kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
There are a number of Worldcon-related things for which I just did not have enough time or energy to do while traveling, and I'm trying to work my way through them. Today, I spent a few hours updating the 2017 Hugo Awards page, re-ordering the finalists in their order of finish (and including No Award in those cases where finalists placed below it) and adding links to the various detailed reports Hugo Administrator Nicholas Whyte provided to us.

Between that and getting laundry done, I don't have a lot more ambition to complete other tasks. My body clock is mostly reset, but I need to get back on a normal-for-me work schedule starting tomorrow morning.

I still have the last two days of the Worldcon trip reports to do, but it's really hard to focus, both figuratively and literally (my eyes are still tired from the past three weeks).
kevin_standlee: (WSFS Logo)
Today was the First Main WSFS Business Meeting. Whereas yesterday was about arguing over debate time limits and trying to kill unpopular proposals, today's meeting was substantive business.

The View from the Videography Desk )

I thought today's meeting went much more smoothly than yesterday, although that is in part the nature of the Preliminary versus the Main Business Meeting.

Business Summary )

The first of Friday's WSFS Business Meeting videos was online about halfway through the meeting. The last posted perhaps 30 minutes or so after adjournment.

Later that afternoon I got e-mail from Jared Dashoff asking me to get the room locked up. I wrote back that I'd do so once I got back from lunch, which was off-site, and is another story.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
I anticipate that Lisa will want me to submit the Additional Finalists proposal to MidAmeriCon II soon, once she's had a chance to make a final review of it, which (now that I'm home for this week) might be as early as today. If you have further comments or want to be listed as a co-sponsor, now is the last chance to speak up before the Business Meeting this year.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
Thanks to some new information being sent my way, I have updated my post about Hugo Award nominating figures from yesterday. Where possible, I've updated the information on the Hugo Awards web site including pointers to the detailed figures.

(Thanks to Vincent Docherty, Mike Glyer, and Cheryl Morgan for the data.)

I've also been given a more comprehensive set of numbers that list nominating figures 1971-2015, but they do not always align with the reports I have and at which I can document. The source of some of these figures are contemporaneous reports at the time, many of which were only on paper and have not been saved or documented, which is a pity.

The figures do show that, broadly speaking, nominating participation for 1971-2008 was generally static in a range of about 400-700 people per year. 2009 was the first year we see a significant up-tick in nominating participation from the previous few years.

What is unclear (and even now still is unclear) is whether the percentage of eligible members is actually increasing. WSFS has been steadily increasing the nominating franchise, bringing in first the previous year's members and then the following year's members, so that the eligible nominating electorate is he union of three years of Worldcon members as of January 31 each year, a group that could be more than 20,000 people at times, compared to the fewer than 5,000 previously eligible prior to the expansion of the franchise. It's actually possible that the percentage of eligible members participating has gone down even as the absolute number of nominations has gone up.
kevin_standlee: (Gavel of WSFS)
The minutes of the 2015 WSFS Business Meeting at Sasquan, the 2015 World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, are now online. The document is not for light reading, as it runs to some 134 pages. Kudos to [livejournal.com profile] lindadee for having ground her way through this huge document and for putting up with my editing requests.
kevin_standlee: (Gavel of WSFS)
The First Main Business Meeting had to pick up where the Preliminary Meeting left off, which meant dealing with the Resolutions first, and that, along with a discussion of the two Hugo-nominating-related proposals, meant that we only just barely got started on the actual constitutional amendments. Once again, you'll need to refer to the Sasquan WSFS Business Meeting agenda pages to follow this.

Resolutions, Committee of the Whole, and oh, yes, Popular Ratification )

All other constitutional amendments (three pending from last year and seven remaining new items; Two-Year Eligibility was killed at the Preliminary Meeting) roll over to the Site Selection Business Meeting, except for 4/6 and EPH, which are scheduled for Sunday.

Anything we don't get to on Saturday goes on to Sunday. Anything that is still pending as of adjournment on Sunday dies. We do have a lot more time on Sunday, but I don't think the members really want to stay in session until 5 PM!

I am of course disappointed that Popular Ratification, which Warren Buff and I co-wrote, failed of ratification, but I'm not surprised. The Hugo controversy this year has given a lot of people the vapors about allowing anyone except the people physically present a chance to vote, and others are unhappy that it takes two years to amend the constitution now, let alone the three it would take under Popular Ratification. Oh, well, I tried. Don't expect me to try again anytime soon, though.
kevin_standlee: (WSFS Captain 2)
Today was the only day of Worldcon where we did not have to be up early, so we could take our time getting up and also go down and eat in the coffee shop. (We'll order room service the other days to save time.)

