Archive for the ‘Tampa’ Tag

Saint Leo U. Gains New Students Via SL

Writing from Gulf Shores, Alabama….

A quickie note of an interesting item from another blog:  the SLENZ Update speaks of Saint Leo University in Tampa, Florida, gaining enrollments based on their Second Life regions.  Remember that AT&T commercial from the late 1980s, with the university professor lecturing on music styles, and the student from across the continent signals in to ask a question?  We now have the implication that something like this may actually happen, based on the fact that students are enrolling for classes based on the potential for distance learning of a virtual-world.

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Convention Administration: Never Fun

Conventions are no fun.

At least if you’re part of the staff — and have a relatively normal mindset.

If the organizers of this year’s SLCC had no experience with this iron truth of con life, they surely do now.  Whether you believe the figures offered up by the organizers (800 registrations), or the attendance estimate given by Reuters (400 on hand), both numbers were down from the 1,000 on hand at 2007’s wingding.  There was no need for shepherds here, either; Electric Sheep has left the fold for good, from all appearances, among others.  (Ducking very low) [1]

What’s more interesting, though, and proves my point for sure, is the report from the Messenger that registrants are seeking refunds [2].  Not having went to SLCC, and since I don’t read the Forums, I am not aware of all the details behind this story, so I can’t comment deeper on it.  What I can do is offer sympathy to the organizers.

You see, I’ve been there myself.  Worse:  I was the chair.  We were attempting to do a fan con on the television series Beauty and the Beast, and we’d put together a 3-day party to knock your socks off; we’d even got ahold of a few of the stars.  But appearance fees aren’t’ cheap; that, plus a sagging economy, competition with other cons and various other details held down our attendance.  In the end, we lost money; and the only thing that kept all of us from declaring personal bankruptcy was that we’d had enough sanity to incorporate beforehand.  Friendships that had been strong before this fell apart in the backwash of fatigue and sheer relief that the whole thing was over.

Con organizers can have fun; it just is a peculiar kind of fun, and it comes only if things go off with minor glitches at most, not major debilitations.  I swore afterwards that I’d never get involved in organizing a con again, unless I was a volunteer or gopher or similar.  So, at least at this point, I offer my deepest sympathy and understanding to the folks in Tampa, and hope that next year’s bash will be easier on the organizers.

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[1] Metaverse Messenger (September 9, 2008), “First Life, Second News.”

[2]  Metaverse Messenger (October 7, 2008), “Where are the refunds?  Residents ask for answers on status of SLCC refunds,” by George Backbite.  Page 1, jump to page 19.

Posted October 10, 2008 by Harper Ganesvoort in News, Personal, Real Life

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