I was a newly divorced person living in London on a shoestring - seriously, I had about 10 quid a week spare money - I had a bad internet chat habit.  I was a regular on several online chat systems, most usually Yahoo Chat, which would have as many as 1200 people on at a time before it crashed...  I met a lot of people that way including my wife.  I did a lot of time on chat.

And then I stopped.

I'm not really sure why.  Saying I grew out of it is probably wrong, the nature of the chatters changed, more interesting things came along, and as I got older and had more money I found more interesting things to do with my spare time, like go to the pub and go out for nice dinners.  Plus there was the whole thing of having an SO to whom I had to pay some attention.

I see Google Hangouts in the same way, have fun and all, but I'd rather be in meat space chatting to people.  I did my time online.  We didn't have all the whistles and bells (webcams!  hah!) but it felt very real and important, but the feeling that it was something new and special passed.  I tried Second Life and felt the same way, it was an interesting concept, but in the end it was just a bit too detached to hold my attention on an ongoing basis.

Over on the thread about awards, in the sub-thread about the suggestion that they create an SFF Bloggers Association and create awards from them, I asked what was actually going to stop them turning into the WSFS, or at least how they see the WSFS, in 20 years.  I suspect the real answer is nothing.

20 years from now whatever replaces Blogging will be hammering on the weirdos who Blog and looking at the the same way that the Bloggers look at those who still want to hand crank a mimeograph machine for their fanzine.

The trick about change is actually not adapting to everything new thing that comes out.  In the short term you're likely to be Betamax and in the long term VHS.

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