Programming started at Noon, and I was in one of those panels, the Introduction to the WSFS Business Meeting. There was a really good turnout, mostly of people who had never attended the Business Meeting and of them mostly first-time Worldcon attendees. We showed the Business Meeting Basics video and answered as many questions about the process as we could in our 45 minute time slot.

Remembering Bobbie and Opening Sasquan Officially )

I wanted to get out to First Night, but I had to get over to the room where the Business Meeting will be where Lisa was working with Tech. She discovered to our dismay that the platform from which we'd expected to film is simply too wobbly. Every step you take on the stage at the back of the room would jar the cameras terribly. Lisa will have to improvise something else tomorrow morning when we get into the room at 9 AM in its actual configuration. (Because the air wall between 300AB is in place tonight for dances but is supposed to be down tomorrow morning, we won't know for sure what things will be like until we get there in the morning.

I also discovered to my dismay that my mi-fi unit doesn't have sufficient cell phone connectivity to work in that room. This may negatively impact our ability to get WSFS Business Meeting segments uploaded in a timely manner tomorrow. We'll see what we can do, but we're a prisoner of bandwidth limitations on the various networks available to us. Moreover, I'm now worried that I won't be able to get a signal from the Hugo Awards ceremony, which is critical because the convention center's free wi-fi network does not extend into the INB Theatre. I hope to get that tested sometime tomorrow.

Red Sky at Night )

There were few surprises from the WSFS Mark Protection Committee meeting, as we'd dealt with most business by e-mail in advance and our report is already online with the other WSFS papers. I did learn that there will be people who are not happy with the proposed Agenda that spreads business out over the final four days of Worldcon, including postponing the two Hugo-nominating-related proposals until Sunday, and that there will be an attempt by them to impose very short debate time limits in order to "power through" the business on Friday only. So that suggests to me that tomorrow's Preliminary Business Meeting will be even more action-packed, in a parliamentary sense, than I expected.

Hugo Award Trophy )

I called it an early night. We have a long day tomorrow for which I have the alarm set for 6 AM, so it's no parties for me tonight. The sacrifices we make for our fandom.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
The last time that WSFS held a final-day Business Meeting was 1992, and that was only because at the time NASFIC elections were "snap" and had to be held the same year as the Worldcon election that caused a NASFiC to be necessary. In 1992, Glasgow won the 1995 Worldcon (we selected sites three years in advance back then) and a one-day NASFIC election was held (I administered it; it was pretty wild) in which Atlanta won a bid to host NASFIC as part of the 1995 Dragon*Con. This year, we have deliberately scheduled a meeting on the last day of the convention (Sunday) because at least two items of proposed new business are heavily dependent upon knowing the results of this year's Hugo Awards before members can make an informed decision.

Decreasing Amount of Tedious Detail )

It's going to be a very busy five days.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
The agenda for the Friday/Saturday/Sunday WSFS Business Meetings depend on how the Thursday Preliminary Business Meeting behaves.

Yet More Tedious Detail )

My time projections say that we will not be able to complete all of the New Business (unless some of the items are PI'd by the Preliminary Meeting). We'll do as many of them as we can, aiming to adjourn no later than 12:45. Any unfinished items roll over to the Saturday Site Selection Meeting.
kevin_standlee: (Gavel of WSFS)
Lisa asked me for an approximate schedule of when things will be happening during the Business Meetings so that she can plan her shooting schedule as Official Videographer. I went through the planned agenda and tried to pin approximate times on things. The results are not pretty.

Lots of Gruesome Detail )

As you can see above, we have a lot of stuff to cover. I expect that at least some of the Resolutions will have to be considered at the beginning of the Friday (First Main) Business Meeting before we get to the ratification of Constitutional Amendments passed on.
kevin_standlee: (Gavel of WSFS)
Apparently, some people have gotten the mistaken impression that the items of New Business listed on the WSFS Business Meeting Agenda are somehow officially sanctioned by the WSFS Board of Directors (there is no such body) or the current Worldcon. Also, there may be people who somehow think that only things proposed by "the SMOFS" or "the Worldcon" can be on the agenda, or that all of the commentary attached to each of the proposals is some sort of Official Analysis. None of this is true.

