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Author Topic: Steampunk World Strike  (Read 1762 times)
+Kirix+
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« on: September 21, 2009, 06:47:12 am »

I,in a fit of madness,thought up this idea.
  Due to growing up the child of one of the big leaders of KAG(Klingon Assault Group,it's pretty amazing),being exposed to the inner workings of a global fan club that does events,visits cons,and celebrates their shared love with costume and revellry-I want to go ahead and be a loony like my parents.

What say you all,to forming a world-wide Steampunk fan club?
  With the amount of people claiming Steampiracy,and leader/membership of sky crews-I thought of forming 'crews'.Ships which would be part of fleets.
  The KAG set-up has areas sort-of sectioned up.In my particular area,3-4 fleets exist which are all made up of a couple 'ships'.
 
 Like KAG,we would set-up a command system,a ranking system that basically serves to keep all the ships in a fleet organized,and then all the fleets in an area,and all would report to a central Monarch.
   I would propose that each country/continent have its own monarch,to simplify matters and help with national fleets communicating to meet at cons etc.
 The first monarch will be whoever begins the club in their country(discuss here or in a separate thread who is best equipped to start),the 'crown'is handed down every few years(or when the current monarch is too busy/fed-up with it)to whomever the current sees fit.

We could do charity events(KAG has done quite a few blood and food drives,as well as run parties and events to raise money for other charities) and such-and just generally foster the heart of the community/culture around the world and bring it to others.

Ideas?Opinions?Think I'm a nerd for being a Klingon/insane for trying this?
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H.I.M.,Empress Kirix,Steam Faerie,Alchemical Creation
Dr. Oliver Cross
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As stable as a house of cards on the San Andreas.


« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2009, 06:55:04 am »

Ah, once again we return to this.  Not that I am opposed in any way -- indeed, I've been one of the people in the very position you've now placed yourself -- but I will warn you this idea has been bandied about in this community several times in the past.

That said, I would be very glad to see this work!  Please, by all means... shall we do this?
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If I have to choose between loving you or breathing, I will use my last breath to say "I love you."  --  Estevan Shu
+Kirix+
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2009, 07:02:15 am »

I imagined it'd been tossed about before,but after the last KAG related event I was at-a con at which there were mounds of Steampunks all completely unaccquainted with one another,while event he newer KAG members were recognized by nearly everyone-I was inspired to make it happen.
  I'd love to know all the steampunks near myself,and those across the globe-I'd adore the same closeness for everyone here as there is with KAG.
   Even people I hadn't seen for ages-as in,since I was 6 or 7,remembered me.That's what I want-I want everyone to know everyone.A strong community is what keeps stuff alive.

Indeed sir,let's do this.
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Dr. Oliver Cross
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2009, 07:33:44 am »

I believe this might well work, as you've presented something that didn't previously attach itself to the idea.  You've presented a structure in accompaniment to the idea, and not simply a structure, but one which would work quite well indeed, I believe.  Granted, in the past, opposition to the idea of a fleet-based structure has been presented, in that there are those who believe that it would interfere with those whose personae are not of a military or aeronautical bent, however I would suggest that if the 'fleet' structure were merely an organizational formation, rather than a necessary requirement of how one plays, it would hold quite well.

Indeed, it would allow for the creation of medals and awards, as well as provide for a structure within the club, provided that the 'fleet' ranks are simply a way to give the various offices of the club suitably steamy titles.

You know, the more I write of this, the more I find myself in distinct agreement with it.  Previous attempts at this have been based on the SCA, and whilst that venerable organization has much to commend it towards our own endeavour here, I think that borrowing our structure from the KAG and Starfleet is more conducive to our aims.  Granted, I would organize our districts, or in this case our Kingdoms, into smaller geographical areas than you seem to be mentioning, as individual nations in Europe may make sense, but in North America -- well, let's just say that our nations are WAY too large to allow for our clubs to be as large as same.

So, to make this long story short... is the office of Monarch for the Pacific Northwest of the United States available?  (I've been Captain of a Starfleet chapter for the last two years, so I think I know what I'm doing.  At least I hope I do!)

