August 30, 2010

Exploring conventions - Wandering Geek's Con Journal

I attend a fair amount of conventions.  Some people think that's what I do every weekend.  They ask, "Why do you go to so many conventions?  Aren't they all the same?"

Mind you, this usually comes from non-geeks. 

One of the reasons I've tried to attend more cons in the past few years is to find out for myself how they are different and to be able to communicate that to people.  Though they may have a similar set-up or purpose, I feel like each one has had a voice that is unique in one way or another.  Giganta-con, small and cozy, fandom centric, or gaming focused - each convention has its own special things.  Celebration V was the best con ever because of the attendees, Phoenix Comicon was small and cozy and my perfect comic con fit, San Diego Comic-Con is dazzling and immense, Anaheim Comic Con turned out to be a mega celebrity fest that doesn't bear a repeat visit...  you get the idea. 

But how can a person possibly know the ins and outs of each con without attending?  Sure, you can get some recommendations from friends (this is why I'll be attending GenCon next year) but it's not like there is a Trip Advisor type website for conventions.  And there should be.  I don't know if you've noticed, but we are an opinion sharing sort of group. 

Luckily, someone enterprising realized this need and decided to something about it.  Lorenzo, aka @Prof Mordarm, has come up with the Wandering Geek's Con journal.  People will write their accounts, impressions of cons in individual journals and they will be compiled into a tome of sorts that geeks can consult until the end of time.  People can write or draw any kind of experience about  the convention they are attending in the journal.  A set of practical rules accompany each journal - you should make daily entries during the convention, you have to mail the journal to another convention goer or back to TWG headquarters within 30 days, etc.  It's a traveling book.  As a person who loves mail and writes in a paper journal regularly, I would be thrilled to get something like this in my mailbox.  It would be a blast go back and read what other geeks have been doing.  And because it's in handwriting - I think it's more special. 

I think it's a great way to help spread the word about local cons, small cons, or even hidden treasures that can be found at gigantic cons.  You can help make these jounals a reality at the Kickstarter page for this project.  The initial funds will help buy a pile of journals, get them out to backers, and get this database of convention knowledge started.


  1. That is quite an interesting idea to get to know about other cons! I keep hearing from people about the great stuff they go to, and I wish I could get to more. Of course, I've got PAX in three days!

    Girls Are Geeks

  2. I'm so excited you'll be at Gen Con next year! Hopefully G33kmade will have a tweet up and/or we could organize one.

    This wandering journal idea is great. Cons can seem so similar from photos and yet in action have such different features that something like this would help a lot in planning and convincing other friends to go. I have a friend here that I think I convinced to join me next year at Gen con thanks to the blog.

  3. Rosalind - I am really looking forward to hearing more about PAX!

    Chronic Geek - It sounded and looked like way too awesome of a time to miss. We must definitely have a Tweet-up and maybe a gaming Tweet up!

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