Tuesday, May 26, 2009

World Record Strategy Analysis

AANR is being naughty again.

They have been promoting a new world record for the most simultaneous skinny-dippers. So what's wrong with that? Four things stand out:
  1. It's on July 11th, at 3pm, which happens to be TNS's biggest day of their traditional Nude Recreation Week. (Why didn't they pick the weekend of the 4th? It's my experience that more people attend beaches or resorts over the weekend of the 4th. If AANR wanted bigger numbers, they would've chosen the 4th!)
  2. It's a record dealing with skinny-dippers, which is the core of TNS. (AANR is focused on recreation, not specifically skinny-dipping. Why didn't they go for nude volleyball instead?)
  3. Beaches are part of the record attempt, probably the significant part, which has always been TNS's domain.
  4. TNS is not mentioned as a collaborator anywhere. They're not in AANR's original post, or in the news stories. (Note that Serendipity Park is also TNS affiliated, but never mentioned TNS.)
It is clear that AANR is directly attacking TNS with this record attempt. They are trying to steal away the small number of members that TNS has, the traditional National Recreation Week that they started, and trying to become the go-to source for skinny-dipping on public lands. (That is, before they close them.) What they will never steal away is a tough Game Theorist named Doug!

First lets take a look at the variables at stake. TNS has an associated cost with their efforts. They need to spend time and money depending on their decisions. Cost 0 (zero) means they don't need to do anything, 1 means they put forth a small effort to get stats on beaches, 2 means they put forth effort to get stats at all affiliates. I don't know the dollar value on each of these, but it doesn't matter at this point. Publicity is measured in percent, and is quite subjective. Associations are made based on who gets the publicity. For example, if TNS gets publicity about nude beaches, then people will associate TNS with nude beaches. Lastly is the number of participants in the world record. A bigger number looks better in the publicity. The initial question is: Will TNS help in collecting numbers?

If TNS says no, it may end up with negative publicity towards TNS that won't help AANR any. If TNS helps, AANR might be kind enough to mention them once or twice. Either way, AANR wins and TNS loses. People who think "skinny-dipping" will turn to AANR, the record holder for that very subject. This would be the case even if AANR managed to get only 100 participants.

It's easy for TNS to lose this game, but there is an opportunity for them to win big instead! The solution is an unexpected strategy. The new strategy is to submit their own attempt:

If AANR has the bigger number with all of their clubs, then TNS loses with a bigger cost. But if TNS tries, they could win this record, win the publicity, and keep their heritage.

AANR can have people at every AANR resort, which totals more than TNS. (TNS can count people at their 82 resorts too, which negates those resorts.) AANR's page lists 112 "places", but some are travel clubs who are likely going to travel to a participating resort. Taking a representative sample, figuring out the pool sizes, and estimating how much space the average American takes up, my estimate is that AANR can have a turnout of roughly 50,000 to 70,000 before literally running out of water (or hitting a realistic participation limit) at their clubs. AANR's estimate of 400,000 to 1,000,000 suggests that they really have no clue.

AANR is also trying to count people at legal beaches as well, but many of the "friends of" groups at the beaches are primarily TNS. My suggestion is to try and keep AANR off the beaches, because they are more valuable. (I'd say that throwing AANR cameras into water is fair game for protecting the privacy of the skinny-dippers.)

If TNS focuses on the beaches, they could collect far bigger numbers. TNS knows people at beaches all around the world (not just in North America like AANR). Remember, this is a world record attempt. TNS produces the world guide with 1,000 of the best nude beaches. Any decent beach has hundreds to thousands of people, and they would all fit in the oceans, lakes, or rivers. The only problem is getting them there, and counting them. If TNS is at 100 beaches, they will likely beat AANR.

According to a recent article along similar lines: "To verify the record, each game needed a notarized statement from one independent witness or un-notarized statements from two independent witnesses. The schools also were required to submit high-quality color photographs and video of the games in progress." In other words, two people write statements with the counts and one of them takes some (dated) high-res pictures and video -- done! (Is there a privacy issue with this? Probably!)

AANR is deceptive in what they publish. Most AANR publicity has unverifiable numbers, or unverifiable claims. I'm happy that a different company will be verifying numbers for this. However, I believe the door is still open for cheating. What are the chances that two AANR people will state the wrong number? How many of the reports will actually contain pictures and/or video? Will the media contain a date? Is AANR photoshopping dates on to pictures as we speak? I really hope that Guinness throws out anything they can't verify. I also don't like AANR spewing out made-up preliminary numbers, like 400,000 to 1,000,000 participants.

I believe that TNS deserves that world record since it's their traditional day of naturist celebration.

