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Drabblecast/Norm con apprearancess

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:23 am
by normsherman
Just got the annual reject to perform (for free) at Dragoncon (third year in a row). Rejected from Balticon this year too (and it's in my backyard). What's up with this junk? I know you've gotta kiss the right asses enough to get plugged in, but c'mon. Anyone who's drunkenly wandered the back west side of the Marriot in Atlanta knows they even let random homeless people perform on the 3 AM stage.


Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:24 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
I don't know, man. I feel the pain.

I think we indie folks need to be aggressive in our promotion. Case in point: My brother has his album "Prelude" up for free download at for a while, but no one was going there. He made blog posts about it, he told his friend, he even formed a Facebook group about it that got over 200 members, but no one actually went and downloaded it.

So, this week, Caleb started aggressively spamming. He emailed hundreds of strangers (going off college faculty lists), spammed his facegroup group with multiple messages each day and got on the cases of friends like me to pimp his music. Result? Record site hits and downloads, more than double the previous high.

Anyway, I think I'm concluding that the passive let-people-come-and-look approach I (and you, I think) have been using is not the way to go. I've been worried about annoying people and coming off too string with promoting Free Mode, but, really, if I'm not succeeding anyway, what's there to lose?

So I'm making a blog and I'm going to see if I can build a mailing list, and I'm going to cold-call people and spam them. I think Drabblecast should follow a similar route. You've got a Facebook group: Spam it with weekly reminders to "Listen to the Drabblecast!" and beg members to recruit. Etc. It's ridiculous that a show this good has such a small audience. The situation must be remedied!

And I'd say if you can't get on a stage to talk about podcasting, then the stage probably isn't worth being on. You've got a few close competitors, but I honestly thing you're the best podcaster on the internet, or least tied for first. If you can't get on the 3AM stage, then are the people running the stage even competent to make that call? I have my doubts.

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:48 pm
by normsherman
Aww thanks Tweedster, you're too kind.

Yah, I haven't been really proactive in net promotions. I admit that this behavior probably won't change until I'm able to work more free time into my schedule. Until then, in the words of Shoeless Joe:
"If you build it, they will come. Or they might not. I dunno, it's the internet man, I'm not sure how this junk works yet. I'll be chilling out in all this corn if you need me."

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:28 pm
by Phenopath
I am afraid that I do not have any helpful suggestions, except perhaps that you take the time to boo/heckle the acts who are performing.

you're not the only one

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:29 am
by alhilton
So...the solution is to become a homeless person in Atlanta!

Hi, Norm, this is Abbie. Seriously, I was just going to say that I heard Pip Ballantine complaining earlier this year that they've denied her guest author status at DragonCon for several years in a row now. She's willing to come all the way from New Zealand, and come on, it's PIP! Everyone in the podosphere knows who she is, and she's publishing with a regular publisher. I think DragonCon has a prejudice against podcasters.

Oh, and hi, Drabblecast forum people. I know some of you from other places.

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:15 am
by normsherman
Welcome Abbie!
Dcon actually has a whole podcaster track. In fact, it's pretty good. They always have Sigler, Mur, Hutchins, Selznick, the regular names. I don't mind not being included in all that, there are much more appropriate/capable folks than me plugged in. It's gotta be extremely competitive for writer spots overall, Dcon has the tops in the genre. The writer/podcasters involved seem to be squatters who carved the niche themselves.

But Dcon frustrates me in other ways. I get the distinct impression that their volunteer staff is perpetually overwhelmed and/or under qualified. For example, it literally took us 4 emails and even more calls over the span of a month and a half just to get a response on how/who to give 600 bucks, in order to secure adspace for the bulletin. Please call us back, we want to give you money! Then they lost our check. Waiting to hear back if they got the 2nd one and if things are a go, but not getting any answers.
I have my doubts they actually listen to all the Parsec demos or music performer demos, although I could be totally wrong. Just seems sloppy (really, it's not just my ego whining here!) :-)

There are other cons to try, Dcon just happens to be damn fun and near all the fam and friends.

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:37 am
by alhilton
Ah, I see. That does sound like a bigger issue. Losing $600 checks... Huh. They're either really flush or really sloppy.

I've been casual LJ friends with Eugie Foster for years, and I know she's involved with organizing Dcon. I don't know whether she's doing it this year, though, and I don't know her well enough to ask for anything.

Are the Parsecs really reviewed by the organizers of Dcon? I thought those awards had a steering committee that was...I don't know...a separate body! Are they that closely tied to the convention?

