Archive through February 04, 2003

tamye's picture

Oh, right. When I heard everyone was supposed to get one, that sounded like a great benefit! It's a really lovely book. It's too bad not everyone got their copies when intended.

I was disappointed when I found out that the Bukvaraz winners didn't get complimentary copies, though. That was really too bad.

hrant's picture

Officially, you didn't get one if you didn't actually pay for the
conference, unless you were a winner and you showed up. I think.

In any case, ATypI should be commended for publishing such a wonderful work. It's not a money-maker.

hhp

matha_standun's picture

> In any case, ATypI should be commended for publishing such a wonderful work...

I totally agree. Don't let me distract any of you from the quality of the book itself. My point was that I went expecting to get a book and the situation was, as Hrant says, complex and a little confusing and I was disappointed.

But I realise now what I did gain - friends, confidence, knowledge, about 2 kilos - and that definitely outweighs the book (heavy though it is). So I'm a winner in the end. But that's not always immediately obvious.

Matha

jfp's picture

Ask not what ATypI can do for you, but what you can do for ATypI and, through ATypI, what you can do for your fellow type designers and typographers.

Great sentence John! You tell in couple of words everything about the philosophy behind.

John Hudson's picture

Great sentence John!

Thanks, but I cribbed it from John F. Kennedy :-)

matha_standun's picture

I don't think he's going to mind, John

M.

jfp's picture

Not completely the right place for such info, but it seems related to some part of the discussion:

I just posted finally the first part of an interview done in last November 2002 with Gabriel Mart

Ramiro Espinoza's picture

Very interesting the interview.

BTW, The english version of the letter is ready:

http://www.geocities.com/sinserif/open_atypi_ingles.htm


R.

matha_standun's picture

The english version of the letter is ready

Nice work Ramiro. Good luck

M.

John Hudson's picture

Regarding Luc's supposition that speakers at ATypI conferences such as Erik Spiekermann and Roger Black are paid: only a very small number of speakers receive honoraria, and these are mostly outside speakers invited to give keynote addresses. Most speakers are not paid and, indeed, a high percentage of speakers pay full registration for the conference.

matha_standun's picture

The opinion of Luc Devroye:
http://cgm.cs.mcgill.ca/%7Eluc/atypifree.html

Unless I'm mistaken, his figures are way out too

M.

johnbutler's picture

Unless I'm mistaken, his figures are way out too

He's figuring $900 a person in fees times 500 people.

Now I try not to argue with math professors, but aren't the student conference fees much lower?

matha_standun's picture

Is it really $900?

M

John Hudson's picture

I suspect Luc's dollar figures are all in Canadian funds, in which case it is indeed something close to $900. On the other hand, his figure of 500 conference attendees is off. Obviously it varies from year to year, but at the Rome conference, which he attended, there were only about 350 people. There was also a higher than usual number of freebies, reducing the overall revenue considerably.

I don't completely disagree with Luc: ATypI does need to find ways to reduce operating costs, but I disagree that membership should be free.

matha_standun's picture

I suspect Luc's dollar figures are all in Canadian funds, in which case it is indeed something close to $900

What's that in real money, John? ;-)

But seriously, ATypI should send out JFK style memos (by email) and find out what the members think they can do for their association.

I'm sure everybody has an idea or two.

Matha

hrant's picture

No, I think a little bit more planning on that front could have resulted in a greater number of happier people. Matha didn't get one, and he was a presenter at the conference!

hhp

John Hudson's picture

There was plenty of planning, Hrant: the organisers planned for 500 paying attendees, a reasonable estimate based on previous years and the relative popularity of Rome as a destination. Only 350 people came to the conference, and a large number of those people did not pay. The organisers were left with a large number of books, and on the last day of the conference had to make a decision about what to do with them. It would have cost a lot of money to ship the books back to England, so it was decided to hand them out to the people still in attendance. I'm sorry Matha and other presenters who would have liked one of these copies were not in the lobby at the time. As you can imagine, during the conference the organisers had rather a lot to deal with, without having to figure out how to dispose of a couple of hundred extra books, tracking down individuals who might have wanted one, etc.

hrant's picture

> Only 350 people came to the conference

But they knew that way before Sunday afternoon, right? So why not do something about it during the conference? Too busy? Well, I guess I can understand - but it's still very annoying that some people got multiple copies while others -arguably more deserving- got none.

hhp

hrant's picture

Come on, by the middle of Saturday you could have had a strong idea how many extra books you'd be left with, and you can try to hand them out to attendees who didn't get one. All it would take is a simple announcement or two. Maybe at the Gala Dinner, if you wanted to reward those who paid for that event.

BTW, I'm sure the case wasn't offered like that, come on.

hhp

matha_standun's picture

The someone in question, whoever that was, obviously didn't have much imagination. If nobody was for giving them to speakers who had opted not to pay for the conference (which means that those who did pay were paying in part for the book) then they could at least have been part of the auction.

Perhaps you didn't like the solution... but someone tried.

It was a ridiculous solution to a problem which shouldn't even have existed. Someone (the same someone?) stated on the ATypI site that every delegate at the conference would get a book.

And you're surprised that people get pissed off. Wake up.

M

matha_standun's picture

Sorry, but I have to say it.

With all the concern about ATypI's funds, it's absolutely shameful that the books weren't sold off at a reduced rate or, even better, autographed and auctioned off. I'm sure plenty of people would have bought one at a discount if they'd had the chance.

If people find that giving them away/letting people run off with a whole box of them is the best solution, then I'm not surprised we're short of cash.

M.

hrant's picture

Since this is a discussion of how something in the past should have been done, there's no reason to draw the line on Sunday afternoon; there's every reason to draw it at the moment the problem would have been realized, which is probably by noon Saturday at the absolute latest (when walk-ins would have stopped). Plenty of time to do things better.

> "there's no point crying over spilt milk"

But also "the squeaky wheel gets the grease", eh?
Complaining is a mechanic for improvement.

hhp

matha_standun's picture

Matha, you're suggesting solutions to something that wasn't a problem at the time of the proposals you put forward.

Sorry, do you speak English?

matha_standun's picture

Let's face it (if you can be honest for 2 seconds, CB), those books should never have been given away in bulk to undeserving people. And that's the end of it. Anybody who gives away expensive books and then complains about not having any money isn't living in the real world.

FWIW I think it's rather good of anyone to lug away a case of books, if they'd been offered to me I probably would have turned them down (enough to carry already).

Bollox to that, CB, you bloody liar. Practically anonymous as you are and not having attended the Rome conference anyway, you're not even living on the same planet as the rest of us.

•••••••
Matha
•••••••

anonymous's picture

That's where I get pissed.

I'm not sure, but I heard, that there were stacks of books left over at the end and that unless people tool them away en masse then they'd be chucked in a skip.

Given that, someone taking a case full home with them doesn't seem such a bad thing - especially if they eventually find new homes.

anonymous's picture

>No, I think a little bit more planning

"No" what? They should have been dumped in a skip instead of being given out?

Perhaps it could have been planned better - but I think it was a surprise that fewer people than expected attended - which would have been apparent earlier - but I'm sure that people had other things to worry about than what to do with a pile of books, and either way, someone had to make a decision on what to do (while knowing that whatever they did someone would get "pissed").

FWIW I think it's rather good of anyone to lug away a case of books, if they'd been offered to me I probably would have turned them down (enough to carry already).

anonymous's picture

I wasn't there, I don't know - but I think it's wrong to start assigning blame for such things when it seems to me that all someone was trying to do was find a solution.

Perhaps you didn't like the solution... but someone tried.

anonymous's picture

Matha, you're suggesting solutions to something that wasn't a problem at the time of the proposals you put forward.

The problem with the books was at the end of the conference: pile of books, no one around to give them to. Choice: throw them away, ship them back to the UK at some expense, give them to whoever was around at the time.

Last option doesn't sound so bad to me.

Perhaps someone should have done something about this before the end of the conference - but probably no one had a concern about it until they were packing up and found a pile of books.

Likewise, no one was concerned about there being less people around than had be forecast for catering - because it just meant more food.

It's a shame that the people who transported the books to Rome didn't make provisions to take any "overs" away, but that's just too bad at this stage.

The auction wasn't a solution, because it had already happened at the stage this became a problem - and who's going to buy a copy of a book they already have!? Besides this - if there was time/will to do this then there could have been equal time/will to organise giving them away in a more equitable manner.

I think, as they say, "there's no point crying over spilt milk" - especially as you neither spilt the milk nor were there to mop it up.

If you want to complain about it I think you should complain to those who made the decision.

I'm not defending the mess, but I think it's disengenuous to be offering solutions to a problem after the fact, and a long time after someone else made a decision, on the spot, about what should happen.

anonymous's picture

Er, just to quote myself:

>If you want to complain about it I think you
>should complain to those who made the decision.

And, with 20:20 hindsight there is no reason to solve the problem, as it stood, on Sunday afternoon. But, that's what the problem was at that instant - and that's how it was solved.

Anything else is fiction or something we learn from for the future.

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