Hmm.  King Oliver... well, that just sounds GOOD!  And as for Empress Kirix... LONG LIVE THE EMPRESS!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 07:35:17 am by Dr. Oliver Cross » Logged
stardust
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2009, 08:32:29 am »

i think this sounds like an excellent idea. where do i sign up?
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Arceye
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2009, 08:40:42 am »

Might be like trying to herd cats.
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TimeTinker
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2009, 08:58:27 am »

You don't need a rank structure etc to facilitate the gathering of steampunks and social interaction.  You just need to suggest events etc and meetings.  Rather than top down control look at leading by example.  A different model but one that works.
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Dr. Oliver Cross
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2009, 09:49:50 am »

I cannot argue against TimeTinker's statement, but I counter with the proposition that a structure in which one can gain rank and earn medals and honours can be quite fun.  Also, a command structure is quite useful, or so I've found, when working with local authorities and venues for the purpose of securing facilities for events and for raising money for charities.  Also, on those rare occasions when they actually report WELL on those of us who aren't of a 'normal' persuasion, media do seem to like to be able to speak to the 'President' of an organization, no matter whom that person might be or what title they bear.
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TimeTinker
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2009, 10:14:20 am »

Point taken and undisputable especially as I am ostensibly Chair of the Victorian Steampunk Society.  Venues, media etc all like to talk to an "officer" of an organisation but our titles exist purely for that purpose.  The VSS is a philanthropic organisation which is not trying to recruit members in order to avoid the politics and internecine squabbles which are all but inevitable.  We simply stage events that people attend if they wish with no thought of rank or status. We have honorary fellows who receive medals for services to UK Steampunk and award medals for winners in various competitions.  All the advantages you talk of but without a rank structure which immediately risks grumbling and moaning. We raise money for charities and also generally have  a thoroughly good time.

It might seem a moot point but remember that all to often:

1 person is a hobbyist
2 people is a group
3 people is a society
4 people is two groups, they just haven't had the argument and split yet.

The fundamental difference is we are not looking for people to join a structured organisation we simply lead by example, stage entertainments and hope people like what we are doing enough to attend.  We see ourselves as facilitators more than anything else.

Steampunk is a creative and brave new world.  Why use an old model of structure?
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Dr. Oliver Cross
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2009, 10:22:53 am »

My own experience in Starfleet, an organization in which (for all that Fleet HQ would like to think otherwise) ranks exist mostly for the purpose of interacting with the outside world for some ships (the smallest branch of 'Fleet) whereas other ships function more towards a military structure and use the rank structure more actively.  Both types of ship, however, (at least in my experience), enjoy the idea of awards and medals, as those serve as symbols that others in your hobby think highly of you and your work.  As the awards somewhat necessitate the rank structure, if for no other reason than to serve as the 'font of honour', as it were, the rank structure therefore is somewhat useful for both types of ship.  I see that as being quite possibly the same here.  Am I incorrect in this theory?
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TimeTinker
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2009, 10:40:30 am »

Unfortunately I have seen squabbles and disagreements all too often within ranked organisations such as Starfleet, Garrison etc. The major difference between costume groups such as these and Steampunk (at least in the UK) is that Steampunk is a much more creative genre which has no right or wrong.  The structures as postulated at the start of this thread automatically infer a degree of contol and control by its very nature is restricting since it marks boundaries and delineation.  There is no need for such boundaries within steampunk hence my suggestion that such a structure, whilst perfectly functional, is not the only model for developing steampunk and for many of us actually runs the risk of being destructive. (Note I say risks, and  do not assume it necessarily will).

At the Asylum we held various competitions.  The judges for the competitions were selected from amongst the steampunks present.  The organisers (The VSS) had no input regarding the competition winners.  The winners of medals can perhaps be more proud of them because the awards were made by a jury of their peers rather than by a self appointed and self propogating command structure.  It may seem to be just a minor point of philosophy but for some of us it is a very crucial point.  Steampunk is a fundamentally creative and expressive genre that benefits most from facilitation rather than organisation.

Of course that does not mean that people should not go ahead and organise as they see fit.  People will vote with their feet and join if they wish. I did not intend to immediately obstruct anyone from organising such a structure if they wish but merely wanted to post briefly explaining there are other models for "organising" steampunks.  Since it is very much a cat herding exercise I use the word advisedly.

