Christmas Shopper & Ratings

Tuesday, December 01, 2015 12:30 AM | Bob Self (Administrator)

Christmas Shopper

A blind man goes Christmas shopping and drops into a department store with his seeing eye dog.  Beyond the store’s Christmas tree, the manager notices the blind man pick up the dog and begin swinging it over his head  at the end of the leash.  Completely shocked the manager knocks over the tree as he runs to the blind shopper and says “Sir! Sir!  Do we have a problem here?  Can I help you with anything?” The blind man replies very calmly, “No thank you. I’m just taking a look around.”

Future Rating System Publication

At this time we are seeking input from the fancy to see if there’s a better way to provide rating reports in a more timely manner.  One of the issues is that we must wait for each competition year to end before tabulations can be completed.  In short, we can’t begin publishing any results until all of the data can be received, proofed, calculated, and formatted for publication.  Understandably everyone wants the results they are interested in to be published first.  But, as the old adage goes, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.  

Nevertheless we want to do a better job of pleasing the most exhibitors and the following idea has been proposed.  We are very interested in your thoughts!

As the idea has been suggested, F&F issues could be remodeled into a format and schedule where rating reports would be published in separate issues on a much faster schedule than they are now.  Typically we have all of our data around the first or second week of February in any given year.  Allowing four to six weeks for tabulating and formatting, we would begin publishing individual reports sometime in March and follow approximately every ten days to two weeks with an additional report.  The goal would be to provide subscribers with all reports by midyear.

In making such a change the question remains as to how we would handle the continuation of our training articles and other content.  As I mentioned in Biscuits & Bones (on page 3), most trial news now appears through social media outlets such as Facebook.  As such it’s no surprise that much of this subject matter is no longer covered in many magazines.  If we were to condense all of our issues into the first six months of a year we would need to provide any remaining content by publishing it through our membership website.

Several years ago we attempted to move to a website format for our articles but subscribers didn’t care for it as much as the magazine format.  Therefore we switched back.  Since that time technology has advanced significantly, especially with the advent of smartphone and tablet technology.  As these devices are all now compatible with our website this makes us wonder if the time might be right to look at this option again.

There would be several advantages in publishing articles through our website versus the magazine format.  First of all it would offer more continuity as articles would be published along threads making them easier to follow.  Second, content could be published in a more timely manner (i.e. as it comes in rather than waiting for monthly issues).  Third, as articles would be maintained on our website this information would remain available to subscribers without the need to save issues.  Going back to find this information would also be easier than flipping back through issues.  Fourth, subscribers could elect whether they want (or don’t want), to receive notifications when new material is published.

The downside of web publication is that subscribers would need an Internet connection in order to access their content.  While such material could be printed or saved to a computing device, in daily practice this isn’t always done.   Today most people consume information on the fly.   They read it and move on.  With advances in technology most exhibitors have consistent Internet connections through their portable devices so it’s less problematic that it once was.  This is one of the main reasons social media is such a success.

So to summarize, if we were to make the aforementioned changes the following would be occur.

  • F&F issues would contain rating system report data along with highlights of exhibitors.  Additional scheduling information about future reports would also be included.  
  • F&F training articles and other coverage would appear on our website.  Articles would be organized by author and topic to make them easier to find.  All articles would be maintained on our website in those wanting to go back and find this material.
  • Notices of new information would be emailed to subscribers and posted on our Facebook page as it is published.  

As previously indicated we are sincerely interested in your feedback!  You are always welcome to email us you opinions.  If you wish to do this please send your comments to  Optionally we are going to prepare a short, easy to complete survey for exhibitors to provide this feedback.  No decisions have been made and we will not be making any rush to judgements.  Our only goal here is to provide the support you desire!

To view more articles please visit our Members Page!

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Wataga, IL 61488-9520
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