It’s a big world

I will admit it, when it comes to new horizons, I am usually the guy who lingers behind slowly analyzing data before deciding whether or not to take the leap. This is not a good quality in a collector.  Sure, I assemble “safe” collections by taking my time, seeking advice or doing the research for making the purchase. As a result, most of the collections I have assembled in the last 30 years tend to be, what one might consider, “good meat-and-potato” collections -— decent items, but nothing that would stop you in your tracks and say, “wow!”
   
It has taken a long time to realize I would need a different approach to collecting if I was ever going to have the items in my collection I dreamed of. During the past ten years, I have slowly become more aggressive in my collecting, having realized the competition for really great pieces is very high. I learned to spend my time between purchases studying and examining museum pieces, pieces in other collections and pouring over books and photos to familiarize myself with the details and nuances of items. Then, when something really special comes to market, I can make that split-second decision to purchase. I am still the cautious, safe collector that I used to be, but I have added a new weapon to my arsenal for attaining the pieces I really want for my collection.
                  
How was I able to make the change to my collecting methods? Well, it all began years ago when I was still a museum curator. Our director hired a consultant who evaluated and categorized each staff member’s personality type. Based on a several weeks’ of classroom exercises, he was able to pigeonhole each member’s personality as “analytical,” “bold” or “caring” (“A,” “B” or “C”). Actually, the final evaluation showed that each person possessed all three characteristics, only in different strengths.

The results were boiled down to finally assign a two-part classification. One was finally labeled with a two-part classification denoting the primary and secondary characteristics. Common classifications included “Bold-Caring” (B-C), “Analytical-Bold” (A-B) and “Caring-Analytical” (C-A). The point of the whole process was to emphasize that every organization needs a balance of all three personality types to operate successfully and profitably.
     
An easy way to summarize the classifications is to imagine how the different ways people approach setting up a new computer. An “Analyzer” (A personality) will open the box, take everything out, hunt for the instruction manual and read it before doing anything else. The “Bold” (B personality) will take the computer out, plug it in and start pounding on the keys expecting it to work perfectly “right out of the box.” And the “Carer” (C personality) will bring the box into the room, set it down and take a moment to consider how they feel about the purchase, how it will affect their financial well-being or how others will react to the computer’s presence. Any business or organization needs the Bolds to initiate new ideas, the Analyzers to figure out the details of implementing the ideas and the Carers to evaluate how the new ideas will impact the organization and the customers.

To those who know me now, probably wouldn’t be surprised that I was categorized as an A-C, or “Analyzer-Carer.” By the consultant’s reckoning, I opened the computer box, took out the contents, studied the instruction manual and then talked to others about how they felt about the new purchase! Obviously, an A-C type of personality is NOT the kind of person who rushed right out and made impromptu purchases!  Whereas the Analyzer part of my personality is very useful AFTER a purchase is made, it is a hindrance when attempting to make a purchase. I am thinking and considering all the details when someone else (a BOLD personality type) swoops in to buy the item right out from under my pondering eyes.

I am happy that there is a strong element of Carer in my personality, though.  This is the part of the personality that prevents someone from taking advantage of widows, someone in distress or some other weakness that Bold personalities tend to view as “opportunities.”

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All of the above discussion about personality types was a precursor to explaining MT and MVM’s new Facebook pages. I realize Facebook now represents the largest community ever to exist on this planet with more than 500 million people inhabiting it. Nevertheless, when it was suggested to me that I start Facebook pages for both the magazines, I went into “Analyze” mode. I really had to study why, how and for how long people use Facebook. I had to understand how businesses used it to communicate with customers without appearing to just inundate a member with endless, cheesy offers. Remember, I am just like the rest of collectors…I am suspicious of corporations looking to make a buck off of me. So, given the task of starting Facebook pages, I really drug my feet while I study the situation.
    
As part of my study, I signed up for Facebook as an individual a little over a year ago. Among the usual array of “friends” that included old classmates, former girlfriends and family members, I initiated contacts with various study groups, businesses and organizations. Over the last year, I have found that I have really come to rely on the tight-knit communication between like-minded individuals through these various avenues of Facebook. I began to visualize how pages for MT or MVM could really be an advantage for readers and enthusiasts to make “real-time” connections to share information about shows, dealers, research or current hobby news. I realize that it will take a bit of monitoring to makes sure that only posts that are pertinent to our hobby are shared, but I do think this will give our community another viable avenue to learn about the hobby and communicate with others.  I have seen Facebook pages take off as older, traditional dedicated forums seem to be losing their sense of specialization.

It took about a year for this old “Analyzer-Carer” to finally understand and accept the potential of Facebook pages for our magazines, so I am proud to announce that they are finally established. If you are a Facebook user, simply type in “Military Trader” or “Military Vehicles Magazine” in the search line of your page and it should take you right to the page where you can “LIKE” us and begin receiving direct feeds of information from me and from others in the hobby.  For example, in the last week, I posted notes about the Stolen Valor Act being declared unconstitutional, a couple of dealer sales that are going on, new product releases and last-minute show calendar listings. I am hoping that more people will see the potential and use the pages to promote our hobbies. I will be monitoring and posting, so it will provide you with “direct access” should you need it.

If you post on our new Facebook pages and it takes a bit of time for me to respond, I will probably just be analyzing your note trying to determine the most caring way to respond -— after all, it’s my nature!
 
After very careful consideration, I remain thoughtfully and compassionately,
    
John Adams-Graf
Editor, Military Trader and Military Vehicles Magazine

P.S.  The BOLD aspect of my personality also came up with a carrot:  Become a “FRIEND” of either Military Trader or Military Vehicles Magazine by May 1st and you will be eligible to win one of five copies of the newly
reprinted Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles, a $30 value! If more
than 500 people “Friend” the magazines by July 1, 2011, I got the bosses to
kick in an additional five copies of the Standard Catalog of German Military
Vehicles to give away as well!  So, click below, friend the magazines and get your friends to friend them as well!

  

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