Alrighty...here I go. I decided to take a step away from my computer after the 3 hour Fiasco this morning. I had nothing but bad things to say. Not to mention I've been sick with a fever so I'm a bit delirious. I'll try to be as constructive as I can be.
I've been a regular at AB since 2010 I believe, maybe it was 2011. I've been through it all and the past 2 years I was forced into the Vendors room (which is now no longer an option due to their rule change) because of a broken sign up system. One that has the SAME problems YEAR AFTER YEAR and never get fixed. You put bandaids without addressing the core problems.
Lets get down to it. Problem 1 is the demand is too damn high (insert SNL meme here). Anyone with a basic understanding of economics knows this. Why I bring this up is because again and again I see the attitude of the staff towards the situation is that there are not enough tables anyways, so it is what it is. WRONG. It's highly disrespectful to Artist who want a fair chance. This is a HUGE convention and one that many people (myself included) rely on for income every year. One Very, very, very simple way to reduce demand is to increase table prices. I'm talking a BIG increase. Like $450 minimum. Lets be honest (and I dont mean to sound harsh, Im just being real) if that price is too high for you or makes you consider signing up... you probably should move along from AB for now. It can take years of experience to be prepared for a larger con, and there is nothing wrong with starting out smaller. It is no secret that myself and many many other artists are willing to pay Vendor room prices to get into AB. I only suggested a lower price because the actual space is significantly less.
Now moving on from demand, the actual sign up process is a disaster. The fact that the staff keep acting like they are suprised when it breaks is just insulting. We have been telling you year after year. Those who get a table never say a word after because they are just fine with that outcome. Well, take it from someone who has not gotten in for the past 3 years because the website crashed, its NOT working. It is essentially a lottery right now, and not one that is on even playing grounds. You need to do one of the following
1) Stop using the AB website. Clearly it can't handle this stress. Stop trying to fix it. Move on to something robust like the countless options others have already told you about. Oh but some of those cost monies! See table price hike.
2) Announce a time so people are not constantly reloading for hours on end, alongside a robust system.
3) Move away from FCFS. Right now its not working!
FCFS used to be awesome. If you were dedicated enough, you had a few minutes to sign up once it went live and you would get in. That worked great because if you were dedicated, you got a spot. But then the scene exploded because demand grew out of control, and it was now you are at the mercy of the internet. It doesnt matter how good you are, how long you've been a veteran at AB, or how much you need to get in. It's pure luck and those with the fastest connections are going to win.
I propose a jury system. Get rid of pro row, and instead expand it to the entire AA. This will allow you complete control over the quality of work, the variety, the fandoms, the original content etc. Yeah, its a TON of work. But guess what,you can use that extra money from the table price hikes maybe to hire some un-biased people to invest time to be on a committee. Or if its all volunteer thats fine, spend the money to make them comfortable while spending countless hours going through applications. It is the only fair way to give those who truly deserve a spot a spot. It lets you control the content and the variety. Lets be honest, the alley last year was kind of lacking in that dept I think we can all agree.
If a Jury system is too much work, then it should go to lottery. Have a very small 1 hour window of time to sign up and announce the date and time well in advance so people know. Randomly choose with a number generator who gets a spot. This however doesnt solve the problem of controlling content, but it does solve the problem of server load as well as fairness.
But please stop acting like there isnt a problem. Just because this year is the biggest fiasco doesnt mean it wasnt any other year. It is so hurtful as an artist to be treated this way, it's stressful enough.
Its almost 6pm so.... Im gonna end it there. I could go on and on but quite frankly I am just saying the same thing I do every year and it's falling on deft ears.
Good luck everyone <3
Anime would be nothing without art. This forum is here for artists to discuss the art show and artists' alley.
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