I understand that the best strategy for both AANR and TNS would be to work together. This is a classic prisoner's dilemma scenario. AANR gets slightly more by not cooperating, and TNS would too if roles were reversed. Together they could easily double the number and share in the wider-scale, bigger impact publicity.

I discussed my suggested strategy with a TNS official, and they told me something very enlightening that is worthy of being published. Whenever TNS organizes a big event, they always call and ask AANR if they would like to be a part of it. For this AANR-created event, they never called TNS. For anything skinny-dip related, I'd say TNS is a major player and it only makes sense to include them.

AANR is playing the Greedy move in this game, and this is a bad choice since the game gets repeated for every new event or idea. Does cooperation last after one player gets greedy? Not usually. AANR is single-handedly breaking the history of cooperation between the two players, and it is damaging to all of naturism.

Since AANR is being naughty, I would like to start a new campaign called "Spank-an-AANR". If you disagree with AANR's world record strategy to leave TNS behind, and encounter an AANR-only supporter, leave a sore spot on their behind when they least expect it! Explain that the Academic Naturist told you to do it, and that they should tell their managers to include TNS in their events for everyone's benefit. AANR is being naughty, and deserves a spanking! If you're outside of spanking distance, feel free to mail a paddle, ruler, flogger, or crop to AANR with a note explaining the same thing.

So will AANR change their strategy to include TNS? What strategy is TNS going to take? Is there another unexpected strategy? I have my predictions, and a little inside knowledge, but am staying quiet!

*Note: I'm not affiliated with TNS in any way except for being a member, so my opinions don't represent TNS. I just want to make that clear. The Spank-an-AANR campaign can be taken as a joke, but if someone manages to spank an AANR authority figure, or mails them something, be SURE to post it in the comments! Even though it may be a joke, it's still an important message to deliver to AANR. A typical AANR member might just be clueless, so maybe tell them about it but don't actually spank them.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Privacy, anyone?

The good news is that I have my first article in N magazine! I think Nicky bumped me to the top of the mailing list this time because she was expecting the magazines back from the printers yesterday. I received mine in the mail today. Thanks Nicky!

Overall, it's great and they did my writing and pictures justice. I do have some problems with it though. First, my name is spelled wrong in one place, but that happens a lot. (Even Wild Bill Hickok's guns were engraved with the misspelling. Yes we're related.) Second, you'll notice that I never said "Wisconsin", because I was unsure how the DNR would take it that I'm freehiking in new places. I left the title up to TNS, and they decided to specify what state I was hiking in. No biggie. Third, they removed my joke about running around with a white-tail during deer hunting season. C'mon...it was funny! Fourth, they dumbed down my "tom" joke -- the word "turkey" was added since people might not know that a tom is a male turkey. Again, no biggie, but it doesn't read as smoothly.

Last, the biggie, you'll note that I removed the cell phone number from the article text. Among the pictures I delivered to them was a picture of the sign, with the phone number on it. And what picture do they include? Do you think people will call a phone number by a picture with an attractive female? I'm curious how many calls she's going to get.

What makes this worse is that it's a business line for Amanda's "second job" as a Passion Parties consultant. Think Tupperware, but with romance products instead. This probably isn't the image that TNS wants to project, but they probably shouldn't include random phone numbers either. The lesson is: edit out personal information from pictures. We're both guilty. I'll have more commentary on her business in a later post, but the short story is that we know exactly where the line is drawn. We're true naturists. Her business is just a business. The conflicting topics don't mix.

So if you'd like to book a party around Southwest Wisconsin, grab the latest N and give her a call!

As an addendum for the Wisconsin people, one additional tool that I love is the DNR WebView. Wisconsin is the only state that I know of that has a tool like this, which is why I didn't mention it. The tool points out every tiny piece of public land, among many other features.

If anyone wants to go for a hike in our mystery spot, let me know. I was thinking about forming a small freehiking club for the area if there's interest. There are many other places that seem safe enough to freehike, and there's a lot of trails that could use trimming during the summer months.

Monday, May 18, 2009

More News (5.58/2009)

It's not quite a regular "Missed News" post, but there's at least Ocean Angels news and a some news about the blog.

First of all, you may have noticed that there hasn't been a real (non-news) post in about three weeks. Well, I've been busy. For the record, if there aren't any posts from me it's likely due to being busy at work or busy with some (likely naturist related) project that isn't quite ready. If I'm not busy, I have a million things I can post. This time around, I've been busy with two naturist related projects. One is the Nude Olympics for Mazo Beach, which is being announced next. The other, well... Sometimes the best move is to stay quiet for a few months. It's not a project that I'm driving, but instead a project that I'm reacting to. I don't like those. I'll tell you all about it later.

