AODSF 2012: Convention Report And Speculation

Just finished up my latest visit to AODSF, a con in San Francisco I’ve been doing events at for awhile, and wanted to give my latest report.

Sadly I didn’t get to to do much as my day and life was pretty busy.  Though I did note I was up to my armpits in Homestuck characters.  Not literally.  Much.

The convention was as usual quite fun.  It’s a tight, focused affair that runs in a hotel next to Japantown San Francisco – which cleverly means the con basically triples it’s size.  It’s friendly, crowded, and pretty active.  This year was no different, and as usual, it was a lot of fun – the convention runs smoothly.

In fact it’s an odd convention to review as it’s consistently high quality.  However there’s a trend I’d like to note . . . so let’s get on with that . . .

Anyway, I ran three events there, two progeek, two for fun – and what went on was pretty interesting to observe.

Fanart And Careers:  Based on my Focused Fandom book, this was a panel on my findings about, you guessed it, fan art and careers.  Attendance was a little higher than I expected, and the amount of professional interest was definitely higher.  More on this later.

Fan To Pro: The panel I always do – this one was even more packed and a lot of people were sharing stories and participating.  The stronger attendance was pleasing of course, but as noted, I think there’s a trend . .

Crossover Mania: This is my gameshow of creative crossover creation.  Not professional, and in fact by the end pretty damn unprofessional, but that’s not the point.  Also the phrase “Timey-Wimey Scooby-Doobie” was used.

So what’s the trend I’d been noting all along?  Basically that AODSF in particular seems to be getting more and more of a “professional” orientation in its events, because I certainly wasn’t alone with my panels.  There were other panels on similar subjects, and interest was high.

Lately, the last few years, I think cons and fandom have become more “progeeky” over time.  Things that I once said that were unusual, about how hobbies can affect careers, are now normal and mainstream.  Maybe it’s the economy, the internet, culture changes, but hobby-merged-with-job is a lot more normal in the geekosphere.

This pleases me greatly of course, but at AODSF it’s the first time I’d really felt it viscerally.  I’ve seen them take a lead on organizational techniques and base-broadening, so it fits . . .

I’m quite pleased with that . . .  and it just means I have more to do . . .

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at