Greetings everyone. I sat here to do this quick introduction, and I sat here thinking and thinking about what to say. I deleted words, I stressed over what to say, and actually came close to withdrawing my nomination. Why? Because unlike many other officers here, I don't run a podcast, I don't compete in contests, I don't run a con, I'm not a member of many other DW groups. I don't have a long list of credentials like that. I don't even have a cosplay page!
What I DO have numerous retweets, reblogs, shout outs, likes, faves and what not by BBC America, and other writers and artists from DW and was in DW Magazine. That's not much, but that has allowed me to have an amazing network. And from that I have garnered hands on remarkable social media. My klout score is over 66 at any time, which is pretty good!
I started cosplaying in 2014. I made my costume. I was met with less than ideal feedback when I did this. I was too old. Too fat. Not good.
What I have done, my credentials, so to speak, is hopefully become a sort of role model in the cosplay community for all cosplayers.
So I'm sitting here contemplating Alex's sanity when he nominated me.
All I can bring is a network, extensive social media experience, and the desire to help this group grow not only as a cosplay group but as a driving force within the DW community.
Too honest? Perhaps. But I'd rather you all know where I'm coming from.
This is in reply to the general questions of where do I see the Order going in the next year.
I'm personally not interested in making huge changes to the way the Order conducts itself. I think Alex has done an amazing job. What I would like to do is grow our member numbers while maintaining our current level of integrity. And to have even more of a pretense within not only the Doctor Who community but in all cosplay communities and the convention circuit as well. I think this can easily be achieved because we have such passionate members already that are active and vocal. Taking that, building upon it. Being more of a presence at cons, on more social media sites, at more events and even on smaller levels such as hosting our own events and meet ups within our sectors. Order of Gallifrey Day at the local mall. Doctor Who night at Museum. Doctor Who art shows. Pizza parties. Charity fashion shows. I have done all of these things with my own groups, and not only are they fun, but they certainly draw attention!
It's amazing that our numbers have already grown so much in a short time. We can't assume, however, that a larger number of members will automatically equate to more interactions. I have been involved with groups where that has also happened so I can speak from experience. Larger numbers does not always mean that a huge percentage of members will automatically start engaging. That is a common misconception. Happens all the time in social media. (That is the goal, however! ) So how do we GET members to engage, and once they do, how do we manage that. Managing a larger number of people on the Internet might come down to having more moderators. These people might not even need to have an officer position per se. Or it might mean that in the future we create new positions specifically for that role. Getting members to engage with online content could be as simple as setting up fun polls, starting discussions, having fun online games, threads etc.
One thing I WOULD like to see is a " guidebook" of sorts for our Code of Conduct. A very user friendly version that can be easily viewed and printed out if need be. Heaven forbid an incident should happen at say, a con or event, I think a very simple, step by step guide as to how to handle that would be very helpful. We currently have a well written and well thought out Charter and Code of Conduct, to be sure. But I think when an incident happens, and you are panicked, sometimes something a little easier to read might be helpful. I am literally talking about: Step 1: BREATH Step 2: Is everyone OK - Sounds silly, I know, but it is very easy to even forget your name when this stuff happens.
At any rate, thank you everyone for such great questions!
To be more specific in regards to Sandi's "international sector" questions - It's funny you asked that because I was thinking of mentioning the Order to some of the UK Whovian cosplay groups that I've been a part of for awhile. I think we should most certainly start with at least a UK sector and go from there. I honestly have an individual in mind that has created a very well established group that also has the same level of fun, integrity, commitment, etc that we do. Of course, I'd have to ask him first! But this is a brilliant idea, Sandi, and I agree 100%. Communication might prove to be difficult with the time difference, but I have faith in our abilities to overcome that wibbly wobbly stuff.