I ended up only using the social space at Boskone. They had a Zoom Consuite going most of the day, which I applaud. Initially I had trouble finding it, although it looks like they added a more obvious link later (or perhaps it was always there and I missed it). The link was in the programming schedule but for whatever reason it didn’t occur to check there for persistent programming. In any case, I eventually found the link by through the Facebook comments.
Friday evening I had personal Zoom scheduled, so my first actual event was the Glasgow party at 11pm GMT. I managed to confuse myself again, I knew it would be a Zoom but like a dummy didn’t realize that social Zooms would be hosted from the Consuite. Obvious in retrospect, but not explicitly stated, so I sort of did a circuit of the website to find it. I will say that for virtual conventions generally; just add links wherever you mention any event/page/item, it doesn’t hurt and saves everyone time and confusion.
In any case, the Zoom was set up with many breakout rooms, but there were only two occupied when I arrived. The Glasgow party was quite full with twenty or so people, plus I ascertained that the topic of conversation was Covid so I retreated to the only other occupied room. This one had just three people but was thankfully a friendly open party. I got to enjoy the experience of meeting random strangers at a convention party, and had a lovely time for a forty minutes or so before heading to bed.
Saturday sort of got busy, and I found it had gotten late without me hitting the convention at all. Unrelated to Boskone, some folks from Gallifrey One organised a Zoom reunion photo at midnight, so I did that and got to chat with some folks I haven’t seen in ages, which was really very nice indeed. If at all possible next year I am determined to return.
Sunday was Valentines, of course. But also chores day, and once again I just sort of didn’t get around to conventioning. I found I really missed being able to peek at the Discord during the convention, to see the night owls, announcements, or conversations for panels I missed. Being in a different timezone, the persistent white noise of the chat helps me maintain that “at-con” atmosphere. The abrupt shut off of leaving the all-in-one walled-off website/Zoom social space feels different. It brings to mind the difference between staying at the con hotel – where you are always spotting other fans in the halls, restaurant, or lobby, seeing random posters of fliers laying around, and so on, versus staying off-site and having to leave con space entirely each night into the “real world”. Out of sight, out of mind! Of course, for those attending in their own timezones I suspect this was much less of an issue, since you’d block out time at your device for the event.
On Valentines we had heart-shaped donuts, I made pork chops, and we watched The Color Out of Space, which is quite scary, a little bit gross, and not especially romantic. I only realized looking it up afterwards that the director is Richard Stanley of Hardware cult fame.