Our fourth annual Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge is coming up on July 16th, which is about three months away, so now is the time to start promoting it to the sort of people who will enter the contest rather than just the spectators. Each year, I find that I don't really know how to do that, and then people only enter at the last minute, so up until a few days before the event I'm in a panic thinking there's going to be one little robot surrounded by an angry mob.
So I emailed the people who have entered in the past, and... that's pretty much that. Now we just wait and pray, I guess?
We will run some online ads, obviously, but it's not clear to me how much good that will do, as far as attracting contestants goes. Spectators, sure. People who actually do things, those are harder to reach.
In previous years, we haven't been able to get anyone to write about it. One or two blog-links, that's about it. This thing is awesome, what the hell!
So spam your friends with the Facebook invite, ok?
In 2014 and 2016 we had nine robots, but in 2015 we only had six, and that really felt like too few. And each year we've always had a few people drop out at the last minute, so I'm not going to stop being nervous until I've got a dozen robots signed up.
Last year we had someone canvas Maker Faire looking for and talking to people who seemed to have the proper skill set, and his report went something like: "In every one of those conversations, I could spot the exact moment when they stopped listening to me and just waited for me to stop talking so they could throw the flyer away, and that moment was when they realized it was happening in a club, at night, and not in some company's cafeteria at lunch time." So despite what your instincts may tell you, I'm pretty sure that Maker Faire is not actually our demographic.
In other news:
It's a miracle, the crops are saved! We finally got someone to look at our Espresso machines, and they're both fixed now. Like the penguin who just ate an ice cream cone, it looks like they had blown a seal.
Also, I re-did the navigation menus on the DNA and CW sites. I think it works a little better on mobile now. Let me know if you notice it screwing up.
The Mercury Soul event was really cool. They set up three different stages in the main room, two between the pillars on the left and right sides. They had so many musicians, they needed the space. Also there must have been five different employees who pointed at the giant LED star thing on the ceiling and said, "So we get to keep that, right?"