Hitting People over the Head With the Agenda )

The New Business consists of Constitutional Amendments (labeled B.1.n) and Resolutions (labeled B.2.n). Each item on the agenda is a separate proposal and will be considered separately. Each item includes the proponents' statements about what the proposal does. You can consider this to be the "opening argument" for the proposal. Including such statements is a good thing for later interpretation of a proposal, because it establishes the "legislative intent" of the proposal. Indeed, when trying to interpret a proposal, you want to know the legislative intent as stated by the proponents. (The opponents' arguments are irrelevant in establishing legislative intent, by the way.)

There is no requirement that proposals to this year's Business Meeting solely address how Hugo Award nominations work. There are proposals on the agenda that do not modify the Hugo nomination mechanism at all other than by changing the categories: the Best Saga proposal would merge the two "middle fiction" categories into a Best Novella category (also moving the boundary between Short Story and Novella up to 10K works from the current 7.5K), and add a Best Saga category aimed at series works. This proposal is independent of any proposed changes to the nominating mechanism including 4/6 and E Pluribus Hugo.

(As it happens, the two clauses of the Best Saga proposal are independent of each other; the meeting could vote to separate (majority required to Divide the Question) the clauses and vote on them separately.)

I know that there are a lot of people first encountering the Business Meeting of WSFS this year. Every voting member of WSFS can participate in the Business Meeting. You don't have to be part of some special select committee. You don't have to be "a SMOF" (whatever you think that means these days) to submit a proposal. Any two or more voting members of the current Worldcon (including supporting members) can submit a proposal to the Business Meeting. However, only attending voting members (including Military and Young Adult, and not including Single Day) can attend, debate, make motions, and vote at the meeting in Spokane.

The deadline for submitting proposals to the Business Meeting this year is August 6, 2015. The procedure for submitting proposals is listed on the Business Meeting page on the Sasquan web site under "New Business Submissions." The WSFS Rules are published online and are distributed to the members in the progress reports. None of this is secret. And if you have questions about the process, you can write to me or to the entire WSFS business meeting staff through the wsfs-business address @sasquan.org.

I've written a Guide to the Business Meeting that tries to explain this. I'm available to answer questions. I just beg of people to not assume the worst of everything. It's very frustrating to work this hard and to hear people assuming that it's all rigged in some way. Well, it's set up to allow the members who choose to participate in the process to come to a decision in a way that balances the rights of the members as a whole, of the members who attend, of majorities and minorities, of individuals, and of absentees, in a fair manner. However, "fair" and "I got what I personally wanted" are not always the same thing, and it would be wise to keep that in mind when approaching any form of deliberative assembly.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
The complicated proposal for changing the Hugo Award nominating system to a system whose proponents say is less susceptible to any forms of "slate" voting has been submitted to the WSFS Business Meeting and is available on this year's New Business page under the title "E Pluribus Hugo."

As presiding officer, I obviously won't take a stance on the proposal; however, its very complexity requires me to be concerned about how to handle it technically at the Business Meeting. It will probably depend on how much more business gets submitted. It's proposals like this that lead me to planning for WSFS to hold a Sunday (final day) business meeting for the first time since 1992.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
From some of the suggestions and questions I'm getting, I think there are people who must think this is the first WSFS Business Meeting over which I've presided (even when those people have attended and participated in meetings over which I presided). I also think there are people who think that those of us organizing the Business Meeting haven't heard anything at all about this Puppygate stuff, and feel the need to explain to me all about it. I suppose they're all well-meaning, but it does get wearing after a while. Presumably this is what it feels like to be Mansplained to.
kevin_standlee: (WSFS Logo)
This year's Worldcon has a Site Selection Frequently Asked Questions, but it's apparently still ambiguous to some people based on a recent Twitter exchange. I'm going to try and explain it again, for the benefit of people who possibly have never voted on a Worldcon Site Selection before. Bias Alert: I am a director of the Montreal in 2017 bid committee's parent non-profit corporation and am listed as one of their committee on the ballot.

Skip This If You Don't Care About Worldcon Site Selection )

I think Site Selection nearly always sounds confusing to people first coming to the process. The process is primarily designed for the convenience of the people who vote every year. If you vote in every Site Selection election, then in any given year, you're only paying for the membership in the two-years-hence Worldcon because you paid for your membership to this year's Worldcon two years ago. If a site you plan to attend wins, you then immediately convert to an Attending membership (at the lowest possible rate); if you don't plan on attending the winning site, you don't convert, but you already have a Supporting membership in that convention, so you're all paid up and will be able to participate in the two-years-hence Worldcon as a Supporting member, including the Hugo voting that year and (upon payment of another ASM) the election of the Worldcon site two years after that.

