Anybody who has ever tried to learn how to dance can sympathize with the publishing business these days. Persons who are afraid to take a step for fear of doing it wrong get contorted in the most ridiculous positions. It can be entertaining for others to watch, but it is painfully embarrassing for the awkward wonder on the dance floor.
Those individuals who are little more daring and not caring so much about putting a foot wrong pick it up quicker.
What are we here at Krause Publications, parent firm of Numismatic News? That remains to be seen. Changes have been made. Changes are being made and even more changes are likely in the pipeline.
If you read last week?s front page about the changes to classified ads and changes to NumisMaster online pricing, you really know what I mean.
How ridiculous do I look? I?ve got a blog that I never had before. I have radio interviews that I have never done before. I have put a toe into video and may be about to fully lose all sense of reserve in that field.
All of this is off-putting and I do feel awkward, but I am wiggling around to the best of my abilities. Fortunately for the public, there is no danger of my appearing on Dancing with the Stars.
One person at the Memphis paper money show, from which I have just returned, said he is seeing too many pictures of me. I appreciate the feedback. I don?t always get a say in the decisions around here to use my image, but I do know that nobody here is trying to turn Numismatic News into some parody of the old Soviet Union with images of the party chairman everywhere. It is one step forward and perhaps two back for them as well.
And, at the end of the day, I am still an editor of a hobby newspaper.
People like to read hobby newspapers. It takes them away from their cares and daily worries and puts them in touch with their own inner sense of direction. No, I?m not bucking to be the successor to the Dalai Lama.
I will mention the late Art Kagin instead. Art always said that most collectors can?t buy a coin every day. Their budgets won?t allow it, but they can read about coins every day.
I agree with Art. Even though the basic mission of this paper is to tell readers about what a coin is, what it is worth and how to buy one, there is also a lot of background material that helps collectors understand why they find certain things so interesting. This material helps prepare each collector for his next purchase.
That is one thing we can count on with every collector. The next acquisition is coming whether you prepare for it or not. Prepared collectors make better purchasers.
My firm?s mission online is the same as its mission with this paper. However, the dance steps are different and it can be darned awkward to get going.
So have a laugh at my expense. Let me know your suggestions and criticisms. I will pass them on to my superiors.
Remember, too, as the line in Young Frankenstein says, ?It could be worse. It could be raining.?