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Old December 7th 05, 01:09 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Peter C. Nixon
 
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Default USCF Membership Numbers

I have posted the November and December membership numbers at:
http://detroitchess.com/USCFmem2.htm

Peter C. Nixon
http://detroitchess.com/
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Old December 8th 05, 04:25 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Ange1o DePa1ma
 
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Default USCF Membership Numbers

Solid increases across the board, to the tune of about 5000 more members.
Good work.

adp

"Peter C. Nixon" wrote in message
...
I have posted the November and December membership numbers at:
http://detroitchess.com/USCFmem2.htm

Peter C. Nixon
http://detroitchess.com/



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Old December 8th 05, 12:47 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Chess One
 
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"Ange1o DePa1ma" wrote in message
...
Solid increases across the board, to the tune of about 5000 more members.
Good work.


I seem to have just agreed with Tom Martiniak elsewhere, that the situation
is in crisis. Here is an extract from another ng:-
-------------

While we are off the peak for children, those numbers aren't that
worrisome to me as at least now they are covering all their expenses,
while in the past they were probably subsidized to some extent. The
big problem is with Regular Adult membership, where the bulk of the
USCF membership income is located.


To reinsert your numbers:

R+B+N

1/2001 27040
1/2002 26123
1/2003 25465
1/2004 23396
1/2005 22230
Today 21722

Which is an approximate ratio of loss 5:4 or 20%, at a pretty steady rate of
loss, some 4% per year/per year.

Even with the promotional rates for
new or long-quit members (which are even lower than the dues were
before the last dues increase) we have only slowed the decline. If the
USCF has finally gotten its expenses in line with its income, then it
needs to consider reducing adult dues to the point where that
membership category is actually growing.


If I thought USCF would act on any proposal, it would be worth further
consideration. But just last year I inquired if, since all 30 of them were
too busy with other things, if a sample market could be audited? The
infamous Eric Johnson threw up his hands publically suspecting me of all
sorts of devious or subversive motives, but neither he nor anyone else has
surveyed diddley squat in the interim.

USCF themselves said they were 'too busy' to even provide a sample list.

Their problem is not that they have an unresolvable problem, but they are
snoozaing in phantasy land, completely unresponsive to the real chess world
going on all around them. The American Patient is slowly bleeding to death
in some Tennessee basement.

For those who might be interested, primary survey areas might be not in
reducing membership dues, but disagregating ratings from magazine
subscriptions. This radically lowers the threshold for playing rated chess.
One unthought of result might be that ChessLife might find itself new
markets, especially if Larry Parr is right, and many members sign up just
for the magazine [some corroboration of that p.o.v. is in the paucity of
adults actually playing a rated game over the past 12 months - just 10,500
of them, and they others must [therefore?] sign up just for CL.]

Perhaps CL would find a greater market if it just cost $30 - and not in
effect $60. I might also say that in combination with a web-zine it would
find itself as a print-product with a much greater market, and its own
direct sponsors. Certainly, at Chessville our weekly output of information
equals CL's monthly, does not suffer in quality, in fact... and we are
currently embarassed by a superfluity of sponsors, and are asking around for
additional columns and columnists.

The real number of adult chess players to consider is that 10,500 number.
These are the 'current actives' without which the boat is sunk for sure. So
what these people feel and think might be taken seperately from all other
opinion. Quite clearly, as is in fact normal in most markets, no one-size
fits all strategy will produce sufficient results.

In fact in this sense, 'niche marketing' is not extraordinary at all, and
professional markets in the C21st ONLY credit niche markets as viable sales
arenas.

Cordially, Phil Innes

- Tom Martinak

---------
In one subsequent note, Tom M pointed out that Bill Goichberg nixed the idea
of lower dues by insisting on bundling CL with membership. In turn, I said
this had nothing to do with a market survey, and compared it with the
business decision and disastrous loss of a quarter million dollars at
chesscafe //Phil Innes


adp

"Peter C. Nixon" wrote in message
...
I have posted the November and December membership numbers at:
http://detroitchess.com/USCFmem2.htm

Peter C. Nixon
http://detroitchess.com/





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Old December 10th 05, 06:26 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
David Kane
 
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Default USCF Membership Numbers


"Chess One" wrote in message


For those who might be interested, primary survey areas might be not

in
reducing membership dues, but disagregating ratings from magazine
subscriptions. This radically lowers the threshold for playing rated

chess.
One unthought of result might be that ChessLife might find itself

new
markets, especially if Larry Parr is right, and many members sign up

just
for the magazine [some corroboration of that p.o.v. is in the

paucity of
adults actually playing a rated game over the past 12 months - just

10,500
of them, and they others must [therefore?] sign up just for CL.]


Of course, this begs the question of why the
USCF should offer a magazine at all. What if
it's just another example of "chess-related"
makework that does not benefit American
chess?


