INCOMPLETE: [HOME] Fandom as a Time-Consuming Passion

Picture Gallery Recovery Fund What's this?Rev. 06-Feb-1999

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[L.A.con III] From July 1994 to November 1996 I ran the Fan Publicity Department for L.A.con III, the 1996 Worldcon. There were basically two subdepartments, and I was in charge of both of them. First, there's printing up and mailing out flyers and ads and notices and so forth; second, there's our Internet presence. Check out our L.A.con III Home Page and see some of the things we did. My philosophy on the Net end of things has been to make sure that anything the convention committee makes public will be available electronically. This covers a lot of territory, from the fire regulations that the dealers have to worry about, to the rules in the Masquerade. I've started writing up my experience, in a series of articles entitled Webmastering the Worldcon.

[Home pages] Just for fun I added links to the home pages of some members of L.A.con III; if you're a member and you'd like me to add you in, drop me email at my L.A.con III address:

While the convention is over, we've still been adding material to the site, such as dance playlists, convention reports from various fans, and pictures.

I started the Fan Funds Home Page, but now it's in Roxanne Smith-Graham's capable hands.

Originally as part of the L.A.con III web site, I started keeping track of current Worldcon and NASFiC Bids.

About halfway through my stint as Webmaster for L.A.con III, the WSFS Mark Protection Committee took the necessary steps to register the domain names and Blars was kind enough to donate use of an entire server dedicated to the cause for our subdomain, and we took full advantage of that.

As one of the results of the incredible popularity of and, we've been asked to set up something similar for the Westercons. The result is There is also a list of Westercon and other Regional Convention Bids on that server.

In 1996, the winning bid for the 1999 Worldcon was Aussiecon 3, to be held in Australia. This meant that there would most likely be a NASFiC held in 1999, and the vote would be held in 1997. In 1997, the WSFS MPC decided to launch, set up much the same way as, so that after the vote there could be a sub-domain.

The winning 1999 NASFiC bid had asked me to run their web page, and so had "Chicago in 2000" so I worked up a new design for such web pages, based on my experience with If you compare the two pages, you'll probably note several similiarities. Conucopia, the 1999 North American Science Fiction Convention will be a smaller, shorter, and simpler convention than Chicon 2000, the 58th World Science Fiction Convention. But the two websites are designed the same way. The emphasis is on maximum content, fast loading times, small file sizes, browser compatibility, ease of maintenance, and portability. You won't find a lot of graphics on the pages. There's a modest amount of technical expertise going on behind the scenes; for example, those button icons update every night to indicate how many days until the convention. The "new/updated" icons automatically fade away and disappear on their own... One of the things I've done to reduce filesizes is to strictly limit how many links have to appear on every single page - because if M links have to appear on N pages, you've just added M*N lines of HTML code to the site. No sub-page is more than two clicks away from any other sub-page, because every single sub-page is listed on the Table of Contents (some would call it a Site Map). Another subtle thing I've done is to determine in what order every potential departmental page will appear, so all I have to do is go to the Table of Contents and de-comment the corresponding line and the page magically appears.

Eventually Blars had to shut down the server he'd allowed us to use for Considering the web site ran from two years before the convention, until two years after it, he was very generous with his time and resources. David Dyer-Bennet offered to host the site, which is where it continues in its archival state. (In other words, it's now located on the same server as this page.)

In 1998, I received e-mail inviting me to be Fan Guest of Honor at Windycon 26. So, in November 1999, we'll be flying to Chicago for my first GoH spot. Their web page says

"As we stand on the cusp of a new millennium, it seems right that we should recognize the technology that Science Fiction dreamed of and Science made reality. The best example of that technology is right here, in the Internet and the world wide web. The personal information terminal made its appearance in Science Fiction of the 1940's and was considered impossible fiction by the readers of that time, yet here we are, sitting in our living rooms connected to the world. Join us this year for the Techno WindyCon as we explore the technology and magic of Science Fiction and Fantasy."
So I guess they decided I was the person to represent this, from the fan point of view. Wish me luck!

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