Main
Date: 22 May 2008 18:06:33
From: samsloan
Subject: Bauer simply cannot understand
On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 8:46 PM, Randy Bauer
<[email protected] > wrote:

I wish people would stop characterizing this as a decision as to
whether or not to maintain a printed Chess Life. The proposal the
Board voted on maintains a printed Chess Life.

While I appreciate Don's willingness to present an alternate idea,
I'm not sure that we could contractually separate life members into
different classes. If anything we do is likely to lead to a possibly
successful lawsuit, that would be it.

Randy Bauer


Everybody but Randy Bauer, Bill Goichberg and Randy Hough seems to
understand that once you make Chess Life magazine optional and
subscription based, there will not be enough money left to keep the
magazine afloat and the printed magazine dies.

Once the printed magazine dies, the USCF dies too or it survives only
as a much smaller organization.

Why cannot you understand something that seems obvious to almost
everybody else?

Sam Sloan




 
Date: 25 May 2008 09:56:21
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Bauer simply cannot understand
On May 25, 9:07 am, Guy Macon <http://www.guymacon.com/ > wrote:
> Does any other similar organization put out a magazine subsidized
> with membership dues? Bridge? Go? Poker? Checkers?

I know that the RASC (a national astronomy club) mails its members, as
a benefit of membership:

- the Observer's Handbook, which is an annual astronomical almanac;
- by arrangement with its commercial publisher, four quarterly issues
of Sky News, a slimmer Canadian competitor to Astronomy magazine,

and it used to include (but now it is two-tiered)

- the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, which is a
quarterly refereed scientific journal

but it decided to save paper due to relative lack of interest - it's
still available on the web site to members.

Also, the regional centres have their own newsletters as well; the
Edmonton Centre has Stardust (_pace_ Hoagy Carmichael).

Until recently, Canada's national Chess federation sent out a magazine-
format newsletter to its members, En Passant; this isn't as impressive
as Chess Life, of course, but it also contains game scores and general
chess news.

Lots of clubs send newsletters to their members, and the bigger ones
have more impressive newsletters.

John Savard


 
Date: 25 May 2008 15:07:26
From: Guy Macon
Subject: Re: Bauer simply cannot understand



Does any other similar organization put out a magazine subsidized
with membership dues? Bridge? Go? Poker? Checkers?



  
Date: 25 May 2008 21:29:37
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Bauer simply cannot understand

"Guy Macon" <http://www.guymacon.com/ > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
>
>
> Does any other similar organization put out a magazine subsidized
> with membership dues? Bridge? Go? Poker? Checkers?
>

It depends what you mean by similar. Many national organizations
have some sort of publication. The ones that I am most familiar with
(youth) tend to be annual or semi-annual, and have a high
ad content and low production costs so that they do not rely on
dues. I would say that few people view the magazine as a
significant "benefit" of those organizations. That is, the organizations
have other obvious functions that people appreciate.

The USCF theory that the magazine is a valuable "benefit"
is supported by little to no data. In fact, when the USCF
offered a magazineless membership to scholastic members,
many opted for that even though the marginal cost for
adding the magazine was small.

Of course, I do not claim to have the answer to whether
there is a market for a chess magazine. It is rather obvious,
however, that it is a question that the USCF should not be
trying to answer.





 
Date: 24 May 2008 19:41:02
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Bauer simply cannot understand
On May 22, 8:48 pm, "David Kane" <[email protected] > wrote:
> <[email protected]> wrote in message

> > The notion that CL is costing the Federation money
> > is absurd by any normal way of reckoning. It makes
> > the Federation money.
>
> Why does Larry Parr hate the marketplace?
> It's a free country. If chess magazines can
> be profitable, then who is stopping him (or his
> allies) from publishing one?

Ah, yes. The wicked evil socialistic USCF is throttling the
development of chess magazines in the United States by subsidizing the
production of a printed Chess Life with membership dues.

*However*, if a printed Chess Life continues to exist, and *if* many
people join USCF simply to obtain Chess Life, because they don't play
in tournaments - *then* the two-tier membership proposal won't "grease
the skids" under Chess Life.

