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FF:VIC Why meets are so difficult - an explanation

Discussion in 'Oceania Discussion Boards' started by Dags, Oct 14, 2008.

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  1. Dags Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 3, 2000
    star 3
    With all the talk going on about VicFF not adhering to its meet quota. I thought I'd take the opportunity to share my thoughts on all this because there is a good reason why meets are a struggle to organise and why people don't attend.

    As has been covered before, meets for VicFF should be easy to arrange because there are already SW social club meetings taking place once every three months. We all know that. So the question is, why is it so hard for forum members to get together at these events ... or anywhere for that matter?

    Now before I give you the answer I'll share with you a real life scenario.

    Once upon a time VicFF did in fact go a Skyforce meeting en masse, in fact around 8 members turned up. The cool thing about this meet is that it was the first time members ever met each other in real life.

    Considering these boards were full of chatter and activity it was reasonable to expect that everyone would be rapt to see each other face to face. So what happened when everyone got together? Nothing. In the absence of a monitor, keyboard and anonymity, no one knew what to say, so they said nothing. I remember this really well because I walked past the group and found them standing there like lost sheep, so I said "guys talk to each other". You know what the problem was? Everyone was majorly out of their comfort zone.

    And that's why meets fail.

    Forum members live in a virtual world, a world dominated by words on a screen where people can be who they want to be and say what they like. No matter what you believe, we're all sitting in front of a screen by ourselves talking to no one, but yet we are comfortable.

    A meet on the other hand requires people to step away from the comfort of the screen and keyboard and to actually make a point of travelling to a place to meet those names they know so well, to see their faces and hear their voices in the flesh. It's at this point I'm willing to bet everyone has built up a profile in their mind of how everyone looks and sounds, and no doubt these images will be incorrect.

    So how do forumers deal with this shock to the system? Easy, just go back to the safety of the keyboard and screen and that virtual world. You may tell yourself otherwise, but given the option I bet you'd prefer to talk to forumers in this format than any other way.

    Now I'm willing to bet that someone here is going to say that I'm full of myself, that I'm talking rubbish and that I'm totally wrong. For those who stand defiant let me ask you some questions:

    * Do you consider your fellow forum members friends? If so, do you believe you could arrive on their doorstep one day and say you need help in a crisis ... and they would?
    * Do you ever ring them up to talk on the phone?
    * Do you actually know what your fellow forum members look like? Would you recognise them on the street?

    And finally.

    * If by some chance the answers to all the above is "yes", then why is it so damn hard to organise a meet to see them!

    To prove my point. I'll have a chat to LordVaderFF and we'll organise a catchup in the coming weeks and give everyone here plenty of notice. It'll be nothing fancy, just a dinner somewhere at a pizza place. LordVaderFF and I are face to face friends already so we don't have any comfort barriers to overcome, let's see who else turns up.

  2. Protege-of-Thrawn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2001
    star 6
    Top work on putting in the effort to post that up Dags, and whilst I'd agree with your comments as a general statement on why meets are difficult, I think in this instance it's a lot more simple. The folks who are active a)don't all live centrally in melbourne (Mixo) b)travel a lot (JE and I) c)are up to their thickets with study (Xan).

    Would most of the active posters have met? I would think so, because it's basically old timers around (with the exception of Xan, who from memory is only recently out to MelbUni) and as JE pointed out, there has been plenty of interaction. I can recall going to one of Mixo's film screenings when I was back in first year uni, attempting to kidnap kla (probably more than once), enjoying a drink or two during Jess' golden age of CRdom with some visiting mods from the US, and even played a dawn to dusk laser force with you fine folk of star walking.

    The problem with the current active crew isn't timidity, although I stress, I agree with you on that as a general point for newcomers, the problem is more simple. Victoria is a big state, folks all lead heterogenous lives, and that's why some hitherto unheard of quota system is a bit of cudgle to some of us who've been here a long time. As a practical matter, sometimes people are too busy. To use your example, if you organise a catch up with mate's for pizza and some can't make it, you don't strike them off your mate's list with red ink. You understand that people have a range of demands on their time, and that you'll catch up with them another time.

    It's cool that you and Chris gave good advance warning about the StarWalking gig, and kudos to you both. But a lot of people put it out early they might not be able to make it. That should have been cool. But instead it results in lectures about how people need to make more of an effort. Heavens!

