It would be great if one of the results to come out of NecronomiCon Providence 2013 could be an up-to-date online directory of active researchers. Perhaps titled something like ‘Directory of Current Scholars of H.P. Lovecraft’ (DOCS-HPL). Listing basic email and website details, any university or association affiliations, plus a short list of the top ten main current-and-planned areas of research interest for each person.
Perhaps someone might undertake to get a well-designed paper form circulated to all scholars at NecronomiCon 2013, with a main-lobby drop-off box for completed forms? By “well-designed” I mean with a clear check-box system that enables rapidly focusing down on types of personal research interest within the general taxonomy of our research areas, to save a lot of pondering and hair-splitting and “I’ll have to get back to you on that”. The Taxonomy might be cribbed largely from S.T. Joshi’s excellent indexes and might look like:
Lovecraft -> Biography -> His relationship with… -> Everett McNeil; or
Pulps -> Publishing Industry -> Censorship; or
Philosophy -> Contemporary Developments -> Speculative Realism; or
Lovecraft -> Fan Cultures -> Contemporary -> Cute Toys.
Could be a good ice-breaker for someone, and someone who’s tech-savvy might even input the data straight into the database via a portable device — and thus save a lot of transcription time later on. MS Office Excel-to-Omeka would be one good off-the-shelf solution to put that together, and to get it online in an easy-to-maintain and elegant form. Omeka is mature and is specifically designed to present online academic collections, and it works a lot like WordPress.