My Open letter to SDCC for 2012 Tickets

To whom it may concern,

My first visit to San Diego Comic Con was in 2010. On a whim, myself and three friends decided to get tickets and fly down to see SDCC and all the cosplay first hand. As an amateur photographer I saw it as a great opportunity to get some fantastic shots of people in all their cosplay glory. We went and had a great time.

Fast forward to 2011. We realized that with some of the craziness with new movie releases we may not be able to get tickets. We try anyways and the online ticket system seems to be a digital yoyo. The ticket system is up then crashes numerous times. We tried as often as possible to get in when the system was actually working.  Some of us even burned vacation time to see if we could get in line and stay in line that year. Unfortunately between the tsunami of interested people and the worst online experience ever we were unable to get in at all. In this day and age of technology, there is no reason to not expect a huge surge of incoming interested people for SDCC tickets. I dont necessary blame SDCC directly for the debacle of 2011 as they did not own the online ticketing system. I do however shake my head and wag my finger in a very condescending way at the company who tried to host the ticketing system that year. Epic Fail on so many levels. If you ask me it was an a horrible implementation of  online ticketing that was completely unable to deal with the surge of connections…. in a word….unacceptable.

The reason I can say this is unacceptable is I have had the opportunity to work in high availability datacenters with servers that needed to take millions of hits at a moments notice. I did it with load balancers and lots of hardware. I would have assumed that There would be a ton of resources behind the SDCC online ticketing system. I would have assumed that a crap ton of money was spent to ensure it was a smooth experience for everyone. I would have assumed that the service that SDCC would have used would be able to employ Akamai edge caching and global load balancers to enhance the end user experience and a crap ton of processing servers to handle the load. I assumed wrong in 2011 but was hopeful that 2012 would rectify the situation. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

Fast forward to today …2012. SDCC seemed to have the situation from 2011 under control. You had to preregister and then only if you were registered you could buy a ticket. I was beginning to be impressed with the rebound SDCC had made. Unfortunately, my happiness was soon to be dashed. I receive an email stating that even if you are registered you can still buy up to 6 tickets if you knew the registered email and password of the parties. This was not going to deter scalpers as its really easy to set up lets just say… 6 Gmail accounts and buy 6 tickets and then sell 5. Seriously? Those types of people will always find a way to defeat the system but what SDCC put in place was not really going to change much. My friends and I rallied on and were hopeful that if one of us got in we could buy the other two tickets. Again, it was not the case.  Only one of us was actually able to make it to the virtual lobby and we were all excited that we could actually get a ticket….. As the numbers ticked down to about 8 thousand left from 40k people in virtual line we heard the news …..the tickets were sold out.

I really think the system should be more focused on if you want to go you need to log in and get in line. one ticket per person or maybe two at most for those couples who are going but thats it. Too many people bought tickets for people that were not frantically refreshing the lobby screen hoping to get in. If it was limited to only one or two tickets per registered person you would be assured that that person logging in was really going to go and use the ticket. It also seemed (perception being reality) that if you were not on the west coast you were later in line. I for one was logging in using the time from the Atomic clock in colorado set to California time. Still no dice.

SDCC I hope you read this and rectify the remaining issues with acquiring tickets.  You have made some moves in the right direction but I really hope that 2013 SDCC will see me and the others who were left wanting for tickets satisfied. No system is perfect but, with a few tweaks the current system could be improved a bit more.

Chris, aka Head Geek




C2E2 2012 Kaaaaahn Pictures!


I was fortunate enough to get Press Badges for C2E2 2012 comic con convention in chicago. I spent all day Saturday and most of Sunday walking up to people, asking to take photos of their great cosplay and handing out my mini-moo cards to tell them where to find their pictures as I upload them. Check out  my C2E2 photo pages as I continue to upload new pictures after editing them.  If you like what you see please tell me in the comments or better yet, find me on twitter @geektechlive and tell me in person! I am always happy to hear from fans of the show or my photography. I met some really fantastic people at C2E2 2012 this year.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Head Geek

I’m not sold on the new SDCC badge system, mostly because I dont have tickets

I tried my best this year AGAIN to get Comic con Tickets ( @SDCC ) for San Diego Comic-Con. Even with a limited set of available registrants and having to go through a complex ritual to make sure you were even able to get in virtual line for said tickets, I lost out. One of my close friends made it to #8000 or so in line from 30k and then found out that all Comic Con tickets were SOLD OUT.

Hindsight being 20/20 in this case, I should have just bought the tickets on site when I was there in 2010. This is now 2 years in a row that I am not going to SDCC through no fault of my own. I hope for everyone else out there like me who was unable to gain tickets that there is another resale of tickets soon. Maybe then I can get at least a single day pass.

This is my new White Whale.

I will be at @C2E2 as a member of the press

I just would like to take this opportunity to tell you all that I will be attending @C2E2 this year. The kicker is that I will be attending as a member of the Elite … also known as Editorial Press. I will be handing out my Mini Moo cards and taking many a picture of cosplay and assorted awesomeness.

Do you want to see your picture up on the site? If you see me walking the floor wave and get your picture taken with me. I make a solemn vow that I will post every picture of every person who wants their photo taken with me. I am planning on wearing one of my Doctor Who shirts I got at @forbiddenPlanet this year in London. Maybe I will even interview you.

New Episode of Geek Tech Live will go up Late Sunday March 5th.