A Gawker writer recently pointed this out and proposed banning the type of person who is generally responsible for the awful; The Toast has a hilariously astute post listing out the most awful (sometimes in a banal way) questions that are commonly asked at Q&As.
Now, I’ve done a lot of talks and panels. Personally, I enjoy leaving a decent chunk of free time at the end of question-and-answer sessions. This is especially true when I’m talking about Islam. One my talks from a few years back was half an hour of me talking followed by an hour and a half of Q&A. It was fun. It was awesome.
Still, all it takes is one jerkwad to ruin the awesome and the fun that interaction and discussion is supposed to be for all attending. As I run primarily on rage as a fuel source, I can’t get behind the Gawker writer’s suggestion, but I do have some tips for ensuring that the That Guy that invariably shows up to the Q&A provides a few lulz but isn’t enabled to totally hijack the event. Continue reading “How Speakers, Audience Members, & Mods Can Improve Q&As” →
From Benny, via Ask.fm
What’s your favorite thing about conventions (or similar events)? What things do some cons do that makes them especially fun or rewarding?
I will be answering the latter question today.
As a relatively seasoned attendee, volunteer, organizer, and speaker at atheist, nerdy, feminist-y, and (once upon a time) Islamic cons, do I have some thoughts and feelings on this or what? Some of what I have to say might seem basic, but it’s absolutely untrue that all (or most) conferences have these things in place or in mind. It is my hope that organizers can use this to supplement their extant knowledge to craft an even better experience for everyone.
Feel free to add your own in the comments. Continue reading “Some Things That Make a Conference, Convention, or Event Awesome” →
If you follow me on social media, you’ll know how beyond stoked I am for this weekend. In but a few short hours, I will be boarding the flight that will be the first leg of my journey out to Springfield, MO, where I will be not only presenting my first workshop after two years of crashing others’ but also speaking at the Skepticon.
My workshop is on Becoming & Being One of the Cool Kids Online. It will cover the weirdness that is being a skepto-atheist-secular-SJW-type who uses the interwebs.
Because getting attention online is complicated, we’ll be talking history and theory but also brainstorming strategies and plans of action.
My talk is called Simple Pleasures: It’s Complicated.
I will also be decked out to the nines for the benefit of all beholding, but especially my dance partners (you could be one!), at SkeptiProm / Dino Prom.
The aforementioned decking-out will take place at my hotel room, where I will be allowing in people (within reason) to borrow make-up and jewelry, as well as get help with the application of the former.
It is so on.
For once, I am taking my laptop with me to con, and I’m committed to posting at least one update during all the excitement. I do tend to post things on social media, as well, so you can peek there for livetweeting and other updates.
When you’re ethically non-monogamous, you end up engaging in a lot of meta relationship conversations. When you’re polyamorous and dating someone you met because you were both speakers at the same secular event, you end up discussing the potential effects of your relationship, likely and unlikely alike, on your respective careers. This is especially true when one of you has strong feminist values and works for the advancement of secular causes and the other is a loudmouthed, keyboards-a-blazin’ firebrand-in-waiting.
What I didn’t think to discuss was what actually ended up happening.
Continue reading “5 Things I Learned After My Partner Was Sexually Battered at an Atheist Conference” →