Category: Information

help wanted: test commenting speed (again)

Hi all,

I am home today with a mildly sick kid (no worries, all will be well) and would like your help in testing the latest iteration in the ongoing saga of Con or Bust’s Commenting Times.

To wit: the post you are on right now is Con or Bust’s original site/main domain/etc. I would really love it if you could please post a comment here and take note of how long it took the comment to post. Hold that thought until step two.

(Feel free to be creative in your test comments, though remaining within the bounds of good taste. Favorite quotes? Song recommendations? Get your pet to walk across the keyboard? But “testing” is fine too, I’m just hoping for as many comments as possible.)

Then, leave a comment on our testing site, where there is also a very quick poll asking for your findings.

Thanks so much!

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request assistance now through May 25!

Fans of color/non-white fans: now through May 25, 2017, you can request monetary assistance to attend any upcoming SFF con. To learn how to request assistance, see the Request Assistance page. For the most up-to-date list of cons to which specific assistance is available, see the Upcoming Cons page. (However, you’re not limited to requesting assistance for those cons; any upcoming SFF con is fine.)

Thanks, and please spread the word!

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reminder: auction items are intended for personal use

Dear all,

Just a quick reminder that, as it says on the auction page,

publishers, authors, and other donors have generally donated books and other items on the understanding that they will be bid on by fans for their personal use, and not by resellers. Please respect this so that people will feel comfortable continuing to donate to the auction.

That’s not to say that if, for instance, a few years from now you are moving and need to reduce the size of your library, you can’t include your Con or Bust winnings in the stack of books you bring to any local used bookstore that still exists; but please go into bidding with your personal use and enjoyment as the goal.

Thanks very much for your understanding, and let me know if you have any questions.

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.

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Bidding now open for Con or Bust’s annual auction!

Bidding is now open for Con or Bust’s annual auction, which is the main way that we raise funds for the entire next twelve months to help fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF cons. Bidding will end Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. (time zone conversionscountdown), EXCEPT that last-minute bidding on an item will extend the bidding for that item (details).

Find things to bid by browsing all 2017 auction posts, looking at the 2017 auction tags, or sorting/filtering the Google Docs index. (Later in the bidding period, I’ll update the spreadsheet with the current high bids and number of bids, to make it easier to find overlooked bargains; I’ll also eventually flag items I feel aren’t getting enough love.)

Once you find something you’d like to bid on, just leave a comment with a working email address (edit: in the email field; you don’t also have to put it in the comment text) and a bid in U.S. dollars that is higher than any previous bid. You can also subscribe to comments to get notified of later bids.

If there’s nothing that catches your eye, but you’d still like to support Con or Bust, there are several ways you can. Here’s the full list, and here is a handy PayPal donation button for your convenience (requires a PayPal account, but using this means that PayPal covers all the fees).

(If you need to use a credit card, there’s a button on the Support page; also a handy form for a recurring PayPal donation and an Amazon Smile link, among other things.)

Finally, the auction submission form is now closed; please email me to discuss if you’d like to offer, because we have only a very limited ability to add items after bidding has started.

Thanks, and please spread the word!

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.

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Auction items needed by this Sunday, April 23

Con or Bust’s annual auction is its principal source of funds for the next twelve months, and right now the auction does not have nearly enough things on offer. If you’d like to submit something for auction—please do!—you should do so by this Sunday, April 23, 2017, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (time zone conversionscountdown).

Anyone at all can offer something to be auctioned; all you need is an email address. Con or Bust tends to run heavy on books and writing-related offers, for obvious reasons, but crafts, care packages, that good-condition piece of clothing or jewelry that you just never wear—anything legal, practical, and morally and ethically appropriate is welcome. Here’s more information, or you can jump right to the Submit an Auction form. We’ll even host your images for you!

Again, this is the main way that we raise funds for the entire year, and right now the list of things on auction is pretty short compared to prior years (browse through a Google Docs index, or view all the tags). It’s full of cool stuff, don’t get me wrong! But not nearly as much of it as I would like, considering that in 2016, Con or Bust was able to commit to providing $19,237.00 in direct monetary assistance to fans of color/non-white fans—an amount that did not come anywhere near meeting the requests that we received. We do everything we can do keep administrative expenses at a minimum, and everyone who works on Con or Bust is a volunteer. (You can find the full details of our 2016 finances at the annual report, or learn more about Con or Bust generally.)