This is a topic that raises its head from time to time.  All recent risings have been from members of costume organisations who are looking to bring their famiiar systems to the steampunk world.  It has not happened as yet but may well do. I would only urge that before embarking on this path people take a moment to stop and think about what they want from steampunk.  If they want rank structures, approbation and control then feel free to go ahead. It may just be a UK thing but many people here seem to enjoy and thrive in a less restricted atmosphere.

Best wishes in either case.

Tinker
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helios
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2009, 11:02:35 am »

You could do it more along the lines of a classic Pirate Fleet, with rag-tag crews, each under a Captain they selected and with whatever rank structure they choose to have. The crews could then be put under "Monarchs", or what ever was chosen. That could allow far more freedom, while still providing something of the structure of Starfleet and KAG.
Not that I'm any sort of expert, having never heard of Starfleet and KAG until just now. Just my two cents.
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TimeTinker
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2009, 11:18:16 am »

We have several "Airship Crews" around with their own ranks and structures.  Does it need an overarcing Monarch structure?
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helios
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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2009, 11:44:44 am »

Thinking about it, no, not really.
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Sgt.Major Thistlewaite
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2009, 04:00:01 pm »

"I would not join any club that would have me as a member." - Groucho Marx

As benign as such a thing as rank and structure may be in the beginning, initiated for the best of reasons, eventually those at "the top" get swelled heads and start trying to push others around. No thank you.

~T
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lilibat
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« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2009, 04:07:45 pm »

"I would not join any club that would have me as a member." - Groucho Marx

As benign as such a thing as rank and structure may be in the beginning, initiated for the best of reasons, eventually those at "the top" get swelled heads and start trying to push others around. No thank you.

~T

There is enough of that going on within steampunk as it is. No I won't name anyone specifically.
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Mr. Boltneck
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« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2009, 07:26:17 pm »

I think that the people who enjoy that sort of thing will enjoy it. More power to their collective elbow.
I am not such a person myself. I have been to meetups, and last year's Steam Powered, and had an enjoyable time without being a part of any kind of structure. On the other hand, I know people in the Ren Faire Court, and there are certainly groups like the 501st to which people enjoy belonging. Provided that I can go to events and not be given any sort of attitude about not doing it properly because I am not a part of somebody's all-important organization, no problem.
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+Kirix+
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2009, 07:32:27 pm »

Hm...I have encountered the swelled heads of KAG fairly often-I just proposed this as a more organized community.A way more to bring steampunks together in their states/provinces/countries,it would help strengthen the community.No power trips felt,at least as I think of it-there are always the rogue elements...But what I want is the closeness I know in KAG.
  As I said before,everyone who is or has been in KAG seems to know each other.Knowing one another that way would be splendid.

I know that within KAG,some fleets cling heavily to a militaristic rank structure.Others do not,but the club retains the basic layout and functionality.
   A pirate crew mentality may indeed be better.
Although,I'm aware some here have a more privateer lean-I also notice myself and some others like to operate as parts of royal fleets and the like.
    We could certainly work with the loose-organization based KAG/starfleet manner,but tack on a privateer/royal-imperial-etc. navy sort of game to it.
     Fleets could be made up of royal navy,and monarch sanctioned privateers-and also have 'rogue' pirate ships who tussle with the royal factions.

But,if there is heavy opposition from fear of power abuse,et cetera-very well.


Edit:To respond to Mr.Boltneck,I would never dream of shunning others just for not joining the 'club'.I should hope anyone who did join would adhere to that same idea.The club is for everyone-and at the same time,not(in the preferential sense).those who want to group up in ships and such can,and we'll gladly hang around with others in the community who would rather not.
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Mr. Boltneck
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2009, 08:35:06 pm »

Oh, I certainly was not trying to read that into your proposal, and apologize if I have given that impression. I was more hoping to outline the ways in which such an organization will or will not be accepted by the wider realm. It may just be my geographical location, which is practically ground zero for "trufan" types who have an endless need to tell everyone outside their little group how wrongly they are doing something.
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Draaka
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« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2009, 02:02:22 am »

I have heard far to many horror stories from similar clubs and groups. Often will someone I know say they had a great bunch of friends, then some dick got appointed head of whatever and they got pushed out because they had differences with the new person of power in the past. Although I am in favour of anything that gives out medals and shiny things, this really doesn't sound like it would appeal to me personally, which is not to say that I think it shouldn't be done if you can find enough people interested in the idea, I just feel that for everyone who will jump forward there will be three people who turn around and wander off.
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kurohone
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« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2009, 02:12:26 am »

As a member of numerous geeky clubs (mostly anime based), and members of the administration of many of the same...I to have to question the wisdom of some sort of imposed heirarchy.  While there are certainly organizational benefits, particularly when stemapunks are still a fairly numerically small and widely dispersed population, the strong creative egos involved may not lend themselves well to it.

