kevin_standlee: (WSFS Logo)
The traditional gathering of past, present, and future Worldcon chairs will take place at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki at 10:30, during the Site Selection WSFS Business Meeting, in Room 208. (It's possible the actual photo will be taken just outside of Room 208, where I'm told there is a suitable space.)

Saturday's WSFS meeting is in a 4-hour block. (the previous two days are 3 hours.) This means that the Business Meeting will convene on Saturday at 10:00 to take up Site Selection business, which will be the announcement of the official results and the initial presentation from the 2019 Worldcon, followed by Question Time for the 2018 Worldcon. If there is time (and there may not be), there will be a short Question Time for bidders for 2020. We plan to recess then until 11:00 for the Worldcon Chairs Photo Shoot.

Substantive business other than Site Selection will commence when the meeting reconvenes at 11:00, and will run until 13:45 (or sooner if we somehow manage to finish everything, which I doubt). There is a final session scheduled on Sunday from 10:00 to 15:00.

If you are coming to the Business Meeting in Helsinki and have no interest in either Site Selection or the Worldcon Chairs Photo Shoot, you can sleep in an extra hour on Saturday morning.
kevin_standlee: (SMOF Zone)
I was obliged to take over as Emergency Holographic Site Selection Administration in Tempe when Ben Yalow had to rush home due to an potential break-in at his house. (Fortunately, either it was a false alarm or the alarm scared the intruder off.) That meant that when the procedural motion "That the ballots be destroyed" passed (nominally the point where it's impossibly to challenge the results), it fell to me (as Business Meeting Chair) to tell me (as Site Selection Administrator) to deal with the destruction of the ballots.

As it happens, I simply didn't have time to deal with this and ended up carrying the ballots home with me. This afternoon, I finally had the time to feed the ballots into the shredder. Done.
kevin_standlee: (WSFS Plate)
An afterthought about the 2020 NASFiC: Assuming that Dublin wins their 2019 Worldcon bid and New Zealand wins its 2020 Worldcon bid, we will have an interesting case regarding the 2020 NASFiC election. The 2020 NASFiC will be selected in 2019, and the 2019 NASFiC, not the Worldcon, will administer the election. Only members of the 2019 NASFiC will be eligible to vote on the 2020 NASFiC site. Members of the 2019 Worldcon will not be eligible to vote unless they also join the 2019 NASFiC as at least a supporting member. I am trying to make this clear because, based on the past times a NASFiC has selected a NASFiC, it's likely that Worldcon members will think that they are eligible when they are not, and some of them are going to get testy about it.

Anyone bidding for the 2019 NASFiC should consider that they'll be running one official WSFS voting function: 2020 NASFiC Site Selection. There are no Awards. There is no Business Meeting. But there will be Site Selection. Bear this in mind if you consider throwing your hat in the ring to host the 2019 NASFiC.
kevin_standlee: (WSFS Logo)
NASFiC is held when the Worldcon is held outside of North America. (Not just the USA.) For example, this year's Worldcon is in Finland, which is not in North America. Therefore, the 2017 NASFiC will be in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As you can see, NASFiC does not have to be held on the North American mainland. It can be held anywhere within North America, which includes Central America, and also the Caribbean, Bermuda, the Bahamas. Hawaii is not currently explicitly listed as being included within the NASFiC definition. "North America" is somewhat ambiguous around the edge cases, and there's a pending constitutional amendment that would restore the de facto definition that existed before we deleted the zone definitions from the WSFS Constitution.

Assuming that the Dublin in 2019 Worldcon bid wins its (unopposed) election, there will be a need for a 2019 NASFiC. By WSFS rules, the Worldcon (or NASFiC, if there is one) one year before the convention year will hold the NASFiC election. In this case, it means that the 2018 Worldcon, Worldcon 76 San Jose, will run the 2019 NASFiC election.