    Do we value the forum? Yes. Have most of us made an effort to attend things in the past? Yes. Does that mean we can always find time for social events all the time? No, probably not. Will we make an effort when we do have time free? Of course.

    The bigger gripe is more how it seems I can't log onto VicFF anymore without all the talk being about how crucial it is to attend meets. Hardly the sort of inspiring discussion that is a)going to keep people involved, and crucially b)have lurkers jump on board. Being chided like schoolchildren is hardly the way to go about having a group conform to rules they'd not known about before.

    The solution would seem simple. Let's all get back to shooting the breeze, have a star wars thread or two so we can all stay on topic, organise events when we can, and folks will turn up to what they can. It'll organically, I'm sure, work out that we'll have at least a handful of meets a year where a few people can all turn up, and the bureaucrats can be satisfied they've met their advertising targets and the rest of us can continue to enjoy a forum without all this malarky. I dare say, VicFF has probably managed to meet the quota more years than not despite not knowing about it: just the way things turn out when people aren't harping on about them.

    I would post a "the internet is serious business" lolCAT, but I both can't find one, and I heard on the grapevine there is some mysterious resentment floating about, so I dare not rile it up. ;)
  3. PulsarSkate Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2003
    star 7
    I'm never going to live that down :p

    Anyway: to address Dag's points myself, I have met quite a few people in VicFF, including yourself Dags, LVFF, his wife, Boogie, PoT, J-E, Kla (plenty of times :p), Hawk, Shara, Ree and Daph. Keef too. I spent a crazy night in Sydney with members of the NSWFF this weekend, and i talk to a couple of them at least a few times week. I've had one stay at my house at short notice because she needed a place. We've had a Mod from the US come meet up with us and it was like seeing an old friend, hugs, laughing and much mucking around. (and taking pictures of Kla)

    I've been to other countries to meet up with other members of the boards, spent literally hours and days with them :p

    So I do not find it too hard to meet people, talk to them and have an outing :) I do consider quite a few people I have known on these boards friends, and people i would do a solid for. Yes, it can be really awkward talking to people you don't know 'in person' but if you go into with a hope to make new friends or at least meet new acquaintances and get a better understanding of the people you talk to online, you can get past that awkwardness, even if you talk about the boards for the first 20 minutes to get the momentum going ;)

    As for why I didn't make it to the last one, I explained that. I would have gone had I not been interstate. It's just how it happens. Had my personal life not taken a turn for the crap, I would have been overseas at the time, so it was never going to be a good day. The next meet, whatever it turns out to be, I will make every effort to attend.

    PoT makes many points I agree with, so I'll just say QFT and get it over with :p
  4. lordvaderFF FanForce Chapter Rep

    Chapter Rep VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
    I agree with both of you.....if that's possible.

    People are very comfortable behind a ketboard these days and seldom want to stray from that comfort zone, BUT, life is also very hectic at the moment for a lot of people....which can get in the way of social outings.

    Problem is, for so long people have put in half hearted attempts when it comes to meetings.

    I remember a bowling night that was arranged and despite about 15 people saying they would be there we only ended up with about 6, and two of them were my wife and myself.

    I problem I feel is committment.....if you say you'll attend, then attend!
    Don't be half ***ed about it, do it, show some spin and get to the meet.

    I'm sure ever CR (here and in other forums) has had the experience of people that constantly promise to show up at meeting but never do....lack of committment.

    There are some truly great people in this forum, we should remember that, and we are all here for a reason if we admit it or not.....we're all nerds, or geeks, or misfits, or whatever.....and we have to band together and embrace our geekyness (is that a word?).

    Not every meet has to be filled with Star Wars talk or discussions about who would win in a lightsaber battle, Vader or Maul (Vader would kick butt by the way), in fact there are times when the nerd factor just doesn't belong and has to be toned down, but we are all of the same heart and we should all support each other.

    But don't feel like you have to be a nerd to come to a meet and don't be scared of being at a meet where nerds will be in attandance, because you have support...and so do they.

