I’m Angry, and I’m Taking it to the Social Webs

Update 2:

So here is the thing, I was a  bitch. For all of you readers that know me, this should come as no surprise. It happens a little more than I would like.

TEDx-that was really a cool event that our town should be proud of. Alan Jackson and the other volunteers worked really hard and did an excellent job. It was dynamic and cool. It was also the first ever and as a former director I understand technical problems. I  was unforgiving and immature. I should have talked it over more personally first.

My throwing around of negative emotion did not do good things for morale.

So, if you are looking for a catty post to share this isn’t it. This is me feeling really really bad. I’m actually very sorry.

Update: As the anger as cooled off, I realize that I’m pretty mouthy. I shouldn’t have been so rude in some parts of this. However, every word of this post is true and from the heart.  Sometimes things have to be said. 

I’m really angry. Some background:

Some folks from town decided to host an independent “TED” event. I’m all for new local events, so I signed up to attend.

I manage and write for Start Something Here. I love this site. I’ve written the whole thing, and the photography is Jon’s. We’ve been passionate about this site for 2 years now. I think of it every single day, and it is in my heart and soul. I want to encourage other people to visit the site, and at times, I’ve been known to bend over backwards to make this happen.

I should also take this time to say that I feel that I have a higher calling. My job is to do lovely things with Jon’s pictures. Every thing that I work on is part of that larger job. Jon is an artist, and I’m his support. I’m his voice.

So, on March 23, I was approached to create a slideshow for this TEDx event. It was to be a slideshow to encourage people to go to the site. There were extremely specific guidelines. These were intended to be shown between speakers-great publicity!  I was to create 50 slides, of a specific screen resolution. These were to be 10 sets of 5 slides-one screenshot, then 4 pictures. Now, 50 pictures! That’s a lot for anyone-that’s especially a lot for a website that is only 2 years old.  After speaking with my contact, I was told to wait for an email with the screen resolutions. It took 3 weeks for me to hear nothing, so I sent a reminder email, which was quickly answered with no apology for the 3 week negligence.

So, I spent 8 (!!) hours creating this slideshow.  Now, why would it take so long? Because I had to find 50 pictures to use, then find the original file, as the web files were too small. Then, I had to format the images, decide where they should go, then label them all. Each photo needed a watermark. Since I had to continue to work on the site, it took me a week to have the CD finalized and delivered.  No one ever acknowledged that they ever even looked at the files.

Let’s go ahead and fast forward to the event today. I attended the event, and was surprised, as I sat through each speech, to never see my slideshows. Since they were supposed to be played between each speaker, I got more and more irritated as the event went on, with no mention of the site.

After the second session, it was time for a break. People had been sitting in their seats with no break for 2 hours, listening to people talk. It was announced that there was food in the lobby, so everyone left. The auditorium, where food is not allowed, was desolate. This was the time they decided to show the slideshow. Now, if you recall, I created it in sets of 5. In an hour, I could have easily created a 5 minute slideshow that actually showed what the site was about. It would have been better, and it would have only highlighted the best parts of the site. Instead, they took my slides, and created a very bad show. They plastered the TEDx logo on every slide, larger than the Start Something Here logo, or the “Photo by Jon Eckard”. They added erroneous slides that took up much of the time, and even had typos in the slides they added. They went through the 50 pictures and picked whichever ones they wanted to use. I think I mentioned that 50 was a lot-we had to show almost every image from the site. They made no attempt to pick to best pictures, and there were only 15 images or so. The pictures were cropped a little differently. The whole thing looked like crap. A big steaming pile of crap on a screen.

Fortunately, no one saw it. I stood and watched the handful of people that were actually in the room and none of them were watching the screen. So, I spent 8 hours for nothing.

When you request to use an artist’s art, you don’t cut it and crop it to your liking. Like I said, my job is to make Jon’s pictures look even better. Today, I made them look craptacular on a screen for anyone who wanted to look. An artist should always have final cut. I did not agree to have our pictures used in “a” slideshow. I agreed to have them used in a slideshow that I created.

I feel like I was slapped in the face. I promoted the event on the site, spent all that time, and nothing. If it was going to be changed so drastically, maybe an email would have been nice.

So, I said on Twitter “I’m insulted that my slideshow was chopped, had typos added, and then was shown in the time all of the people were lured out of the room with food. ” That’s not what I signed up for. That was a waste of my time.   The person I was dealing with had this to say on Twitter: “Sorry I didn’t meet your expectations. Last minute submissions are always hard on a volunteer crowd”. Let’s talk about that stupid comment. This wasn’t a submission. You called me on my phone and asked for it, gave me guidelines, and you were quite specific. Now, let’s talk about “Last minute”. Since it took you 3 weeks to send me the information, and it took me one week to do what you asked, clearly you were the problem if we were too close to the deadline.  Also tweeted: “I’m sure we won’t have this problem next year.” Damn straight we won’t.

And I have one more piece of beef-and it doesn’t involve, I just think it is awful. Matt Pfahlert is an artist. He’s the best thing Hickory is putting out right now. He’s nationally known and respected. My walls are covered with his art, and it is extremely cool. People from this event asked him to design a poster, which he did gladly. I saw the poster he designed, as we work in the same building. It is lovely-if you were at TEDx, you might have seen it, as it was the cover of the program. Only one thing was missing-his logo, an artist’s signiture if you will, stripped off the cover-no mention of who created it. That is unacceptable. Now Matt is really a very nice guy, and he didn’t mention any of this to me. He’s said lovely things about TED x, so let me be clear that it is me that has the beef. You don’t paint over the signature in art in a museum, and you don’t remove the name of a poster’s designer.

I suppose this town is full of people who do not value art. This is disappointing.

One Response to “I’m Angry, and I’m Taking it to the Social Webs”
  1. Eric Rosenberg says:

    I don’t find anything wrong with what you’re saying here. You have every right to be pissed off. If this is how people are going to run an event, then they should expect negative feedback. And you’re right, people in this town do not value art.

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