Any site in North America more than 500 miles from San Jose, California will be eligible to host the 2019 NASFiC. That effectively means that no place in California or Nevada is eligible. The 500 mile circle around San Jose does allow places like Portland OR, Salt Lake City UT, and Phoenix AZ to bid. Of course, any place farther away than that is also eligible.

NASFiC does not have a date restriction, other than it has to be in the year for which they are bidding. Unlike Worldcon, NASFiC doesn't administer awards, and therefore it has even fewer practical limitations on how early in the year it can be held. This year's NASFiC is the weekend after Westercon.

Combined with the rules for Westercon bidding (see my previous post), it is technically possible for a site to bid for and host both Westercon and NASFiC simultaneously. The elections take place at different times and places and are run by different groups. (Westercon is selected two years in advance and voted at Westercon. NASFiC is selected one year in advance and voted at — in 2019's case — at Worldcon.) However, any site in North American west of 104° west longitude and also more than 500 miles from San Jose is eligible to host both.

There are of course many places in North America east of 104° west longitude, and they are all eligible to host NASFiC but not Westercon. There's never been an official NASFiC outside of the USA (Puerto Rico is part of the USA, folks, and don't forget it!), but sites in Canada, Mexico, and the elsewhere are all eligible as well.

To my knowledge, no group has ever actually tried to bid for both Westercon and NASFiC, but that's only due to the practical issues such a bid might encounter, not due to any restriction in the rules of either Westercon or WSFS.
kevin_standlee: (Conrunner Kevin)
If you are interested in bidding to host the 2019 Westercon, you have one month to go before the filing deadline of April 15, 2017. Because no bids filed before the first deadline, any site in Western North America (west of 104° west longitude, including points in both Mexico and Canada) or in Hawaii is eligible to host Westercon 72.

The interaction of site selection bidding for Westercon and NASFiC leads to some interesting possibilities. Because I've already answered some of the questions on this subject in individual queries, and because I'm the division manager over what will be 2019 NASFiC Site Selection should it become necessary (as seems likely now), I'll discuss this in a later post. Short version: a site can bid to host both Westercon and NASFiC if it is eligible to host both, although the bidding for each is separate and takes place at different places and times.
kevin_standlee: (SFSFC)
I made it to my Site Selection voting shift on time for 5 PM. There was a steady stream of last-minute voters, but no long queue when the nearby "volcano" erupted as scheduled at 6 PM.

On to the Ballot Count )

The results won't be official until after the Business Meeting on Saturday receives the results, but San José outpolled New Orleans 675-594. It was slightly closer than it appears, because due to write-ins and such, the winner needed 651 to get a majority.

Meanwhile, next door, it proved to be the year of the Sans, as San Juan, Puerto Rico won over Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to host the 2017 NASFIC.

After the Vote )

I spent a bit more than an hour over at the parties, including doing the happy dance a few times over winning the 2018 bid, but we eventually pulled ourselves away and returned to the hotel. Sunday looks to be a long day for me, starting with the Business Meeting setup from 8 AM and ending with the Hugo Awards coverage from just before 8 PM. I wonder if I could possibly get a nap tomorrow afternoon?
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
The Westercon 69 Business Meeting this morning ran from 11:10 to 11:16 AM. The proposal to reduce the quorum from 15 to 10 members passed on from last year's meeting was ratified and first affects next year's meeting. There was no other business introduced this year.

Should Site Selection results be conclusive, the results will be published in the convention newsletter and there will be no Site Selection Business Meeting. Should it be necessary to hold a Site Selection Business Meeting, it will be sometime on Sunday at at time and place to be announced in the convention newsletter and elsewhere around the convention. (Personally, I don't expect this to be necessary.
kevin_standlee: (SMOF Zone)
I was one of Montreal's team members counting ballots for the 2017 Worldcon Site Selection. Once the results were determined, there was an agreement that the results would be embargoed until 23:15 PDT to allow the bids to talk with their own teams. About 45 minutes after that, I tweeted the summary results, and my phone went crazy with retweets.