Perhaps CL would find a greater market if it just cost $30 - and not

in
effect $60. I might also say that in combination with a web-zine it

would
find itself as a print-product with a much greater market, and its

own
direct sponsors. Certainly, at Chessville our weekly output of

information
equals CL's monthly, does not suffer in quality, in fact... and we

are
currently embarassed by a superfluity of sponsors, and are asking

around for
additional columns and columnists.

The real number of adult chess players to consider is that 10,500

number.
These are the 'current actives' without which the boat is sunk for

sure. So
what these people feel and think might be taken seperately from all

other
opinion. Quite clearly, as is in fact normal in most markets, no

one-size
fits all strategy will produce sufficient results.


This analysis is dubious. If the cost of
every member is leaving ten chessplayers
without an organization to join, the smart
strategy might be to do the exact opposite
of what these people feel and think.

Moreover, many of these players might
be as happy playing under a successful
model as they are under the existing
unsuccessful model, even if they are
part of the group whose initial instinct
is to support the "USCF way"
(i.e. to stifle innovation and suppress
growth.)


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Old December 10th 05, 10:44 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
David Ames
 
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David Kane wrote:
"Chess One" wrote in message


For those who might be interested, primary survey areas might be not

in
reducing membership dues, but disagregating ratings from magazine
subscriptions. This radically lowers the threshold for playing rated

chess.
One unthought of result might be that ChessLife might find itself

new
markets, especially if Larry Parr is right, and many members sign up

just
for the magazine [some corroboration of that p.o.v. is in the

paucity of
adults actually playing a rated game over the past 12 months - just

10,500
of them, and they others must [therefore?] sign up just for CL.]


Of course, this begs the question of why the
USCF should offer a magazine at all. What if
it's just another example of "chess-related"
makework that does not benefit American
chess?

Perhaps you mean "invites the question." To "beg the question" means
to assume the truth of that which is to be proven.

As to your point, I took my life membership on the assurance that I
would receive a magazine subscription without further cost to me. For
that reason your attitude bothers me.

Perhaps CL would find a greater market if it just cost $30 - and not

in
effect $60.


Without checking, I can readily suppose there are magazines on the news
stands that cost $4.95 a month. I can even more readily suppose there
are European chess magazines in the same price range.

David Ames



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Old December 10th 05, 02:29 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Chess One
 
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Default USCF Membership Numbers


"David Kane" wrote in message
. ..

One unthought of result might be that ChessLife might find itself

new
markets, especially if Larry Parr is right, and many members sign up

just
for the magazine [some corroboration of that p.o.v. is in the

paucity of
adults actually playing a rated game over the past 12 months - just

10,500
of them, and they others must [therefore?] sign up just for CL.]


Of course, this begs the question of why the
USCF should offer a magazine at all. What if
it's just another example of "chess-related"
makework that does not benefit American
chess?


Quite, and the make-work is explained [elsewhere] as a benefit, and
absurdly, 'not a right', even though the benefit is stated as being able to
be 'in touch' with USCF activities, even though members get to pay for it!

The result is to make the threshold of chess twice as expensive to enter and
sustain as is necessary. About a year ago someone wrote here of the numbers
of rated UK players - I wish I had thought then to ask how that number
breaks down to adults and juniors, but the number was in the 30ks? This is
more than the entire USA. If anyone can provide numbers for UK players who
have played at least one game in the past 12 months, please correct my
memory.

----

The real number of adult chess players to consider is that 10,500

number.
These are the 'current actives' without which the boat is sunk for

sure. So
what these people feel and think might be taken seperately from all

other
opinion. Quite clearly, as is in fact normal in most markets, no

one-size
fits all strategy will produce sufficient results.


This analysis is dubious. If the cost of
every member is leaving ten chessplayers
without an organization to join, the smart
strategy might be to do the exact opposite
of what these people feel and think.


I offer a comparsion with UK: the norm is not to join anything to have games
rated, and at least once upon a time, you could pay as you go.

Moreover, many of these players might
be as happy playing under a successful
model as they are under the existing
unsuccessful model, even if they are
part of the group whose initial instinct
is to support the "USCF way"
(i.e. to stifle innovation and suppress
growth.)


From all opinions I have read about what that phrase means, 'to support the
USCF', I can boil them down to two quite distinct orientations, the first is
to support* 410 chess clubs and a variable amount of regional tournaments
per year, and the other is the mission statement, which has little say about
such introversion, and instead in its first clauses states the purpose as to
promote chess to the mainstream.

Cordially, Phil Innes

*unclear is what such 'support' entails.


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Old December 10th 05, 02:35 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Chess One
 
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Default USCF Membership Numbers


"David Ames" wrote in message
oups.com...

Of course, this begs the question of why the
USCF should offer a magazine at all. What if
it's just another example of "chess-related"
makework that does not benefit American
chess?

