Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Yesterday I did something I rarely do and while doing it I did something I rarely do--I didn't tell the whole truth in what I was after.

A Mac web site was offering a free copy of Adobe's Premium Design Suite if your name was "drawn" in some contest they were having. Since this past weekend I switched much of my heavy duty publishing work to a higher speed and functionally even more capable machine I became aware (I knew this was coming) that I would need newer versions of Photoshop, Illustrator and possibly a couple other things. Hence I am still working "split screen." I.e., doing some things on the G4 and other things (such as learning software for the catalog making process of using images, as well as The Chess Reports) on the G5. I don't know when I will be able to afford to do that kind of upgrade without "winning" that design suite... haha.

So, I clicked on the link and was taken to some place to do a 4 question survey. Easy, right? Almost. I answered one question feebly. That is, the "truth" was less than what I knew they wanted to hear. Thing is, to me it was unimportant enough that I don't even recall what the question was. I just knew I "fudged." Why? Because if I didn't answer it the way I perceived they wanted me to answer it (i.e., other than that I was there to win something for FREE), my survey answers would be tossed into the bone pile. (Like Publishers Clearing house had done when thousands upon thousands of people who answered, but who didn't subscribe to anything, had their names put into a dumpster!)

I've had regrettable experiences with this:
A. My girlfriend in the late 80s suggested I write a jingle for a hair care company and possibly we could win a Trip for Two to Las Vegas if "we" won (somehow). It was fun, a little exasperating, but I did, sent it in... and she was happy. Six months later, in the same women's magazine, they published the winner's name (it wasn't us). She said to me, "Doesn't that look like the headline jingle you wrote?" I thought about it and said, "Yes, it does." Screw me!

B. I read in a trade magazine about businesses who encourage business people, at a "show," to drop their business card in a fishbowl, with the chance of winning some big prize if their name was drawn. Problem was, it was fixed (it's not illegal). The "winner" would be someone they were trying to solicit future business from.

C. MacWeek. A journal for the Mac computer industry. If you had certain qualifications, you could get a FREE subscription for a year. I would fill out those cards and never got a subscription, ever, 3-4 times, until I gave up. It occurred to me that to "qualify" I MUST be someone of influence at the top of a sizable company (such as CEO, chief buyer, etc.) The key word is "sizable" company--i.e., spends a lot of money (hundreds of thousands of dollars). Over the years I've bought close to 30 computers and systems for my businesses, about half Mac and half PC. I've bought lots of hard drives, fonts, scanners, printers, modems, etc. in the dozens (quantities) and tens of thousands of dollars. But that wasn't enough. Later they changed their name to eWeek and I still pay no attention to them. They had already "lost" me.

D. In my own businesses I would have drawings for merchandise from my store(s) and invariably the winner would be someone(s) I didn't know, from out of town, never would see again, etc. But they were weren't rigged although they may have looked that way from the customer's viewpoint. (Groceries stores where I live would have Big Prizes and it was always someone who was passing by that day who won! Casinos here would have jackpot prizes and 1 out of 10 or 20 winners would actually be from around here!)

Now for the Flip side... I think.

Now for the Last Chess Clinic we have Ron Suarez, who I didn't know, but who has since become a customer. He won the Jackpot Prize for next year's event, whatever it is (I haven't had time to work on it).

Earl Zismer won the DVD package set for Black and White Shockers (he wrote and told me he was on a roll!). I've known Earl for years.

The last drawing, for which there were a bunch of prizes offered, and which ended Sept. 16th, sad to say, I haven't done yet! It should happen this week. I've been so busy taking care of the management of the Clinic, newsletters, and books, it has slipped my mind... and while all that was going on, I literally have seen very few people who I could ask to draw names! But I will.

So in case you are wondering, this will be done this week. And yes, it's ALWAYS above board unlike some of the examples I've listed earlier. Good news for the winners--soon.

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