DisCon III

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2021 Worldcon, the first big hybrid convention held in Washington, DC, and cursed.

They used Discord for text chat, Zoom for video chat, WordPress for the website, Vimeo for video streaming. Zambia for programme planning. They were very active in manual closed captioning.

The website lacked good instructions on accessing the virtual systems, was updated rarely, and often struggled under load, as it had to handle the programme schedule from KonOpas and wrap the Vimeo video. Hybrid items struggled with hotel room tech failures and dropouts, and questions raised by real and virtual audiences got muddled. Real world features like the Art Show and Dealers' Room weren't visible to virtual attendees. There was very little interaction between real and virtual attendees generally, with only one video tour of the hotel streamed early in the morning.

The text chat was well provided with volunteers, the Virtual Rangers in the unpopular Consuite were very underused. FAQs were rarely used, and lots of obvious decisions had either not been made or poorly propagated. Very few virtual parties were held, though professional bartenders were hired to offer cocktail suggestions based on attendee's drinks cabinets.

The virtual Dealers' Room was just a web page with paragraphs on each vendor.

There were 2 scandals with the virtual voting for site selection. Kevin Standlee released the online voting numbers early showing a Chengdu lead in an attempt to encourage counter on-site voting, and an advisory motion that would have invalidated most of the Chengdu votes was passed before the election closed. There was no way for virtual attendees to influence the WSFS Business Meeting, which put a foreign bid at a severe disadvantage.