A week ago, many of you were in New Orleans either listening to fascinating panels, trying to figure out how the damn elevators worked, commenting on the heat and humidity, or hanging out in the bar (or Starbucks). If you weren’t there, you probably know people who were.
Me? I was on Facebook. Don’t get me wrong…I got to talk with a lot of people and had more soul-restoring hugs than I could count in New Orleans (and ate my fair share of beignets, too). But my official duties were on the Bouchercon Facebook Page.
We tried some new things this year, most notably, livecasting some of the panels and events. It was a bit tricky because the wifi in the hotel was either decent or nonexistent, and sometimes the difference between the two was inches, but overall, it went really well. People seems to enjoy it (especially those who couldn’t make it to New Orleans), and the videos have reached thousands of people.
This is my favorite example from last Friday. (Spoiler alert: it was a panel and a contest and Laura Lippman won by a mile!)
As it has been in years past, Facebook was also a place for people to ask questions and voice complaints. There was nothing I could do about the FedEx shop in the lobby charging a $20 fee to send boxes, but it seemed to help people to have a sympathetic ear.
Almost as soon as folks started departing the hotel on Sunday, the post-Bouchercon posts and articles started appearing. I’ve been doing my best to find and post them all. If I’ve missed yours, please let me know!
So why am I telling you all this? Two reasons:
First, to thank you. Whether you were at Bouchercon and let me catch you on video or visited the Facebook page and clicked like, it’s appreciated.
Second, to ask for your help. At the height of activity last week, the Bouchercon Facebook page was reaching more than 70,000 people, between organic posts and folks mentioning the page. That’s a tremendous audience. And the best part? Every single one of those people is a reader.
As you likely know, Bouchercon is a completely volunteer endeavor. And if the page can reach 70,000 readers with just little old me toddling around, we could connect with even more people with more hands on the proverbial virtual deck. I would have loved to do short author interviews, for example. I had planned to, but didn’t have time!
So while you’re thinking about it, please consider volunteering next year in Toronto. There are plenty of roles to be had…including helping out with social media.