I've never been to a convention, so maybe I just don't understand. Next year I plan to. After my program gets its claws out of me, and I have gainful employment again.

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:08 pm
by tbaker2500
I'll give you a stage at TagCon!

Well, it might not be a stage, more a muddy pit, but still!

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:01 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
I'll give you a stage at TweedyCon. By which I mean you can stand on the picnic table behind my apartment building. But you're guaranteed an audience of at least one person.

Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:40 pm
by zZzacha
Ah, well! Norm, I'm willing to make a Con just for you, if you're willing to visit that Con in Holland. Call it the HollaCon!

O, and bring some people with you to have an audience... I still haven't found anyone in Holland who likes audio fiction. I am sitting here with my blog, waiting for that Word-of-Mouth thing to happen.. So far, only the authors I blogged about have been visiting. Which is pretty cool in itself of course, but they don't understand a word I'm writing about them.

So. HollaCon it is. When will you be arriving?
tbaker2500 wrote:I'll give you a stage at TagCon!
Well, it might not be a stage, more a muddy pit, but still!
Yay! The Lafayette Lazers!! Bring them to HollaCon, okay? That'll be big fun! I love big fun!

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:53 pm
by strawman
zZzacha wrote: So. HollaCon it is. When will you be arriving?
May I suggest that NetherCon would be edgier?

Y'know, the world suddenly seems less big to me when I imagine Norm appearing on Tweedy's picnic table.


Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:48 pm
by Kevin Anderson
So if I were at DCon, what and or who's performances would I be listening too. Who got selected to play?

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:35 pm
by normsherman
Dcon guests:

In sadder news, Drabblecast didn't make any Parsec Awards finals again this year. Thanks to whoever nominated us though!

We had nominations for
Best Speculative Fiction Story (Short Form): Babel Probe by David D. Levine
Best Speculative Fiction Magazine Podcast (Sample including Sarah's Window by Janni Lee Simner, Hush and Hark by Michael Swanwick, Gifting Bliss by Josh Rountree)

Here's the list of finalists.

Congrats to DKT and Jonathan Gillespie though, who's stories made it on Variant Frequencies!

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:04 pm
by jonathancg
Norm, it's a darn shame you guys didn't make finalist, but it. Will. Happen. I am sure at some point. You guys are putting out too much quality.

On a related note: I'm a finalist! Holy crap-- I had no clue!

Congrats to my fellow finalists! Now I've get to get gussied up for that ceremony that night and keep my fingers crossed.

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:22 pm
by Richmazzer
Wait, not even Escapepod has a best story or is nominated for best mag? Something's fishy. I like Variant Frequencies ok, but it pales compared to EP and DC of course, which both put out twice as much content as VF (weekly rather than biweekly). I'd have to disagree with JCGillespie, it doesn't look like quality has anything to do with being a finalist. Although I am glad Pseudopod at least made it!

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:33 pm
by strawman
While Best in Class is entertaining, it doesn't come close to Babel Probe in depth and quality. The fact that VF, in spite of it's commercial advertising content, gets half the nominations tells me the system is corrupt. In fact, could be that DCon itself might uncareful about your $600 check because it's nut is covered by "commercial interests".


Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:38 pm
by StalinSays
I don't want to call Frequencies 'overrated' - but I know for sure it's 'over nominated.' I've honestly gotten to the point where I deleted the feed. Well Told Tales, Pseudopod, and the Drabblecast have always been consistently more original and entertaining. Maybe I'm just not the demo.

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:02 pm
by Richmazzer
strawman wrote: The fact that VF, in spite of it's commercial advertising content, gets half the nominations tells me the system is corrupt.
I just noticed VF has won every year since 2006. Hypothesis confirmed. :roll:

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:42 pm
by Kevin Anderson
You guys are just noticing this?

Far Point Media / Variant Frequencies / Parsec Awards

No real mystery.

But congrates to Jonathan and Dave - I enjoyed your stories.

I think Escape Artist should have their own awards. The Escapees, or something

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:55 pm
by strawman
Fight the power! Stick it to the man!
Get all the ladies, get all the land
Tune up your Oud, and get off your ass
It's the Babylon Battle of the 'Casts!

Holy shit, Norm, by my count Far Point has eaten 83 podcasts. No wonder DragonCon bows before them. Core services only. Direct all power to subquantum froth. I/O replaced with Nannynannynoonoo