So: if you can offer something for auction, that would be extremely welcome; here’s more information and the Submit an Auction form. If not, here are some other ways you can support Con or Bust—including, as always, spreading the word.

Thanks very much!

(This post will be made sticky for a day or two; scroll down or check the sidebar for new auction items.)

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.

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Annual Report for 2016 and Board Meeting Minutes

On March 19, 2017, Con or Bust’s Board of Directors held its annual meeting. The full minutes are available online, but the highlights are:

  • We re-elected Mark Oshiro as member of the Board of Directors and President; and we thanked Zen Cho, outgoing Director, for her service.
  • We adopted our 2016 annual report, which summarized our activity for the year. To summarize the summary: in 2016, we provided assistance for people of color/non-white people to attend SFF cons 99 times, through $19,237.00 in monetary assistance and 85 donated memberships and/or sets of donated hotel room nights.
  • We submitted our required annual filings.
  • And I informed the Board that I was strongly considering not running for re-election when my current term expires in spring 2019, which will be my ten-year anniversary of running the day-to-day operations of Con or Bust. I will announce my decision before the spring 2018 election, to allow for lots of transition time if necessary. Regardless, we agreed that we should identify and encourage new candidates for the Board next year (and/or people who could start volunteering this year!), to bring new perspectives and to keep improving Con or Bust’s stability as an institution, not just my personal project.

So, if you believe in Con or Bust’s mission and have ideas and time to contribute, consider running for the Board next year! (There’s some information about what that means in the election announcement post and its comments; feel free to comment if that doesn’t answer your questions.) Or let me know if you’re interested in volunteering now, either by commenting or emailing katenepveu@con-or-bust.org: offering suggestions, helping out with the auction, running local fundraisers: we are all ears.

Thanks as always for your support and for spreading the word!

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Announcing Con or Bust’s 2017 auction!

I’m pleased to announce that Con or Bust’s annual auction is now accepting items for auction! Bidding will start on Monday, April 24, 2017.

Con or Bust’s annual auction is its principal source of funds for the next twelve months. Anyone can offer something to be auctioned; all you need is an email address. Con or Bust tends to run heavy on books and writing-related offers, for obvious reasons, but crafts, care packages, that good-condition piece of clothing or jewelry that you just never wear — anything legal, practical, and morally and ethically appropriate is welcome. Here’s more information, or you can jump right to the Submit an Auction form. We’ll even host your images for you!

Auction offers must be submitted by Sunday, April 23, 2017, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (time zone conversions, countdown). This gives me a short window to make sure I approve all posts before bidding goes live on Monday, April 24.

You’ll get an email from katenepveu@con-or-bust.org when your post goes live, which should usually take no more than 24 hours at the very longest. I’ve made a number of back-end improvements to reduce the likelihood that these emails land in spam folders, but please keep an eye out anyway.

Thanks, and please spread the word!

(This post will temporarily be made sticky; please scroll or check out the sidebar to see what’s been submitted!)

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.

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Amazon donating 5% of eligible purchases to Con or Bust today only

Today, March 16, 2017, from 12:00 a.m. PST (when this post is scheduled to publish) through 11:59 PST, Amazon will donate 5% of the price of eligible products to Con or Bust through AmazonSmile—10 times its usual rate.

Click on the above banner or go to Con or Bust’s Amazon Smile page and log in for your purchases to be counted. Again, this is a donation from Amazon, and does not affect the purchase price of your product. So if you were planning to get something from Amazon anyway, now would be a great time to do it!

Thanks, and please spread the word!

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Board of Directors candidate statements due Friday, March 3!

Reminder: Con or Bust is now run by a Board of Directors, and will be holding elections for four open seats on March 19. Being a Director is a low time commitment but critical to keeping Con or Bust running and helping shape its future, so we’re looking for as many awesome people as possible–especially since right now, only one person is running and there are four open seats total!

Candidate statements should be submitted by this Friday, March 3, by email to katenepveu@con-or-bust.org. The statement should describe who you are, why you want to serve on Con or Bust’s Board, and what you’ll bring to the Board if elected; it should also include a statement under the conflict of interest policy after reviewing the list of entities with which Con or Bust currently has, or has had, commercial relationships with. For full details, see the announcement post.

Thanks, and please signal boost!

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