[CQ-Contest] QST vs. NCJ

Warren C. Stankiewicz nf1j at earthlink.net
Mon Jun 18 12:06:22 EDT 2007

Once again, the suggestion has surfaced that ARRL membership move to a boutique model, perhaps something more analagous to IEEE membership.

Which is a nice idea in theory, but a hard one to put into practice. It also flies in the face of what those who are titularly in charge of guiding the ARRL believe--that it is a membership services organization. How then to adapt it to a "consumer" model, where you only get what you're interested in? You may clearly want to read more about contests, but those responsible for QST would much rather inform you about other things they feel are more important (and of more interest to more people).

The other true issue of such division of content is clearly the advertising dollar. There probably isn't sufficient advertising in NCJ to warrant what would be a rather large expansion of its page count. Equally, I rather doubt the ARRL would be willing to risk a possible flight of advertisers from lucrative four color advertising in the flagship magazine solely to run their ads in targeted segments. 

"Consumerizing" the ARRL business model would be an incredibly bold move, which is why we're not likely to see it any time soon. The fear that "balkanization" of content would spread limited resources too thinly to be effective is probably legitimate. As attractive as the idea may be, I fear we will have what we have already; and need to find ways to productively work within this framework to further our ends, if they are to be furthered at all.

With malice towards none,

Warren, NF1J/6

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