ETA: Apparently at least one person thought that the two conditions were OR instead of AND, so I've clarified that you must be a member of both the current Worldcon and of the 2017 Worldcon by paying the ASM. It's both, not either.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Sign)
I realized when asked for a citation to the story below that I'd never posted it to my LJ, which is my "journal of record" as compared to things like Facebook.

I went a little long on a reply from someone insisting that the Solution to Puppygate was for the Worldcon to show proper Executive Leadership by ignoring those tedious written rules and taking unilateral (and unauthorized) action like Real Corporate Leaders. Here's a version of what I wrote:

Worldcon is Like a Small Town )

I don't have a problem with Executives or Big Business. I work for a large corporation and know the president of my 5000-plus employee company decently well from the days when he was a director and I was a junior analyst. What I do have a problem with is people who try to apply Big Business Dictatorship solutions to Small Town Democracy problems.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
Because of a comment on the File 770 web site, I find that I'd better write about the subject of when the Business Meeting in Spokane will or might consider specific items, because it would appear some folks are taking this spot as the journal of record on such things.

Parliamentary Neepery about Business Meeting Scheduling )

So it's possible for the meeting to put off consideration of proposals until Day 5, the morning after the Hugo Award Ceremony. How could it do this?

Agenda-Setting Mechanisms )

I hope this explanation makes sense. It gets into a number of the finer points of parliamentary detail, but given the complexity of the tasks we may fact this year, I think it important that people understand what tools they have at their disposal.
kevin_standlee: (SMOF Zone)
I've been reading a lot of speculation about Worldcon memberships lately as part of the ongoing Puppygate, and much of it is wrong. Fortunately, the WSFS Formulation of Long List Entries Committee, led by Mark Olson (yes, I'm a member) has updated the Worldcon Detail Membership Figures (caution: Excel spreadsheet) and the headline numbers on The Long List of Worldcons.

One element of note, and something I was mistaking when doing my own calculations: Loncon 3 had over 10,718 members of all types, but only 8,723 of them were WSFS members (attending or supporting, with voting rights). Roughly 2,000 were single-day or other non-voting classes of member. Remember this when estimating what the total electorate was for the 2015 Hugo Award nominations: the union of the membership of the 2014/15/16 Worldcons as of January 31, 2015.

And here's another reminder: The Secret Masters of Fandom are not secret. Maybe we're a little slow sometimes (it's not like any of us are doing this stuff as our Day Jobbe), and often quite boring and tedious, but not secret. The only real secret of the SMOFS is that we're not particularly secretive.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
I now see the next wave of special pleading from supporters of this year's Hugo Award finalist slates, insisting that it's wrong to No Award works without reading them and you should only do so after reading them and because you don't like them. I've been accused of being disingenuous. I'm not. Indeed, as a defender of WSFS rules, I'm quite consistent.

Rules Must Apply Equally )

The only way that the members of WSFS can respond to Hugo Award finalists that they do not think deserve to be on the ballot for any reason is to vote them below No Award. If you want a more subtle approach, you actually have two options:
  1. If you thought a work was worthy of being a Hugo Award finalist, but don't want it to win because you disliked it sufficiently badly, rank it somewhere on your ballot below No Award.

  2. If you don't think a work should have been on the ballot in the first place for any reason including if you think the work was pushed onto the ballot by unethical-but-legal actions, rank No Award somewhere on your ballot (including 1 if the whole slate meets that definition) and don't rank those offending works at all.

So understand that I'm completely consistent here. Rules apply equally to everyone; otherwise, we might as well not have rules at all.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
We have revised (not for the last time I expect) the Introduction to the Business Meeting article on the Sasquan web site. Things that I think are of special interest to people include:

Business Meeting Clarifications )

If you think others care about this stuff, feel free to share it. There is nothing secret about this, and I don't want anyone confused or to have a plausible complaint about being excluded.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
I got an e-mail yesterday that said apparently some folks have been saying that there were "other" Hugo Awards being set up in the past, and that's why Worldcon registered the service mark. Although my history with Worldcon only goes back personally to 1984, I think this is a misunderstanding.

Hugo Award is a registered service mark of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society )

WSFS has never sued anyone for any reason, including service mark infringement, nor has it been sued by anyone for any sort of infringement itself.

More Service Mark Neepery )

I hope this clarifies what the status of the WSFS service marks on "Hugo Award" and the others is. So far as I know, registration was not initially pursued because of an active or threatened infringement directly upon the name of the Award, but proactively to make it much less likely in the future and to protect the collective interests of the members of Worldcon.

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