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MiDFur picks new name, ConFurgence; but did poll mislead?

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MiDFur staff have chosen a new name, ConFurgence, after a month-long selection process – but pre-registration of the chosen domain name suggests a pick made prior to the final poll.

ConFurgence's mascot, Flash the Dingo, by Kat Aclysm
ConFurgence's Flash the Dingo as drawn by Kat Aclysm

The event's growth had become an increasing issue with its December timeslot (the 'D' in its name):

December has been pretty bad for a convention. [MiDFur] continues to grow, and during our search for a bigger, more flexible permanent home, we were getting horrid quotes from small hotels with space for 400 people... We got quotes of around $80 000 per day from a few venues... and with selling out the last 500 capacity venue in December, for us to make a step up, we had to look at our time.

ConFurgence will next occur 10–12 January 2014. It retains the "Egyptian Nights" theme, and will bring Dark Natasha, Blotch, Andy Runton and Sardyuon to Melbourne as guests. 'MiDFur' will be used to refer to the original December furmeet.

The limits of "have your say"

Ideas for the new name were solicited on MiDFur's social networks, Furstrlia forums, and the OzFurry mailing list.

When we've collected enough, the board will sift through and find the most appropriate names at which point the public will cut that selection down to five possible items, after which the board will vote on the final choice!

The initial submission period reportedly drew over 600 entries, from which MiDFur picked ten names to vote on. The poll ran for two days.

MiDFur's 'Top-ten' list of new names
ConFurderation ConFurgence Furvival
Furry Anthropomorphic Lifestyle Convention (FAL-Con)
Constant Furvour FurEver Con FurGather
MetaMorphicon MidSummer FurCon The Fur Republic

Investigating, Flayrah found that organizers had registered confurgence.com and confurgence.com.au on December 26 - over a week prior to the "top-ten" poll. No other names on the list were registered by staff in advance of the poll.

When asked about this (prior to the public announcement), Australian Furry Conventions CEO CynWolfe confessed that the team already had a favourite, and didn't want to waste money on names that probably wouldn't be used:

We had earmarked a name that we felt appropriate, but were reserving actually deciding on the name until we found out whether the name would be received well by the community. [...] If it were universally rejected, we would have looked at other alternatives...

Reserving all ten proposed names (for both .com and com.au) to prevent domain squatters would have cost several hundred dollars.

ConFurgence [was suggested by furs from] South Australia, Sydney, Brisbane and even Perth! (naming announcement)

According to CynWolfe, ConFurgence polled third. The top-two choices were deemed unsuitable for separate reasons; the first, "FAL-Con", had been dubbed "FAIL-Con" by locals, while the second, "Midsummer Furry Convention", was found to conflict with Melbourne's Midsumma Festival. These placement details and the executive board's reasoning for the final pick were not given in the public selection announcement.

Ultimately naming the event is the organizers' prerogative – especially when they're responsible for the debt - and they kept their word to pick from the top-five choices. Still, it seems likely that reasons to disqualify would have been found for other options, unless universally preferred.

The first fur to suggest ConFurgence, "Kevin from South Australia", has won lifetime membership; others to pick it get a one-year 50% discount. Staff also announced a new mascot, Flash the Dingo, named in honour of a survivor mentioned during MiDFur 2012's charity fundraising.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

It might be early but this could be my favourite article for the year. It even has article exposing some underhanded dealings! Well done! If I were Australian I would be pissed they asked me something when they already had a plan, especially when the one they took didn't even win the poll.

Why did they even include "Midsummer Furry Convention" if there was a conflict? Surely they could have noticed that before. It's also odd they eliminated the top pick because. If it was the most liked why were people calling it "FAIL-Con"? It just sounds odd. Of course picking out of the top 5 gives them so much control a public poll seems pointless.

One thing that isn't mentioned in the article that would suggest against picking "Confurgence" is the similarity to an older furry convention, "ConFurence." There is only one letter difference, making a much bigger conflict than with the Midsumma Festival and likely to cause confusion.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I was wondering the same thing about "FAL-Con" and "Midsummer Furry Convention". If they found these names to be inappropriate, why were they even included in the poll in the first place? Why didn't they do this sort of screening of names while they were preparing the poll? When I vote in a poll like this I tend to assume all of the names offered have already been determined to be appropriate. Failure to do so is like telling everyone who voted for a named deemed inappropriate after that fact that sorry, you just threw away your vote.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

They did do some screening of names before the top ten list was announced. On a Facebook thread, several Australians (including myself) voiced their support for a name that was put forth, but not selected in the shortlist. CynWolfe explained that it was in conflict with a publication and some Melbourne based businesses, would be difficult to secure as a .com domain and that these were the reasons it was not shortlisted.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

I saw the email informing us of the name change, and actually suggested one myself, FurOzcity, on the basis it was a sound pun of "Furiosity" and it included both a reference to Furry and Australia. None of the New Zealanders who got the email of the name change got any emails about voting or what names had been short-listed, which is kind of annoying.
Regardless, I imagine I'll be heading up there next year anyway, either to kick ass or swelter. Giving the awesomeness of my costume, probably both. :P

Your rating: None Average: 2 (8 votes)

I don't see the relevance. The board has the right (and the mandate) to name their con however they like. They're a bunch of people in charge of running a con, not some kind of democratic government organ. And registering their favourite name up front was probably a smart idea - before the trolls do it the moment the poll is out. So they had a poll, didn't like the other suggestions, and went with their original plan. Big deal.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

>Furry Anthropomorphic Lifestyle Convention (FAL-Con)
Lol'd at this one.

Not everyone is a furry lifestyler.

Your rating: None

Isn't this drawing of Flash the Dingo unusually furry for a dingo?

Fred Patten

Your rating: None

At first, I thought it was a coyote! ;-)

I think it was a young dingo at a sanctuary. Perhaps they are floofier than the average.

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.