On top of all that, we're planning for our big trip to Eastover for the TNS Gathering. I'm not sure how to write about the Gathering just yet... Should I do a blog post afterwords? Should I do posts each night if internet is available? Or, as Nudiarist suggested, do lots of Twitter posts during each day? The problem with Twitter is that we'd need a cell phone, and it's hard to carry one when naked! Plus, we're going our separate ways to attend things we each like. Before that, we also have an interesting weekend lined up which will result in another fairly long blog post. I'll probably do most of the writing/posting in early July. Sorry in advance for the delays...

Onward to the latest Indian Ocean Rowing Race / Ocean Angel news!
  • They posted a naked picture of Simon. I have no idea how he can row that huge boat all by himself.
  • Early this month, they summarized the problems on all boats, and went into detail about the water issues.
  • The 8-person crew has been mooning other boats. That same post also states that the Ocean Angels are extending their lead.
  • The site also talks about rower cuisine. I haven't heard of any teams fishing, but it seems like a good idea.
  • Speaking of fish, a flying fish hit Simon in the forehead and landed in his boat. Easy dinner, I'd say! That post also sums up the aches and pains from rowers.
  • Boat 7 was closing the gap between them and the Ocean Angels. In all fairness, a giant wave from nowhere hit Boat 7 and knocked their pants off -- literally.
  • News from the Ocean Angels started out pretty good. The sea showed them a lot of love, and they were making great progress.
  • Soon after they claimed they felt like peanuts, salted and tanned.
  • Speaking of food, they detail what they eat.
  • They also explain how they use the toilet. A later post provides more detail when talking about cravings: "And Jo who is a craving a toilet she can sit on without having to straddle the person rowing at bow." Hope they aren't shy...
  • Around the 7th this month, when they were still making good progress, they say that it's getting a little monotonous. Their phone rang, but would cut off before they could pick it up. They were hoping that it was Charlie and that he was going to send the Angels on a more exciting mission.
  • After 3 weeks at sea, they hit the 1000 mile mark.
  • They look a bit sunburned already in their picture.
  • On the 15th they had to fix their last "whale gusher bilge pump".
  • Around that time, they were caught in a vortex by Eddy. On the 16th, their direction was backwards. They finally broke away on the 17th, but this vortex caused them to lose their lead position.
  • Life is back to normal, and they explain the process of washing their hair.
For those who don't actually read the blog posts from the Ocean Angels, you really should. They are quite funny writers, and have a lot of running jokes. They are having a miserable time at sea, but they take it all in good humor.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Missed News (5/2009)

The "Missed News" series is for all the random stuff I found interesting, but was missed by other popular bloggers. (Or that needs to be covered again.) Nudiarist has been on break, so hopefully I can snap up some of the stories he'd normally post.

Indian Ocean Rowing Race News:
  • In the first day, Hoppipolla had a steering issue and had to quit. Also, one of the members of the Dream It Do It boat was injured, flown to the hospital, and is recovering. Dream It Do It has also quit the race. They were one of the teams rowing naked.
  • Whatever It Takes (the Aussie boys in budgie smugglers) have also quit due to a leaky boat.
  • Doing Time has also quit due to losing a lot of their equipment and other broken stuff.
  • Old Mutual (Simon, who is rowing solo and naked) capsized his boat but has recovered and is still in the race.
  • Ocean Angels news:
  • Day 1 treated them pretty well, even though Fiona was washed off the seat twice and a flying fish made her scream like a little girl.
  • Day 3 they wore matching textiles, and days of paddling made their butts sore.
  • Day 4 and day 5 had a storm hindering their (and all teams) progress, so they deployed the para-anchor and took a break. They went a little crazy during these days. Day 4, one of the waves smashed an oar and the dagger board, and bent a light, but all is fixed. In day 5, they described their very own Swedish sauna -- including four naked blonds! (If anything, read the day 5 post because it's quite funny!)
  • Day 6 they were full steam ahead and making great progress.
  • A few days later they detail their entertainment for the "nightshift of doom", and talk about their daily song. (Also a funny post.)
  • On the 29th they talk about their power issues. The gadget queen, who is having withdrawal, has also been saving the day (or night, actually) with her sextant. They are also seeking out an Eddy, but are worried that he's hiding from the four naked women.
  • If you haven't seen pictures of the boat, and are wondering what they mean by the "coffin" and the "master bedroom", they are at opposite ends of their boat.
  • Right now, the Ocean Angels have just pulled into the lead! Woohoo!! Go naked ladies!!
Other news: