Wednesday, November 13, 2019

So, what happened?

Sherlockians have yet to fully exploit the internet, even at this late date.

Case in point: This past weekend, there was a Sherlockian conference in Bloomington, Indiana, not that far from here, but certain work obligations made it a definite no-go for me. A couple friends who wanted to go couldn't make it either, and scanning the internet, I'm not seeing any reports on the weekend-long event via any of the normal channels I use. There's plenty out there, promoting it ahead of time, but no real reporting of the event four days after it ended. Another great-sounding day of Sherlock was happening in Baltimore on Saturday as well.

While I'm certain there will eventually be reports in print, in the quarterly Baker Street Journal, it's 2019. We have more instantaneous sources . . . or should have.

Last month, during the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium, regular readers know that I was live-blogging the crap out of that weekend, for better or worse. I got many thanks for that, as people want to hear what they missed, what went on, and get enough info that they can watch for some of the event's content, or look for a well-regarded speaker, at some future venue.  I also try to report on 221B Con each year, for the same reasons. As a Sherlockian who has always been a little distant from so many events, I know how it feels to get a big nothing sandwich from an event where you know something of interest had to happen. But in a culture of writers, we often seem short on reporters.

While it's true, sometimes reporting on Sherlockian events can be "So-and-so spoke on such-and-such topic, and it was great!" which is pretty minimal. But it's something.

Event organizers are too busy, and eventually too worn out, to record their own functions . . . and they like to hear how they did, probably more than distant folk want to hear what happened. In person kudos are good, but some written records to look back on someday, some clippings for the scrapbook, to use a metaphor from the days of all-print . . . those have lasting value, especially when they come from multiple sources.

Holmes's irregulars could "go everywhere, see everything, overhear everyone," but if none of them told each other of those things, passing it along to Holmes, there would have been little point to their existence. And Sherlock Holmes used those street urchins because he used every resource at his disposal. He would have loved the internet, and formed his own networks with it, I'm sure.

Yet here we are, 2019, and Sherlockian culture has yet to fully exploit something the man himself would have loved to its fullest potential. (With a few well-known individual Sherlockian exceptions. But they can't get it all.)

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