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Why NerdCon: Stories is Failing – Viral Trends
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Comments 30

  1. Hank, I loved your candidness in this video. Thank you for talking about the mistakes in creating and implementing Nerdcon: Stories with compassion and nuance. I am so young, and I have many big failures ahead of me, and listening to you own up to your mistakes gave me a lot of encouragement (oddly enough).
    I'm looking to become a member of the clergy, so I don't see myself as being a direct influencer of businesses or the economy. But I LOVED your point about making the free market and businesses more compassionate toward human lives, and that the work people do would at least complement the meaning they gain from it. (That's how I understood your point anyway, someone correct me if I'm wrong!) My livelihood is not going to be based on the exchange of goods and services, but in part on guiding people to create or invest in meaning in their lives and the lives of others (if you think of it in a secular/non-Christian sense).
    Thank you for this gift of a video. DFTBA!

  2. The name of the wind and Wise man’s fear are my two favourite books ever!😍 I also have both a physical copy of them as well as the audio book versions. I basically forced the rest of my family to listen to the audiobooks so that I would have someone to discuss the books with😅. I have lots of notes on theories about the mysterious characters. So just a tad obsessed. Can’t wait for Doors of stone to come out🙃

  3. nerdcon stories honestly sounds like my own personal dreamland (a small, attendee-focused convention about big, weird ideas) and now I'm rather sad that it's dead because it's something that I could realistically see myself attending

  4. try SCORE.org – the mentors are local and cool. I met the guy who invented The Vogue – which is down the street from John's office – and The Bluebird – which is in Bloomington. I am definitely a happier person from applying the ideas, and wealthier – if not very accomplished. Yet.

  5. Very good to have someone sharing anecdotes about business and recognizing that their experience is of limited applicability. Stories and advice tagged with "here's what made my circumstances unusual, so it might not work if you try to do the same thing the same way" are VASTLY more useful than "try this one thing and it'll work for you like it did for me".

  6. Your NerdCon stories event seems like the description of BurningMan! …except for the multiple related conferences, part. Very astute observations and analysis of the challenges and lessons learned. The rules of creative businesses are that they must, by design, discover or invent the special rules that apply. Also, remember that the best edge that small business, especially creative business, have in "the marketplace of ideas" is to remain flexible in direction and results. I wouldn't worry so much about small business not fitting the mold of "employer" in more traditional business model, because the meaning of the work is primary to those smaller ventures. Collections of individuals, or small associations of individuals, sharing communities of various creative vocations may very well be the future of work, which is the idea behind maker spaces, which is not so different from the communities you are creating, and celebrating through your events. So, Bravo!

  7. You probably won't ever see this comment because this is an old video now but I'd like to share a perspective you might not frequently hear voiced. I'm a few 23 year old single mother from Alabama who just moved to Colorado in April. At this point in my life, I have no ability to travel to a conference. BUT, that doesn't mean I don't want to hear about it. You're assuming that such "advertising" content would be boring or unwanted but actually, the anecdotal style of your videos (any mention of cons is usually told in a storyteller format, even if it's only your personal warm feelings about the event) makes them very appealing to watch. I think in the future you could be less cautious in "pushing" the events. Just keep the format interesting.

  8. Hi Hank! I hope you're enjoying paternity leave! I know this video is now very old, but my sister and I were just discussing this along with other nerdfighter programming you all put together. Perhaps, if a question, "In which state/region do you reside?" were added to the yearly census, it would help you all in determining where best to host events. The regional diversity in your event locations is truly unparalleled, but it might help if there was data from which you could pull to see where there are the largest densities in the community. Just a thought! That said, I know aggregating DFTBA sales data and previous convention information over the last several years, you can likely ascertain decently good location information. The question could still be useful though–like a nice safety net. And fun for statistical analysis of the census.

  9. A bit late to the punch here, but as someone who was very intrigued about "Nerdcon: Stories" but couldn't make it for a variety of reason maybe an attempt should be made further down the road to revive it but in a biennial or triennial way? I've personally never attended any sort of conference so I don't know if the yearly thing is a big appeal for people, but I know my basic economics which is scarcity makes the demand greater. Of course maybe it just wasn't the time for NCS and that if you ever try to fix it with more planning then it would be okay being an annual thing. But personally if you ever want to try it again I might go for the biannual route first at least until you could ensure there is constant demand. Or you can leave it as a wonderful memory, just my two cents.

