[Cross-posted from cgp Jan 3 2009 -- and note to mehill: this is NOT about uncharted waters. It is about taking a disciplined approach. This can be done, even with existing ideas that have been up on the shelf for years. -jvp]
--- In crossword-games-pro, Michael Baron <mbaron1949@...> wrote:
>.... If membership fees were, say, $20-25/year, and there were, say,
> 3000-4000 NSA members, what would we like to see $60K-100K applied
> toward? A hardcopy Scrabble News (many subscribers are not online)?http://www.ntia.doc.gov/reports/2008/ta ... et2007.pdf
(PDF) shows 69% of Americans with "Some College" and 84% of Americans with a "Bachelors Degree or More" have Internet use at home.
It can be argued whether those educational quanta map to competitive Scrabble players, and it can be argued whether the resulting subscribers without Internet can be described as "many", but there at least is some data.
> Is a newsletter, on and or off line, still desired?
I would assume, perhaps foolishly, that the current newsletter was developed to meet objectives specific to the existing organization. Since the objectives of a new organization would differ, probably markedly, I would likewise assume that any outreach organ, in any medium, would differ as well.
I like to work from objectives. I would throw out the current newsletter *in toto* and ask a small subcommittee of 1-3 people to build a set of communications requirements out of the noise and dust of the early formation of the new association.
a. Will forms inviting the public to join the new NSA be distributed with every Hasbro set in retail stores? If so, some attention should be paid to these members who perhaps have no interest in clubs or tournaments, but just expect ... something.
b. Question (a) speaks to one of the fundamental issues here. The current NSA is a marketing group beholden to Hasbro. While we want to maintain a decent relationship with Hasbro so long as they remain relevant, we have no obligation to think in terms of building a brand relationship (like a "Scrabble fan club"). We should be asking: who are the real constituents, how do they divide up, and what do they either NEED (in order to FUNCTION), or what do they EXPECT (in return for FEES)?
Possible constituencies with legitimate unique needs/expectations:
- Club players
- Club directors
- Tournament players
- Tournament directors
- New players
- Elite/grandmaster players
The definition of FUNCTION is key. It is where the Association has a role in shaping the discussion of what it means to be an excellent wordgame player, what excellence as a "Scrabble scene" means. Does it mean large purses? Does it mean a growing membership? Does it mean being able to play on an even field with other (English) world associations? Does it mean never offending anyone with "bad" words on a board? Etc., etc.Added to cross-tables version of this post:
Does it mean subsidizing grandmasters? Does it mean annotating every tournament game, for full analysis? Does it mean a ratings system with XYZ characteristics? Does it mean big media sponsorship and coverage?
(I'm just throwing those out there as examples of the types of discussions that have to flourish in the formation of a new Association.)
A specific example: If "new players" are indeed a constituency, and success in serving them is defined in such-and-such a way, then do they "need" a newsletter? With what kinds of info? In print, or online? Do club directors need assistance in cultivating new players? Does the Association need to network with venues where new players are born (schools program, lexulous, Pogo, ISC, etc.)? And so forth -- you get the idea. This kind of structure for the inquiry would provide real answers, not just a mishmash of opinions.