    NERDS OF THE WORLD UNITE!
  5. SithLord-Mixo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2002
    star 5
    It would be easy to even have a virtual meet in 2nd Life or such world, or perhaps for some gamer members out there in Counter Strike or WoW etc , depending on what you play.
  6. PulsarSkate Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2003
    star 7
    Online Guitar hero meetup? :p
  7. SithLord-Mixo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2002
    star 5
    Some events comin up that I will possibly be attending:

    Possibly Armageddon
    eGames and maybe even that lifestyle expo called Sexpo I think
  8. lordvaderFF FanForce Chapter Rep

    Chapter Rep VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
    EVERYBODY SING........

    We are one but we are many
    And from all the lands on earth we come,
    we share a dream,
    And sing with one voice,
    I am, you are, we are All Star Wars fans.

    :)
  9. SithLord-Mixo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2002
    star 5
    All we are saying.....
    Is give Siths a chance.....
  10. Jet-Eye Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2001
    star 4
    Mixo you never cease to amuse me hahaha 2nd life oh thats rich
  11. Protege-of-Thrawn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2001
    star 6
    Good to see you hard at work JE

    Some of
  12. Jet-Eye Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2001
    star 4
  13. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    I think I'm the only one here who hasn't met anyone, and I'm cool with that. Really, I've been to a couple of World of Warcraft guild meetups (yeah yeah yeah) and one NaNoWriMo meetup. With the guilds it was cool because I'd been talking to those people almost daily at that point, but for the NaNo thing I'd signed up for the site literally two days previously, and they were nice and it was great.

    I've even been to a StarWalking meet about, oh, three years ago now when I first arrived in Melbourne. And my arriving at uni also kind of coincided with me disappearing from the boards, so no VicFF for me, but I digress.


    Also, seriously, how is meeting on SecondLife better than the JC? :p
  14. Protege-of-Thrawn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2001
    star 6
    Don't you have to pay money to play second life? Crikey, I say to all those folks playing with their pixels SPEND THE BLOODY MONEY OUT IN THE GREAT WIDE WORLD, get a good cup of coffee, or take in a game of the mighty Melbourne Victory. 2nd Life indeed!
  15. Dags Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 3, 2000
    star 3
    Amen to that! Give the man who thought that quote up a cigar ... wait that was me! :)

    All hail the Nerd!

  16. oldbenk31 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2003
    star 3
    Nope Xan, your not alone I havent met anyone from here either. I did meet some people in a booth last year at armageddeon but all they wanted to do was sell me stuff right way and I wanted to find out more about the people I talk to every now and then.
    I would be happy to go to upcoming meet, this last one fell in the middle of moving to our new house so I couldnt.
  17. Dags Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 3, 2000
    star 3
    Which booth did you go to? If it was the Star Walking one you wouldn't have received much of a response because the only SWI committee person who uses these forums ... is me. Most our people don't even know this forum exists.
  18. Adalia-Durron Former RSA/EUC Empress.

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2003
    star 10
    Xany and I have met, spent a Saturday night a Luna Park together. Had a ball.
  19. oldbenk31 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2003
    star 3
    I dont remember which booth it was just last it was almost in the far back corner. I wasnt too impressed with Armageddeon, I thought it would have been bigger-with more people and more to do and see.
  20. Dags Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 3, 2000
    star 3
    The far back corner of the booths (left hand side) was the 501st, the online Stormtrooper costuming group.

    As for Armageddon being bigger, that's an interesting comment as it's actually the largest convention of its type (Pop culture) in Melbourne. It certainly had the largest attendance too with over 10,000 turning up for it.

  21. PulsarSkate Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2003
    star 7
    I think benk is actually from the US (right?) so perhaps he's Armageddon to ones he's been to in the US :)

    I'm looking forward to getting to go to Armageddon this year/next time, actually. Should be cool.
  22. evil-incarnate Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2004
    star 7
    "the online Stormtrooper costuming group".


    [face_laugh]


    A very basic analogy.
  23. PulsarSkate Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2003
    star 7
    Actually, that's something I was meaning to ask - do we have a 501st here in Victoria?
  24. lordvaderFF FanForce Chapter Rep

    Chapter Rep VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
  25. PulsarSkate Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2003
    star 7
    Righteo. I knew that you did the costume thing, and that there were people who did the media appearances in costume, just was confused as to who is 501st and who isn't :p I asked a guy in stormtrooper gear once a couple of months back if he was in the group and he said 'no...who are they?', hence the confusion.
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