If only a tiny minority of "members who play in tournaments" might go
for a cheaper membership in return for saving money on the paper
magazine... and they are vastly outnumbered by USCF members who just
*joined* for the magazine... then the two-tier membership is not
itself a problem.

The fact that some columns have been removed from the magazine
already, and are only on the web site, now, *that* could be a problem.

If paper is becoming scarce and expensive, so that paper magazines
instead of online ones are an extravagant luxury that is disappearing,
of course the USCF will have to change with the times.

If USCF membership has declined to the point that the price of a paper
Chess Life will have to be significantly increased, due to a lack of
economics of scale, then, while it is true that the two-tier scheme
*will* grease the skids on *that* one - even fewer subscribers, even
shorter print runs - _blaming_ acknowledging reality for the problem
is not correct.

This sounds to me like the issue of a paper Chess Life will require
some *really* careful thought, and it is connected with the larger
question...

Yes, it's all well and good to continue ongoing efforts to get more
people interested in Chess.

But, if despite those efforts, membership is declining badly... then
it seems that it is necessary to hunker down in some ways. How can
that be done while minimizing damage to the organization, missed
future opportunities, and so on.

John Savard


  
Date: 24 May 2008 21:46:00
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Bauer simply cannot understand

"Quadibloc" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On May 22, 8:48 pm, "David Kane" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> <[email protected]> wrote in message
>
>> > The notion that CL is costing the Federation money
>> > is absurd by any normal way of reckoning. It makes
>> > the Federation money.
>>
>> Why does Larry Parr hate the marketplace?
>> It's a free country. If chess magazines can
>> be profitable, then who is stopping him (or his
>> allies) from publishing one?
>
> Ah, yes. The wicked evil socialistic USCF is throttling the
> development of chess magazines in the United States by subsidizing the
> production of a printed Chess Life with membership dues.
>

In principle, they are. The presence of Chess Life does make it
difficult for the marketplace to find the right product balance.
More importantly, obsession with the print magazine leaves
US chess without an effective organizing force.


> *However*, if a printed Chess Life continues to exist, and *if* many
> people join USCF simply to obtain Chess Life, because they don't play
> in tournaments - *then* the two-tier membership proposal won't "grease
> the skids" under Chess Life.
>
> If only a tiny minority of "members who play in tournaments" might go
> for a cheaper membership in return for saving money on the paper
> magazine... and they are vastly outnumbered by USCF members who just
> *joined* for the magazine... then the two-tier membership is not
> itself a problem.

In theory, you could price things that way. In reality, a print magazine
will always suck up most of the organization's efforts, for the
simple reason that that has the way it has always been done.

In fact, the current proposal will only reduce organization costs
slightly (some marginal postage and printing). Real savings -
based on delivering actual content according to market
need- will only occur when there is no longer the possibility
of massive subsidy.




>
> The fact that some columns have been removed from the magazine
> already, and are only on the web site, now, *that* could be a problem.
>
> If paper is becoming scarce and expensive, so that paper magazines
> instead of online ones are an extravagant luxury that is disappearing,
> of course the USCF will have to change with the times.
>
> If USCF membership has declined to the point that the price of a paper
> Chess Life will have to be significantly increased, due to a lack of
> economics of scale, then, while it is true that the two-tier scheme
> *will* grease the skids on *that* one - even fewer subscribers, even
> shorter print runs - _blaming_ acknowledging reality for the problem
> is not correct.
>
> This sounds to me like the issue of a paper Chess Life will require
> some *really* careful thought, and it is connected with the larger
> question...

Far more useful than idle "thought" is simple familiarity with the
way that *other*, more successful, organizations handle their
magazines. But, of course, looking at the world outside of
the 64 squares seems to be a near impossibility for
people successful in chess politics.