  10. The idea of creating a resource for making small businesses reminds me a lot of how the Mondragon Collective Corporation got started – a college to teach business and technical skills. Hank, I know you've read Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy – I learned about Mondragon from that, and it's influenced a lot of my thinking about alternatives to capitalism. I think looking into a cooperative model to encourage businesses that have the goal of furthering their workers' and consumers' well-being might be a place to start with your research. You already are starting something of a knowledge-sharing community in Missoula, even if it's centered around making YouTube videos and channels. You could look into starting a local community college type experience, but I really think taking on problems of the 21st century using contemporary techniques is something you're uniquely positioned to do. Maybe a co-op/business tutorial channel expanding into a community forum or even small research center on how to hack economics for social justice and equity is worth looking into. I have a lot of ideas related to this but like the second half of your video, this comment has gotten way rambly so I'll stop 🙂

  11. 'What does a world look like where people do not work for money but work for meaning?"
    I find myself day dreaming about this idea a lot. The potential of humanity, when we use resources responsibly. If that were the case, our time wouldn't be spent trying to survive anymore, but maybe instead (not to sound clique) living our lives fully. Declare Earth & all of its resources as the common heritage of all the worlds people. Big thoughts… but like Hank, I haven't researched it enough.

  12. Dear Hank,
    First of all.Thank you that you made Nerdcon stories happen.
    Hopefully, some day, they might happen again. Maybe in a little different and more profitable form. But even if not, let me tell you, I was happy you created it.

    That being said, I have never attended. I am from Slovakia, in central Europe. And in was just too far, too complicated and too expensive. So yes, I am too part of the problem.

    And yet, as I heard of the first Nerdcon, and ten second one, my heart just skipped with joy. It looked like THE con for me.
    I am a bit of geek and bit of a nerd, and I follow things on YT.. but I am not a Youtuber..and although I see the appeal of Vidcon, it just never felt like that is something for me. And that is fine. But with Nerdcon, it somehow felt perfect. It felt like home. I know you said that the problem with it is that it's sometimes vague and hard to define, and I totally see the point. I also know it just merged so many things and so many people I love. I love stories and storytelling.

    I wish you all the best with other projects. And if there would be no more Nerdcon stories I would understand, as it has its issues, as you so well explained. And if there would be more, it would made me so so happy and warm and fuzzy inside.

    And if I may a small analogy – Vidcon seems to me like Kingkiller Chronicles. And Nerdcon is maybe more like Slow Regards of Silent Things. 🙂

  13. First, I would like to say that I just got back from NerdCon:Stories 2016 and it was extremely fun. It was a wonderful experience for most attendees. Second, your discussion on business got me thinking of a topic that I think would be interesting to see discussed and as a business owner and a person with some chronic health issues I think you would have an some valuable insight. That topic is health care. Most commonly I see it argued that expansion of government healthcare would have a negative impact on growth of business because of higher taxes. It seems to me however, that anything that the government could do to remove the difficulty or responsibly of getting healthcare from business would be an advantage to a small business and could stimulate growth in small business. It seems like our current system of healthcare being provided by the employer is unfairly weighted to large corporations which have more employees to spread the cost around. I think your perspective on this issue would be very interesting.

  14. It's disconcerting that you were disappointed in an event that had yet to take place. I feel that you are predisposed to be disenchanted in order to validate canceling any further shows. I've been to both NerdCon: Stories and it is the only con I've ever even had interest in attending. Sometimes with new things it takes a little longer to catch on so marketing is definitely something that needs to occur in order to attract new people. I don't believe the location was an issue, Minneapolis had a lot of venues outside of the conference that many people took advantage of while attending the Con. There was a definite increase in panels from last year which was wonderful though some of the panelists didn't seem to know why they were selected for their particular panel. I wholeheartedly support another year of NerdCon: Stories and hope that you see reason too continue it as well.

    *Two suggestions: 1) go smaller again – it was really enjoyable both years but there was an intimate feeling last year that wasn't there this year. 2) Hold the con bi-annually. It will build interest between years.

  15. Automation is not slowing down. People need to start asking the big questions. How do we want to live in a world where practically no-one needs to work for the survival of the human species?
    Tens of Millions of jobs will be eradicated in and around the transportation business alone as self-driving cars (or trucks) will be much more reliable and cheaper than any human could ever be. And that is not a matter of 50 years, maybe 20 if we are lucky. I hope this will be a wake-up call for humanity for whats about to come.

  16. I don't live in the US, but I am actually going to be in the US when Nerdcon Stories is happening, and not so far away that it would be infeasible to go. I thought about going, but with Hank not going to be there and with the tickets costing $100, it just didn't seem reasonable. Too much money to pay for something that is unclear how it will turn out (or even what it's about), plus not even the chance of meeting Hank (who is my favorite of the Vlogbrothers, not that I don't love John too!).

  17. Aye, it's hard to have a "Wood Stock" event two years in a row. Adding a child to your family is also one of those things that tends to pull you in five different directions at once even without pulling together a new way of connecting like minds across this new fangled thing called the internet. Just keep being your self and try not to beat yourself up for not creating magic with every you put your hand into the hat.

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