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Registration Page

12/04/2004 - After more than a month, the sum total of responses could be counted on one hand. That's not enough to justify the effort involved in doing what was proposed. To those who liked the idea & did respond, thanks for the feedback, but sorry, it's not gonna happen. To those who didn't - I guess Oscar rat's ass wins out.

We'll leave this page out here to serve as documentation for the idea, but that's all it was - an idea.

The Past

A little history, in words and pictures... So the Ralphs put these little cards into some of their earliest 7" releases.

It noted the record in question, the number assigned to this particular copy and the total made. Then it asked that the recipient fill out some information about themselves, and send it back to Ralph. The dealio here was that they would get back to you, the collector, with values of these items over time.

We understand that a list was indeed gathered up, but we are not aware of either (1) the list formally being made known outside of Ralph, or (2) actual evidence of this "annual report" having ever been sent out to those on the list. About the closest thing to the report could be seen near the back of Catalog #2 (Aug 77) - their vinyl releases, and some "estimated values" from the time.

(Gawd, we look at that now & think "we'd give our left testicle to get a sleeved Santa Dog for $35 nowadays!")

Considering the era, these were heady times and a lot of ideas were coming out, with some things happening as intended, others happened but not as originally thought (Third Reich Box), still others did not and were put aside (Vileness Fats full length movie, the Ugly Grey Theater, series of collectors edition of other Rez classics like Duck Stab). This list must have been one of the latter casualties. Can you blame them? - hmmmm, should we work on this thing that will be called Eskimo, OR dink around with a list?

The Resurrection?

We had an idea about doing this way back, well before RRROAR ever came online. But as the start page notes, we had set the focus on the main collectors list. Not too long ago, some fans on the Smartgroups message board also raised the topic of the registration list, how it'd be neat to have something like that now. With at least some interest out there, we figured this oughta be something to consider pursuing. And since it is "collector oriented", and we're into doing lists, it does dovetail with our overall "helping the collector" mission.

BUT... how to do that? The original process had two parts to it that we see - Uncle Ralph maintaining a list but apparently keeping it totally to themselves, and publishing that "annual report" of estimated values. And you truly had to have the item in question, to possess that registration card, AND be willing to scribble on the card and send it away (thus sadly making your item "incomplete") just to get on the list.

Now we throw the internet into the mix. If we did this online, we sure the heck wouldn't want your cards, you need to retain them with your disc - no problem, the internet provides other avenues to communicate. BUT there then must be some true "evidence of Residents" communicated that proves the holder really is the holder. And what about the way the list is retained? If folks passed their registration cards into the void, and Ralphos held them in their mitts but never shared info about the contents, then what value does that provide? The Ralphs had a mailing list to which they could send the report, that's about it. But other than getting that report, the sender got nothing else tangible to confirm that they really are on it. Nowadays, one could simply note some prices and post it, but that removes the whole interactive part - people just read the prices, end of process. Depending on how it's handled, the internet could still help in this area - we could provide something tangible (online) but would need to handle it delicately. Some people definitely like the idea of themselves being tied to something & making it known in some way (ex. - "hey they caught a brief glimpse of me in the DDA film", or signing into a website's guestbook), and I bet that some folks would get a kick out of seeing their moniker noted somehow, but others would not want any part of that whatsoever. The method chosen would need to cover both possibilities.

Another thing to consider - what is the scope of the registration? Nowadays the modern Ralphs put out numbered items in quantities of as many as 1333. It would be an impossible task to try to keep a list of that many folks, for so many items that came out in those type quantities. A task we certainly are not looking to undertake here. The scope would HAVE to be on items where the numbers are not that high. Perhaps just the original vinyl would be a perfect starting point, and then only those items which are truly limited (ie. - not even who has an original MTR). And to also bring in folks from the CD age, perhaps the UWEB Live In The USA release, and the original first run of Pollex Christi.

Lastly, to date we have said that we're not trying to maintain a price guide. We would have to change that position for at least a small number of items, making note of things we see go up on ebay & what they went for. We could do some of that, as long as the number of items was truly limited, so that it wouldn't be too much of a chore & would not detract too much from our original mission.

The Idea

So here's our pitch on how this could be done in the modern era. Our proposed "ground rules" if this idea takes off.

1. Instead of a card being sent in, the holder would need to furnish an email & later a couple pictures to serve as "proof" of ownership.

This would be a 3 stage process - first an email from the holder stating the desire to register, then an acknowledgement from us we got it, and then the holder could send in their pics. We get enough spam with viruses already, so the same rule would apply as for Igor's mail - no attachments without prior correspondence.

The first pictures would reference the number. In the case of the original 7"s that had the cards like you saw above, you could scan the card itself. If your copy doesn't have the card, a pic of the other numbered part would work too - the sleeve and disc together, so we could see both that hand-written # and the disc's catalog number. Or in the case of the Third Reich Box, the corner with the the number. For the original Santa Dog, the numbered part at the bottom of the sleeve. You get the idea. Other examples would also include the "Music And Art Archives" certs, those strips that came with some Archives items in the late '90s, or a Tom Timony notation (like mr E.Y.E. got with his white Third Reich) with an official stamp. For all pics, the higher resolution, the better.

Second, another picture of some OTHER part of the package - could be a camera snap with a current date stamp, or it even could be a pic of "you with your item". Some of us are quite proud of certain items that we've found, and the latter would certainly be convincing enough to seal the deal. Anyway, it's gotta be some further evidence that you yourself are the holder of the item.

You make your case with those pics - if it's clear enough to confirm you gotzit, we'd accept it; if not, we'd ask for something else to help confirm.

(We obviously are not trying to be a boil on yr bum here. We sure don't care what y'all look like. We're just trying to do our best given that we cannot walk up to each other and look at the item in question. If you can think of a better & more creative way to convey it - ex. a little webcam file that goes from a wide shot of the disc/sleeve and then zooms in on the number part... or like a hostage proof, a pic of your item with a current newspaper with date clearly readable - by all means offer it up. We're simply trying to prevent someone from just taking other people's pictures & doctoring them for submission.)

During this picture exchange phase, NONE of this information is made known to anyone in any format. It is simply retained offline in a folder for our "proven cases". We suppose that this could also come in handy in an emergency - if someone's house burned down, and an item was lost in the fire (heaven forbid!), we could return your pics to you, and maybe that might help you with your insurance company if you had the items covered as part of your personal property. And we could reference this offline folder if someone else tries to put forward the idea that they have YOUR item - we would NOT show that info to this impostor, but verbally dismiss their claim because we already have proof of your being the authentic holder.

2. We would post a list of items & verified holders online, but only in a manner agreeable to the holder.

Yes, something gets posted, and this gives the holder "something tangible" that can be referenced. But this also raises some privacy concerns. And it runs contrary to our current privacy statement - "no personal information is collected or requested". We would need to explicitly revise that statement to note this one exception. See below for how we address the privacy issues.

3. To make it agreeable, the holder has the complete choice of how they want this information to be posted in the list.

It would totally be their choice, as broad or as narrow as they want it to be.

Regarding text details, they choose whether it's posted with their name, or with a pseudonym (which we encourage), or with our current fave for such things within other areas of RRROAR - a simple notation of "Nameless Soul" for those who don't want it known. For sure we would not note detailed addresses, but we leave it to the holder if they want to note a city, or just a state or province, or just a country. Or for that Nameless Soul, "somewhere".

We would also leave it to the holder as to whether or not any of their "proof" pictures are posted. If allowed, and if that included the "you and your item" pic, we'd blot out faces for the ones posted. Originals retained on that folder for posterity, of course. Anything the holder allows that was sent in hi-res quality would get redux'ed to a smaller size for posting.

At their discretion, the holder can provide both private & public types of information, with the private being stashed away offline with the originals of their pics and not posted, and with only the public part they want known actually getting posted into the list.

Finally, we'd setup a preview email before we'd slap this onto the internet, a cut/paste of what the info would look like as posted but before actual post. One last chance for the holder to revise things.

4. As the keepers of this list, we would accumulate a list of prices & post them with the list.

This list would ONLY contain publically known information. It would not include anything personally provided by the holders regarding what they paid for something - that could work both positively (noting prices for things that rarely change hands) and negatively (if someone says they paid $10, how do we know that's true or not?), and so we would not include any of it. If some items never trade publically, they would just not have any prices noted.

5. The holders would be requested to notify us when they have sold/traded/given an item to someone else, so that their tie to the item can be cleaned up from the list.

We would NOT want the previous holder to provide any information to us regarding the new holder. It would be that new holder's choice whether or not they want to re-register. We simply would ask that, since we kept this information for you, you would kindly let us know when you've relinquished it, so we can tidy things up. Simple as that.

6. The holders would provide a current valid email address, to be used only if questions come up.

An issue could arise where someone sold an item, forgot to notify us, and now the new holder is registering it - and to us it appears that both have furnished proper proof of being the holder. We would then contact the original registrant to see if they parted with it. We would have that one email addy you initially communicated with, and if that never changes, it's fine enough. But let us know if you change it. Any email address would simply be retained offline with those pics & details, and would never be shared with others.

7. We would maintain this list as long as it doesn't get out of hand.

We offer this up for consideration, making an assumption that it all goes in a cool manner. We're not looking for misunderstandings on that verification phase. We hope that there aren't any impostors wasting our time (hey, someone tried to falsely sell a Third Reich Box using a picture they took from someone else, so who knows). And we said that we aren't looking for something that seriously detracts from the time being allocated to the growth of the collectors list proper. As long as y'all are cool with it, then we will be too. And if it devolves into something uncool, then we'll fold it up.

The Possible Future?

So that's our idea. We spent enough time pondering this and typing this up. Now we want to hear from you collectors. What do you think? Would you participate & get a kick out of it? Do you not give an Oscar rat's ass?

Click here to send a note saying YES you like this idea.
Click here to send a note saying NO you don't care.
(you don't have to include any text for either choice, but it's up to you if you want to add some as further persuasion)
(if you say YES, and have ideas on how this could be improved, feel free to elaborate & we'll consider it)

We can't say specifically what it will take, but we sure would like to see some comments from folks before undertaking such an endeavor. Such a program would only be as good as you choose to make it. If all that's listed out here are our (E.Y.E.'s and Igor's) items, it's no different from what's already in the regular collectors list. To us, right off the bat, it would be neat to see all of the different things put onto those original Santa Dogs (their funny numbering), and it would also clarify what really happened with those first printings of Pollex Christi.

So we'll see that response and then make a decision. If that response is positive, then we'll revamp this section from "The Possible Future?" to "The Present", and away we'll go.

12/04/2004 - After more than a month, the sum total of responses could be counted on one hand. That's not enough to justify the effort involved in doing what was proposed. To those who liked the idea & did respond, thanks for the feedback, but sorry, it's not gonna happen. To those who didn't - I guess Oscar rat's ass wins out.

We'll leave this page out here to serve as documentation for the idea, but that's all it was - an idea.

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