>
> Yes, it's all well and good to continue ongoing efforts to get more
> people interested in Chess.
>
> But, if despite those efforts, membership is declining badly... then
> it seems that it is necessary to hunker down in some ways. How can
> that be done while minimizing damage to the organization, missed
> future opportunities, and so on.
>
> John Savard



 
Date: 23 May 2008 08:30:54
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Bauer simply cannot understand
PAPER VS. ONLINE CHESS LIFE

>I will go there supporting a two tier membership -
>one with Chess Life printed and delivered through
>the mail, the other with THE EXACT SAME CHESS LIFE
>DELIVERED ELECTRONICALLY VIA A SECURE WEBSITE.

>Now then, most of the rest of your missive is
>moot. We still need an editor, we still need
>content, we still have a printed magazine for those
>who want it. -- Randy Bauer [email protected]

Dear Randy,

Thanks for the frank and, I would guess,
discouragingly honest response. If you say that you
will support the two-tier membership, then I believe
you will. So, too, I figure, will other board members.
It looks like a done deal. The skids are greased
beneath Chess Life and the Federation itself.

If you could only understand what you are doing
(first the book business liquidated and all the
expertise lost, secondly the crazy move to Deliverance
country, now effectively ending the magazine in a
rather short period, finally downsizing the USCF still
further) I hope you would reconsider.

I have tried.

And, too, I hope I am wrong, wrong, wrong -- and
if I am, I will try to be the first to say so, possibly
even before you.

Finally, could someone tell me what has happened
to the USCF Library that Jo Anne Fatherly and to a far
lesser extent, yours truly, labored over for so many
years? Is it kaput?

Yours, Larry Parr


Subj: Re: [fide-chess] Re: Madness! Madness!
Date:5/22/2008
From:[email protected]
Reply-to:[email protected]


If these are real (or even close) comments from Mr. Bauer...it is
disgusting. He simply doesn't understand the USCF business.

First, he seems not to realize that USCF membership has *always* been
something of an arm-twisting exercise. Why should anyone join?
Either it's the magazine or it's the rating service (or both). The
idea that thousands contribute to USCF "membership" because of
philanthropy is quite a stretch.

So...if you eliminate the magazine component, then you end up pricing
the rating service below sustainable levels. The magazine was
*always* a high-priced "value add" to convince folks to buy the rating
service and other associated costs.

De-couple it and soon your base will shrink to unbelievablly small
proportions. Use an example that you might understand -- club dues.
Why pay club dues? Access to tournaments. Why pay state federation
dues? Access to tournaments and/or state publication.

If you can pay less...you would. If you can't, you won't. What
organization would voluntarily shrink its revenues (from a small base)
voluntarily?

What you are doing...or proposing...is to cater to the least-
profitable, least-loyal customers -- those to whom USCF membership and/
or governance obligations mean NOTHING. These people don't want a
magazine, don't want to help pay for the US Championship or rules
enforcement or ANYTHING because they have no affinity for the
organization at all.

And you want to give them the most valuable -- only valuable --
service...the rating service...for less.

Oh, and a web site. Where you still have to pay for content
CREATION...just not printing. Only you won't be getting any revenues
to pay for that content creation.

And you will have a membership base composed of the least-loyal, least-
affiliated, least-supporting...most price-sensitive people.

Great job, MR. BAUER.

Eric C. Johnson
28-yr member of USCF and active AFFILIATE that SELLS USCF
services...and disgusted at even the suggestion that printed CL would
be decoupled.

What is an affiliate supposed to SELL???? A freaking website????
Give us a PRODUCT to SELL, Mr. BAUER.





[email protected] wrote:
> OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST: WHERE DO THEY STAND?
>
> So, then, we are told that the Board will be making
> no formal recommendation to kill Chess Life hard
> copy, but they will go to the Delegates with the
> usual winking and nodding.
>
> If the board really intends to plug the old whore, as
> it were, then they at least should have the courage to
> take direct responsibility.
>
> The notion that CL is costing the Federation money
> is absurd by any normal way of reckoning. It makes
> the Federation money.
>
> Will the Board members please tell us what they
> will do at the Delegates' meeting? For what will they
> campaign? If they arre going to support the proposal
> to end the magazine at this meeting in quiet conclave
> (via individual conversations) then the issue already is
> decided. Chess Life is dead.
>
> Our brave, best and, ah, brightest, ought at
> least to take responsibility. Will they be working to
> implement or oppose the proposal to end CL? If
> they oppose the plan, then it will fail.
>
> And what about the current editor: where does he
> stand? Surely he has some vague concept of the
> value that interaction between membership and
> magazine has for retaining dues-paying members.
>
> Yours, Larry Parr
>
>
> samsloan wrote:
> > On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 8:46 PM, Randy Bauer
> > <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> > I wish people would stop characterizing this as a decision as to
> > whether or not to maintain a printed Chess Life. The proposal the
> > Board voted on maintains a printed Chess Life.
> >
> > While I appreciate Don's willingness to present an alternate idea,
> > I'm not sure that we could contractually separate life members into
> > different classes. If anything we do is likely to lead to a possibly
> > successful lawsuit, that would be it.
> >
> > Randy Bauer
> >
> >
> > Everybody but Randy Bauer, Bill Goichberg and Randy Hough seems to
> > understand that once you make Chess Life magazine optional and
> > subscription based, there will not be enough money left to keep the
> > magazine afloat and the printed magazine dies.
> >
> > Once the printed magazine dies, the USCF dies too or it survives only
> > as a much smaller organization.
> >
> > Why cannot you understand something that seems obvious to almost
> > everybody else?
> >
> > Sam Sloan


 
Date: 22 May 2008 18:59:59
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Bauer simply cannot understand
OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST: WHERE DO THEY STAND?

So, then, we are told that the Board will be making
no formal recommendation to kill Chess Life hard
copy, but they will go to the Delegates with the
usual winking and nodding.

If the board really intends to plug the old whore, as
it were, then they at least should have the courage to
take direct responsibility.

The notion that CL is costing the Federation money
is absurd by any normal way of reckoning. It makes
the Federation money.

Will the Board members please tell us what they
will do at the Delegates' meeting? For what will they
campaign? If they arre going to support the proposal
to end the magazine at this meeting in quiet conclave
(via individual conversations) then the issue already is
decided. Chess Life is dead.

Our brave, best and, ah, brightest, ought at
least to take responsibility. Will they be working to
implement or oppose the proposal to end CL? If
they oppose the plan, then it will fail.

And what about the current editor: where does he
stand? Surely he has some vague concept of the
value that interaction between membership and
magazine has for retaining dues-paying members.

Yours, Larry Parr


samsloan wrote:
> On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 8:46 PM, Randy Bauer
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> I wish people would stop characterizing this as a decision as to
> whether or not to maintain a printed Chess Life. The proposal the
> Board voted on maintains a printed Chess Life.
>
> While I appreciate Don's willingness to present an alternate idea,
> I'm not sure that we could contractually separate life members into
> different classes. If anything we do is likely to lead to a possibly
> successful lawsuit, that would be it.
>
> Randy Bauer
>
>
> Everybody but Randy Bauer, Bill Goichberg and Randy Hough seems to
> understand that once you make Chess Life magazine optional and
> subscription based, there will not be enough money left to keep the
> magazine afloat and the printed magazine dies.
>
> Once the printed magazine dies, the USCF dies too or it survives only
> as a much smaller organization.
>
> Why cannot you understand something that seems obvious to almost
> everybody else?
>
> Sam Sloan


  
Date: 22 May 2008 19:48:45
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Bauer simply cannot understand

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

> The notion that CL is costing the Federation money
> is absurd by any normal way of reckoning. It makes
> the Federation money.
>

Why does Larry Parr hate the marketplace?
It's a free country. If chess magazines can
be profitable, then who is stopping him (or his
allies) from publishing one?

I guess Evans' "way of reckoning"
isn't the normal kind of reckoning used by
accountants and such. It's reminiscent of
his ridiculous claims concerning the value
of the Larry Evans column - he refers to
ancient surveys done by chess politicians -
but hates real marketplace data. (How
did WCN treat Evans' columns? What
marketplace success did his columns
bring that venture?) Trust me, those are
questions that we won't ever see Parr
discuss.