They have been promoting a new world record for the most simultaneous skinny-dippers. So what's wrong with that? Four things stand out:
- 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!)
- 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?)
- Beaches are part of the record attempt, probably the significant part, which has always been TNS's domain.
- 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.)
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.