Helsinki wins the 2017 Worldcon outright on the first ballot, polling 52% of first-preference votes with a near-record turnout.

More details )

Technically, these results are unofficial until received by the Site Selection Business Meeting on Sunday morning. There is no dispute about the results, however, so the receipt of the results should be a formality. However, inasmuch as both I and [ profile] jared_dashoff are part of 2017 bids, we'll both recuse ourselves from presiding over that part of the meeting in favor of Donald Eastlake III, the Business Meeting Parliamentarian.
kevin_standlee: (Sasquan)
It was an ego-flattering day for me at Sasquan, as the WSFS Business Meeting went very smoothly (although long, as I reported earlier) and people were coming up to me all day telling me how well they thought I was handling things. I also have no complaints with [ profile] jared_dashoff's handling of the parts where he had to preside, including the Committee of the Whole. The main reason we're running so long is that we have about twice the usual attendance, and most of the new attendees have not attended before, and everyone wants to talk. I admit that my requiring people to come to the front of the room to speak slows things down, but it does make it a lot easier for everyone else to hear what's being said, and it means the recordings are clear.

After the meeting, the head table had a second "What Just Happened" panel, and when that ended, I met up with Lisa and with [ profile] scott_sanford, who had just finished uploading the last of the Friday Business Meeting videos to the YouTube Worldcon Events channel. We stored our gear in the minivan and met up with [ profile] lindadee, then walked the short distance to Luigi's a block away.

Worldcon is Burning )

After lunch, I got the good camera and used the back side of the Match Game SF sign as a backdrop for photographing the 2015 Hugo Award trophy on display in the exhibits area. (The photo is now online on The Hugo Awards web site.) By having me take the photo, there is no question about us having the right to use the photo and make it available for public use.

I took the computer over to the INB Theatre and confirmed that I can get online (not with as much bandwidth as I would like, but I can get it) to do the Saturday night Hugo Ceremony.

By the time that was all done, and with the amount of time it takes to get up and down the elevators at the Doubletree Hotel, it was time to meet up with the rest of the bidders (I'm part of the Montreal in 2017 crew) for the close of Site Selection and to repair to the Davenport Grand Hotel for the 2017 Site Selection ballot count.

Literally, the Smoke Filled Room )

Once again I have many more photos than I can post because I can't take the time to process them and publish them. I have to get a few hours of sleep, after all.
kevin_standlee: (WSFS Logo)
The deadline for filing a bid to host the 2016 Worldcon has passed, and there are two bidders: The expected bid from Kansas City, and the out-of-left-field bid for Beijing.

For those people who I call the "Yellow Peril Protestors," I wouldn't worry, if the Beijing bid filing is any indication of their competence. Their cover letter is from one organization, their organizational papers are a cut-and-paste of Spokane's parent corporation (and therefore contain Washington-state-specific references), and their facilities agreement is with a third name, apparently a social media company in China called Guokr. But in any event, the chance of this being an Official Chinese Government Project to Buy Worldcon seems highly unlikely. I'm not expecting Loncon to suddenly see a huge inrush of supporting members of Good Party Members all with an address of a post office box in Hong Kong or something like that.
kevin_standlee: (Go By Train)
The last day of 2013 brought with it the official news that Portland, Oregon, has filed a bid to host Westercon 69 at the Doubletree Hotel in Portland.

This bid is sponsored by OSFCI, the non-profit corporation behind OryCon and the last several Portland Westercons. While technically the same sponsoring organization as the bid that led to the marathon site selection business meeting in San Jose in 2011, the leadership and staff of this bid are completely different, starting with chair Lea Rush, who chaired last year's OryCon and has received rave reviews from conrunners I know and trust.

Because Portland filed their bid with Westercon 67 in Salt Lake City before the end of 2013, the Westercon Central Zone (broadly Northern California, Nevada except Las Vegas, and states eastward to 104° W) is "locked out" from bidding for Westercon 69. Bids from the rest of Western North America and Hawaii have until April 15, 2014 to file if they want to be on the site-selection ballot this year in Salt Lake City.

I acted as a technical consultant to this bid, helping with the format of the bid filing. I'll do this for any bid who asks, so I don't consider it a conflict of interest with being Chairman of the Westercon 67 Business Meeting. I'm not expecting there to be a repeat of the epic site selection of 2011 or a three-hour Westercon Business Meeting.

[The icon on this post is a picture of Portland Union Train Station.]
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
The WSFS Business Meeting is taking a fair amount of abuse for using a parliamentary rules manual (Robert's Rules of Order, the most common, but not the only such manual) for its formal decision-making process.

WSFS actually manages only two things of significant importance: The Hugo Awards rules and the rules for selecting future Worldcon sites. (There are other things, which I can detail upon request.) Everything else about how Worldcons are run is done by the individual Worldcon committees.

So, before I hit the road for El Paso, I leave this question before you all: Direct Democracy as WSFS practices it is extremely messy. If you were allowed to change things to suit yourself (other than simply saying, "I'm King and You'll All Required to do what I say when I say it"), how would you change the governance process for the Hugo Awards and Site Selection rules?

Come up with a better system that doesn't have the flaws you perceive are present in the current system. Please.
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
As I wrote elsewhere, the Main Business Meeting was much calmer than the Preliminary Meeting. It also lasted less time, and I had no immediate commitments after the meeting, so Linda Deneroff, Lisa, and I went to the Italian restaurant next to the Marriott Rivercenter and had lunch. I had set the Business Meeting videos to uploading before going to lunch, and they were done when we got back. I then did my Business Meeting writeup, and Lisa and I decided that we could actually spend a few hours looking at the convention.

I donned my Colonel Chinstrap uniform, and was accompanied by Lieutenant Hayes and Private Kuma. We were able to look through the exhibits without rush, and part of the dealers' room, and finished up in the Fan Tables, where Lisa was able to do a good turn for the Luna Society table while I walked around and chatted with people.

We had to leave about 5:30 because I'd agreed to act as part of the administrative crew for the Worldcon and NASFiC Site Selection ballot counts, and that was just enough time to go back and change out of my uniform and then get back over to the Convention Center.

Inside the Counting Rooms )

Take the Rest of the Night Off )

By the time I felt even vaguely like going out and being sociable, it was after 11:30 PM, and I decided that I unfortunately would have to take the rest of Saturday night, the peak night of Worldcon, off because I have to be busy tomorrow night covering the Hugo Awards for, and also have to be up early once again to help Lisa record the Site Selection Business Meeting. We do hope Lisa will feel well enough tomorrow to be able to get to the meeting.

So while the rest of you are out there partying around us (literally; we're smack-dab in the Party Zone as buffer rooms), we're trying to marshal our energies for Sunday.
kevin_standlee: (WSFS Logo)
As you may have determined by the previous two entries, I spent nearly all day immersed in WSFS stuff. We had to be down there about 9 AM to make sure we had everything set up. Worries started early when Don Eastlake was standing outside the locked room. All of the other function rooms on the 0 level (Riverwalk) were unlocked and open except 006CD, where the Business Meeting is. Fortunately, someone finally turned up and unlocked the door giving us enough time for Lisa to get the camera set up, for Don to get the computer and projector for slides working, and for everyone to get the microphones working and the lectern in place.

Then there was the 2-plus hour meeting and the tear down of the equipment. Lisa and I went to lunch with Linda Deneroff after the meeting, and then I went back to the room to write up the meeting while Lisa went and sat at the Luna Society table. I tried setting the Business Meeting videos to download through my smartphone connection, posted my report of the Meeting, and went to find Lisa.

After all this, we actually got a whole hour to actually walk through the dealers room and some of the exhibits. Wow! We can't go into the Art Show because they make Lisa leave her backpack (and [ profile] travelswithkuma) at the door, and she won't do that. But we can tour the exhibits. And we also got both our Worldcon and NASFiC Site Selection ballots cast.

The Ballot Box Blues )

Anyway, after voting and actually looking at some of the convention, we went back to the room, where I gave up on the smartphone and then broke down and bought the $16/day fast broadband. On the bright side, up to five devices can use the connection, and I did bring the router, so Lisa could get online with ActiveWorlds as well later. But first, I set the four Business Meeting videos to uploading, which took an hour or so as I recall. We went to dinner while they uploaded. Coming back from dinner, we met Linda Deneroff and we all took a walk down the Riverwalk, as Lisa and I had a small errand at the CVS/Pharmacy anyway.

Taking a longer walk after that was a bad idea. Although it's cooler at night, it's still hot and muggy, and Lisa started getting sick. We struggled our way back to the hotel, where Lisa could take a bath and cool off in our room, which we can cool to a livable temperature. She took the night off and caught up with ActiveWorlds while I made the rounds of the parties.

At Midnight, I found myself turning into a pumpkin and returned to the room. Now I must try to get the five or six hours sleep I can expect to get before we're up early again on Saturday before we do it all over again. Except maybe the part about taking walks that make us sick.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
There's one thing in it that doesn't apply to WSFS elections (you're not required to number all the candidates; WSFS allows you to leave candidates blank), but this cartoon explains preferential voting very well and also says why you should vote your first preference for the candidate you really wish could win even if you don't think that candidate is likely to win.

Thanks to Ed Dravecky for pointing this out.
kevin_standlee: (Conrunner Kevin)
Today was our relatively light-duty day, in that we had no morning commitments and no evening ones, so we could sleep in and didn't have to fret in the evening. Indeed, I actually got to see some of the convention, including attending a panel on which I wasn't a participant, which is pretty rare these days. And at one point I even remembered to get my camera out to take a few photos.

My favorite costume of the weekend so far )

I spent much of the day in a costume of my own, albeit a far lower-maintenance one.

It's That Man Again )

In the afternoon, Lisa and I repaired to the Zinfandel Room for the Worldcon Fannish Inquisition, where representatives of the three 2015 Worldcon bids gave presentations and participated in a joint Q&A session, followed by the Kansas City in 2016 Worldcon bid. Lisa shot the videos, which I uploaded to YouTube and posted to the Westercon web site. I moderated the sessions, doing so with a stronger hand than I usually apply to most panels. Having attended so many of these sessions, I've grown tired of the way so many people seem to think that they are chances to show how witty and clever they are or to score points off of other fans. I want them to be fairly serious consideration of the various sites' features and faults, said so up front, and made it stick. (I admit to not being perfect about this myself; it's an aspiration, that's all.)

After dinner, Lisa went to the parties and I wandered down to the Site Selection desk just before closing time, after which I helped count ballots. The nominally official results will be announced at the Saturday Business Meeting, but they aren't secret and they aren't a surprise: San Diego, the only bid on the ballot, won handily. No write-in bid got more than two votes, with five for None of the Above.

Before I went up to the 12th floor and the parties, I went by the Fanzine Lounge, where Chris Garcia was dancing to the music coming from the concerts on the main stage, Friday being Music Night at Westercon 66. As I mentioned yesterday, the Fanzine Lounge's window looks right over the stage, and is highly visible from the main floor. Under the influence of Chris, the Fanzine Lounges have come to be a cool place to hang out, and I went away with a big smile on my face.

Then it was up to the 12th floor and a tour of the parties, ending with me catching up with Lisa. There wasn't anything hugely noteworthy — the usual conversation, smoffing, eating, and drinking — but we had a good time before heading to our room after midnight.

Saturday morning at 11:15 is the Business Meeting. Lisa will be recording and I'm presiding. Alas, all this futzing over computers has kept me awake until 2 AM. I might have to take a nap on Saturday afternoon, given that we have Match Game SF late night after the Masquerade on Saturday.

Westercon seems to be going quite well, and the number of people is matched pretty well to the size of the hotel. There are times when things are a little cramped, and the head of Programming had to be harsh in some of her decisions on account of the total function room space is limited, so you can't have twenty different program tracks, but I think that's a good thing. Most of the people I've seen appear to be enjoying themselves, as am I. With the convention at the half-way point, I'm feeling pretty good about it.
kevin_standlee: (Cheryl 2)
Cheryl Morgan is in Finland right now, and is offering to search out answers to any questions you might have about the place in regarding their Worldcon bid. As the ballot for the 2015 Worldcon (including the Helsinki bid) was recently released, now is a good time for sending Cheryl questions before you make up your mind for whom to cast your Worldcon site selection ballot this year.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
The 2h15m recording of the Westercon 64 Business Meeting has been released. See the announcement on the Westercon 64 web site or watch it here:

kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
I spent much of yesterday editing the video of the Westercon 64 Business Meeting. I'm glad we did a two-camera shoot, even though I used almost none of the footage from Camera 1, because if we'd only recorded Camera 1, we would have had pretty bad audio. For some reason, even though the two cameras were roughly symmetrically arranged, Camera 2 (the one to stage right, where Lisa was) picked up the audio in the room much better, so I mostly stuck with it except for a few "fill" shots where sound wasn't that important.

It appears to take about as much time for MovieMaker to generate a video as the video itself runs, and possibly longer, so I left it cranking away on the job this morning when I headed to the office. Assuming it finishes without an error, when I get home tonight after BASFA I will start the long process of uploading the video to Vimeo. (YouTube's upload limits would make a 2h15m video impossible.) Then Vimeo will think about it for a while. I will announce when the video is finished.

Watching myself preside, I'm annoyed with all of the technical and mechanical errors I made along the way. Most of you there may not have noticed them, and those who did, like Ben Yalow, apparently decided that they weren't substantive enough to justify calling me on, for which I'm grateful. Also, being able to think about my rulings in colder blood leaves me wondering if I made the right call. This isn't just a theoretical question. Since this situation has never come up since the current version of Westercon Site Selection was established, everything I did was precedent-setting, and I am worried that I may have set bad precedents should this situation ever happen again.

Parliamentary discussion ahead )

For all of the parliamentary pain we went through, I still think the Westercon system is the right one. I've heard more than one person complain that we shouldn't even count votes for ineligible candidates, or else we should adopt the Worldcon system whereby votes for ineligible bids are dropped after the first round. To that I point out that the alternative there is for semi-serious protest bids like Granzella's to tell their supporters to vote None of the Above as their first choice. Had that happened in this election, NOTA would have polled 43 votes and won the election, and we would have ended up in the Business Meeting anyway, except this time, we couldn't have even considered a bid from the Portland group that originally bid, or (in my opinion) any group substantially the same as Portland's bid. That would actually have been worse, as under the circumstances that actually obtained, Portland had one last chance to pull out a victory had they done a better job of presenting themselves to the Business Meeting.

I think that semi-serious bid like Granzella's and Tonopah last year act as a valuable safety valve in our election process, as they remind fully-serious bidders that even being the only candidate on the ballot is no guarantee of success unless you actually prove that you can "show openers" in our political process by presenting a credible bid. Poker players may consider it as requiring bids to have "jacks or better" to stay in the game.
kevin_standlee: (SMOF Zone)
I think Chris Garcia has summed up much with which I agree in his Facebook post about the Westercon 66 Site Selection. I particularly like how he makes an analogy between how bids are working these days and the way tennis evolved over the years. I have too few brain cycles left available to comment further, but I recommend that anyone interested in Westercon site selection, particularly as a potential bidder, go read what Chris said.

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