Perhaps you mean "invites the question." To "beg the question" means
to assume the truth of that which is to be proven.
As to your point, I took my life membership on the assurance that I
would receive a magazine subscription without further cost to me. For
that reason your attitude bothers me.


I was not my contention that there should be no CL, nor that Life Members
should not continue to receive it, or some form of it, by which I do not
mean diluted, but an equitable form at least.

Perhaps CL would find a greater market if it just cost $30 - and not

in
effect $60.


Without checking, I can readily suppose there are magazines on the news
stands that cost $4.95 a month. I can even more readily suppose there
are European chess magazines in the same price range.


Yes - magazines retailing for that much for a single isssue are as commonly
discounted for annual membership to about $30. Only exceptionally do
magazines make money by subscriptions, and almost all of it comes via
advertising.

Phil Innes

David Ames



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Old December 11th 05, 01:40 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
David Kane
 
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Default USCF Membership Numbers


"David Ames" wrote in message
oups.com...


As to your point, I took my life membership on the assurance that I
would receive a magazine subscription without further cost to me.

For
that reason your attitude bothers me.


It is entirely possible that policies which make
your decision to buy a life membership a
good one and policies which make the
USCF effective at promoting chess are
mutually exclusive.

Do you really want to deter people
from supporting chess by imposing
upon them a requirement that they produce
a magazine for you?




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Old December 11th 05, 05:55 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
 
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It is not a matter of imposing anything upon a group that I entered
into a legal agreement with. For my higher than regular fees paid, by
the rules laid down by the group, I receive, as an exchange for those
higher fees, a life membership and all that that entails.

I have not looked into the exact wording of the agreement, but I
believe that the exchange is that I receive all the benefits of the
regular member, which did include and continues to include a
subscription to the Chess Life magazine.

The group did offer and continues to offer a life membership for sale
with the benefit that one need not bother paying annual dues anymore to
be a full fledged member of the group. The group and the "people" that
organize and run the group have chosen to support chess by using the
life membership as a tool for supporting chess.

I did indeed pay the extra for the life membership. When I did, I
payed a lot more money than my fellow members that chose to ONLY pay
the regular dues. The group takes the extra that I paid and, to my
knowledge, invests that amount to support my membership costs as well
as garner extra for the group, a win-win situation.

If the group squanders the extra that I paid and fails to be able to
support chess by the requirements THEY laid down, then the group needs
to remedy their problem. The USCF certainly has enough cash flow to
fix the situation over time.

I personally would not have a problem with an internet magazine option.
My laptop goes wherever I go and thanks to WiFi. I have internet
access most everywhere. I would actually prefer to be paperless in my
membership benefits. That would save the USCF loads of money while
still giving the Regular and Life members their full due.

Ron Suarez

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Old December 11th 05, 06:15 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
David Kane
 
Posts: n/a
Default USCF Membership Numbers


wrote in message
oups.com...
It is not a matter of imposing anything upon a group that I entered
into a legal agreement with. For my higher than regular fees paid,

by
the rules laid down by the group, I receive, as an exchange for

those
higher fees, a life membership and all that that entails.

I have not looked into the exact wording of the agreement, but I
believe that the exchange is that I receive all the benefits of the
regular member, which did include and continues to include a
subscription to the Chess Life magazine.

The group did offer and continues to offer a life membership for

sale
with the benefit that one need not bother paying annual dues anymore

to
be a full fledged member of the group. The group and the "people"

that
organize and run the group have chosen to support chess by using the
life membership as a tool for supporting chess.

I did indeed pay the extra for the life membership. When I did, I
payed a lot more money than my fellow members that chose to ONLY pay
the regular dues. The group takes the extra that I paid and, to my
knowledge, invests that amount to support my membership costs as

well
as garner extra for the group, a win-win situation.

If the group squanders the extra that I paid and fails to be able to
support chess by the requirements THEY laid down, then the group

needs
to remedy their problem. The USCF certainly has enough cash flow to
fix the situation over time.

I personally would not have a problem with an internet magazine

option.
My laptop goes wherever I go and thanks to WiFi. I have internet
access most everywhere. I would actually prefer to be paperless in

my
membership benefits. That would save the USCF loads of money while
still giving the Regular and Life members their full due.

Ron Suarez


I don't disagree with anything
you've written. On the other hand,
if Chess Life were not a benefit
of membership, I don't think
you'd have any cause for
complaint over not receiving
it, though I understand that it might
**** you off.

The real issue is the future of chess.
If CL detracts from the USCF mission
(which I think is rather obvious),
then it doesn't make sense to produce
CL. Period. That some prepaid
for it shouldn't really factor into
the analysis.

Imagine the Boy Scouts deciding to
give every Eagle Scout a Porsche.
That would be a stupid policy that
would hurt the organization. The
fact that those who are Eagle
Scouts would benefit from such
a policy doesn't make it any
smarter.


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