Saturday, January 30, 2010


Not everyday I write something will be meaningful to all, but most likely meaningful to at least one person.

There is one Blog I read almost every day (he writes on Sunday too) and if I miss one, I go back and catch it. It's not chess though he knows how to play chess and is pretty smart.

There is a life other than chess, but like Samantha Marquez from the show Las Vegas, I am here to get you to, analogously, "gamble." I am your "chess host."

I have at least 20 people or more (maybe 40-50) who do not get PDFs or have computers and who want nothing to do with them. The funny thing, the weird thing, is they buy as much as the hundreds of email names I have! Sometimes I think the web is a big distraction. Sure, if you've made up your mind to get something, you can congratulate yourself quickly.

But if you get a mail catalog you can peruse it, in bed, at the breakfast table, in the john, the car, etc. Then order. You can circle items and prices.

The problem with the PDF approach is that I can spend hours and hours creating a nice one and it can easily become an instant "throw away." By this I mean, there are people out there who hate to print ANYTHING out because it uses up toner or ink. I know, I know, cheap--but I have experienced this.

If you subscribe to something such as The Chess Reports or Chess EXTRAS you will print that out, most likely, because you are paying for it. See the difference? Your money.

Or you can talk yourself out of "reading" the online PDFs. Studies have shown that people are more likely to read a catalog than something on the web (if it is too lengthy). And if they have a catalog, why bother to print it out?

On the other hand, the ONE thing you shouldn't forget is that PDFs are MORE current. Printing out catalogs and mailing them is a time consuming and lengthy, expensive process. There is a tendency to shy away from that route. But, I am going to start paying closer attention to those who have to have the $10 printed catalogs.

Years ago, when I printed catalogs and bulk mailed them, I would send maybe 6-7000 out and there might be, over time, a 20-25% response, which is considered phenomenal. I considered it a waste of 75% because the cost comes out of my pocket, not some theoretician's.

If you look at the cost of making a catalog (PDF or printed), keeping up your listings, hire someone to answer the phone and other expenses--coupled with a discount, it can lead me to wondering who will disappear over the next couple years unless they have deep pockets and are willing to lose (and out of the other side of their mouth they are telling you what they really invest in!!)

The Blogger that I told you about at the beginning, had a post the other day on people's contradictory nature, referring to the "lizard brain." The lizard brain controls most of what people do and the "rational" brain has to work like hell to get noticed. It's like playing on the internet with the fee plus time lost versus the cost of a weekend tournament. One is quick self-gratification and the other has a better chance of being cheaper in the long run and more profitable from a learning standpoint. Should I watch this "really cool show" on TV or get out some of those books I have bought and actually learn something? Watching TV wins most of the time because it takes no brain power nor perseverance.

Kids are an exception because they have a lot fewer responsibilities. But my son Nate spends at least 30 minutes of every day with his son doing something, and the attention Alex gets is going to have big pay offs later in life. Nate is sacrificing the now to have a better relationship with his son as he gets older. Maybe they will both go to chess tournaments,

Do you like to take the easy route when you get off of work?

1 comment:

  1. Just because it does not get printed does not make it an 'instant "throw away"'. I seldom print out any pdf at all and that includes the TCR and ChessExtra.

    I may be a special breed, but I don't think so, that has pretty much moved on from paper (except for books). I work as programmer so I am use to seeing everything on the screen. These days people don't even print their photos; they paste them to their social websites. Most of the time, my printer just gathers dust.

    I also use gmail for my mail (which means that I rarely delete any emails since Google give you 7GB of storage). So whenever I want to look up a catalog of yours I go get it.

    The funny thing though, is that I don't particularly like chess DVD's, especially video instructional type. They tend to have a pretty limited amount of material and is not very useful for research. I play a lot of correspondence chess. For those things I tend to buy books. Besides it tough to work your computer from the bathroom.

    On other things, you lost me at: "unless they have deep pockets and are willing to lose (and out of the other side of their mouth they are telling you what they really invest in!!)"

    Is it some secret code, what are they telling you, that they are really invested in? poverty? backruptcy courts? or in the case of Amazon say, total market saturation? new world order? Besides, that's Apple's job.