When you think about the stereotypical steampunk 'group' they're either outcasts of rebels, living on the fringes of an overly-ordered society, or an ad-hoc group of experts, assembled for one very specific task.  The later model fits what we're attempting to assemble better, I think.  It serves a wonderfully dramatic role for both the 'organizers' of a particular event (taking on the role of wealthy/eccentric/greedy benefactor) as well as the attendees (the eccentric/misunderstood/outcast/insane experts). 
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Tara
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TaraBrady
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2009, 02:19:49 am »

I think the military-style rankings are only suitable for a particular subset of steampunks.  There are a lot of 'air pirates' and the like floating around, but not everyone leans that way.  I'd see a 'society' (in the social club sense) structure as better suited to steampunk as a whole.  I would expect steampunk organizations to make up titles for individuals as the need suited, rather than assigning them ranks. Ditto for awards.  

But wouldn't it be sensible for something like this to begin at the local level with meetups between people who live near each other, rather than from the top down?  If there are already local clubs, linking them together with a larger organization is a fantastic idea, but don't those chapters need to exist first for it to work?
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Magister
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« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2009, 09:25:54 am »

Egads, I think the world just shifted under me, and I became a rogue steampunk!

I too have relatives rather involved in KAG, and while the organizational aspect of it, does allow the group to recruit more effectively, and more importantly engage the public positively (ie: charity events, publicity stunts for businesses ect.)  to cultivate more public acceptance and support, from my outsider's perspective, there seems to be a hefty amount of drama that gets bundled up in it. Not just from the issues of rank and command structure, by on a deeper level, by forcing people with personality clashes to work with each other repeatedly, because the structure of the organization demands it.

Also, the whole steampunk thing is a bit more convoluted than Klingon costuming, which is really the sole core element of KAG. Helping people get into it, do it more effectively, meet other people doing it, and have more fun doing it.

Steampunk interests vary from tinkerers to Neovictorian costumers, to fans of anachronistic literature, and invariably, there will be people who will look at what the membership looks like in their area, and say: "Look at those silly people, that's not what I'm into at all."

Perhaps a better way of approaching it, is rather than establishing a hierarchy, just setting up regional spokespeople (ideally on a city level) who keep in contact with the other spokespeople, maybe through their own forum or a mailing list. The spokespeople can then disseminate the important information locally however they see fit.

If a spokesperson wants to call himself the Admiral of the Chicago Zeppelin Fleet, the Baron of Minneapolis, or merely the Captain of insert-airship-name-here, that's their business, and would certainly add a bit of flavor and prestige to their position.

I just don't think a hierarchy and intensive responsibilities are conducive, helpful, or necessary in the effort of getting people into steampunk.
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Victoria The Mistress
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« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2009, 06:56:31 pm »

Evening all, this is an interesting concept, and skipping through the posts it reminds me of the way biker groups formed originally and continue to operate...... as wife of Hairy Biker who has wibbled around the club scene and now stands as an independent, I personally would shy away from a structured group of this kind, although I don't doubt its intentions and motivations would be admirable.

I think I have just seen too many instances of stronger personalities over-riding and side-lining the less forthright or socially able, too many instances where groups have formed and then one bunch of people seem to do All The Work while others are perceived to ride on coat-tails and bask in reflected glory, even if they don't intend to!

The blurring of fantasy and reality within Steampunk works well for me up to a point - but take it to this proposed level and I think I would lose much of the magical feeling, the otherworldliness - things that when shared with the general public at fund raising events etc would have to be too much tempered by focus on making a fund raiser successful or presenting a particular profile....

I am drawn to Steampunk for the fact it allows expression of individuality within a particular anachronistic stylistic framework - it appeals to me as an individual, and I'm interested in talking to / collaborating creatively with / socialising with people who enjoy similar. My real life is dominated by structure and hierarchy of one sort or another, and I also am part of other groups which reflect my interests, I am even a committee member!



I think the military-style rankings are only suitable for a particular subset of steampunks.  There are a lot of 'air pirates' and the like floating around, but not everyone leans that way.  I'd see a 'society' (in the social club sense) structure as better suited to steampunk as a whole.  I would expect steampunk organizations to make up titles for individuals as the need suited, rather than assigning them ranks. Ditto for awards. 

But wouldn't it be sensible for something like this to begin at the local level with meetups between people who live near each other, rather than from the top down?  If there are already local clubs, linking them together with a larger organization is a fantastic idea, but don't those chapters need to exist first for it to work?


This I agree with completely, and this :

Egads, I think the world just shifted under me, and I became a rogue steampunk!

I too have relatives rather involved in KAG, and while the organizational aspect of it, does allow the group to recruit more effectively, and more importantly engage the public positively (ie: charity events, publicity stunts for businesses ect.)  to cultivate more public acceptance and support, from my outsider's perspective, there seems to be a hefty amount of drama that gets bundled up in it. Not just from the issues of rank and command structure, by on a deeper level, by forcing people with personality clashes to work with each other repeatedly, because the structure of the organization demands it.

Also, the whole steampunk thing is a bit more convoluted than Klingon costuming, which is really the sole core element of KAG. Helping people get into it, do it more effectively, meet other people doing it, and have more fun doing it.

Steampunk interests vary from tinkerers to Neovictorian costumers, to fans of anachronistic literature, and invariably, there will be people who will look at what the membership looks like in their area, and say: "Look at those silly people, that's not what I'm into at all."

Perhaps a better way of approaching it, is rather than establishing a hierarchy, just setting up regional spokespeople (ideally on a city level) who keep in contact with the other spokespeople, maybe through their own forum or a mailing list. The spokespeople can then disseminate the important information locally however they see fit.

If a spokesperson wants to call himself the Admiral of the Chicago Zeppelin Fleet, the Baron of Minneapolis, or merely the Captain of insert-airship-name-here, that's their business, and would certainly add a bit of flavor and prestige to their position.

I just don't think a hierarchy and intensive responsibilities are conducive, helpful, or necessary in the effort of getting people into steampunk.



The "Gothic" subculture in all its various forms and evolutions just kept rumbling on until a socially visible cohesion occurred - no doubt it was helped enormously by themed club nights, the music, etc etc.

Bikers started out very much as the rebellious and disenfranchised - they came from the military ranks who no longer felt they fitted in or were valued by society after the war, and they had serious issues to deal with as well as ending up with their own brand of creativity and subculture all of their own.

Some people like structure and direction, and feel more secure surrounded by groups of people with similar outlook, while others are more introverted and prefer to socialise on their own terms and for particular activities.

Steampunk holds such a cross section of both the actively creative and the appreciators of creativity, that I feel it will fragment into "Independent" Steampunks and "Organised" Steampunks. This may lead to all sorts of negative feelings.

If I see a "Steampunk Event" that I can afford to attend, do so practicably, and feel would be entertaining, I would love to attend. If, however, Deity Forbid, there came an element of having to be "committed enough" to engage, I would feel so very forlorn.

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Victoria The Mistress
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« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2009, 06:59:08 pm »

Point taken and undisputable especially as I am ostensibly Chair of the Victorian Steampunk Society.  Venues, media etc all like to talk to an "officer" of an organisation but our titles exist purely for that purpose.  The VSS is a philanthropic organisation which is not trying to recruit members in order to avoid the politics and internecine squabbles which are all but inevitable.  We simply stage events that people attend if they wish with no thought of rank or status. We have honorary fellows who receive medals for services to UK Steampunk and award medals for winners in various competitions.  All the advantages you talk of but without a rank structure which immediately risks grumbling and moaning. We raise money for charities and also generally have  a thoroughly good time.

It might seem a moot point but remember that all to often:

1 person is a hobbyist
2 people is a group
3 people is a society
4 people is two groups, they just haven't had the argument and split yet.

The fundamental difference is we are not looking for people to join a structured organisation we simply lead by example, stage entertainments and hope people like what we are doing enough to attend.  We see ourselves as facilitators more than anything else.

Steampunk is a creative and brave new world.  Why use an old model of structure?

And yes, exactly, what you do sounds just what I'm interested in! Grin And as soon as I'm able to come out to play, I'll be beating a path to one of your do's! Wink
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