The Joy of Bocce Weekly
 In This Issue: Vol. II, Issue 52 - December 29, 2003 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Circulation problems
•   Ezine's second anniversary
•   Joy of Bocce 2nd edition
•   Feedback needed
•   Bocce happenings - 2003
 Notes from the publisher
The FREE weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume 2, Issue #52 - December 29, 2003
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2003 http://www.joyofbocce.com

Come visit us often at joyofbocce.com. We have bocce info, merchandise, links to other great bocce sites, and the best selling bocce instructional book in the USA.

Order Now @ just $13.95 by clicking on the book image to the right.

*********************************************

I hope you will like this electronic newsletter. To be deleted from the list, you can Unsubscribe at the end of this issue. We will quickly and permanently remove your email address from our list (we'll be sorry to see you go). But, be aware that one of our enthusiastic readers suggested that “…bocce and unsubscribe are mutually exclusive terms.”

********************************************

If you know others who would enjoy and benefit from this Ezine, encourage them to sign up. You could forward this issue to them so they can decide for themselves if they want to "opt in". I promise that I will never be in the business of selling or trading your email address or other personal information.

********************************************

PLEASE – we are always looking for bocce photos and feedback from all over the USA. We want to connect bocce fans everywhere. You can email (author@joyofbocce.com) or snail mail (Mario Pagnoni, P.O. Box 608, Methuen, MA 01844).

Step up a notch & review International style bocce

 Ezine's second anniversary
Happy New Year to all!

Well, we made it through a second year of publishing The Joy of Bocce Weekly. This time around we were a true weekly – 52 weeks, 52 issues. Time again to reflect…on the ezine, and on bocce in general.

The game continues to grow, but not nearly fast enough for those of us who love it and want to see it more widely recognized and appreciated.

A good sign is that more and more bocce-related products are being promoted by a number of vendors. This means that businesses are seeing the potential market for this great game, still referred to as the “best kept secret in sports.”

Though a labor of love, a weekly bocce ezine is an ambitious undertaking. I “cut a few corners” this time around to simplify things for myself. For example, I often ran the same Bocce Product of the Week four weeks in a succession, making it, in effect, the bocce product of the month.

The only way I can continue to publish a weekly is if readers contribute. Please, submit questions, suggestions, and comments. REPLY if you have an answer to a question posed or an opinion on an issue that appears in the ezine. And please submit photos for our most popular feature – Photos of the Week (by far, the most clicked on and visited link every week).

My primary goal is still to promote the game and to be a voice for unifying it. It really irritates me that horseshoes (a good game, but one that can't hold a candle to ours) is so well standardized while bocce struggles to present a unified approach.

Here's hoping that The Joy of Bocce Weekly can continue to grow and perhaps help make a difference in promoting and unifying the game.

View Joy of Bocce Weekly back issues

 Feedback needed
My job as publisher is a great deal easier when readers submit questions, comments, feedback, and especially photos. It makes things simple for me when readers REPLY to the questions posed or to the requests for FEEDBACK. For those who have done so, thank you and please continue to contribute.

Those who haven't yet, please considering tapping that REPLY link and giving us your two-cents worth. You'll be helping us all get a clearer picture of bocce in the USA, and you'll be doing your part to help the ezine grow, which will in turn (I hope), help the game to grow.

"Photos of the week" has consistently been the biggest attraction. Readers love viewing courts and pictures of families enjoying the game. Thanks to all those who were kind enough to submit photos. Please continue to do so. Bocce court pics and action shots are preferable to posed photos of trophy winners. If possible, please include a little background to serve as a caption.

Questions I'd like FEEDBACK on...Please REPLY...

Does the Joy of Bocce Weekly come out too frequently? Some readers don’t open the newsletter until a week or two after it’s been sent. Would a bi-weekly ezine be better than a weekly?

What kinds of articles do you want to see this year? I’d like to see tips on improving play from top players. I’d also like to hear about suggestions for promoting the game to a larger audience, especially how we might get some television exposure. What do YOU want to read about in upcoming issues?

Last week's photos held over - Il Vagabondo (NYC)

 Circulation problems
We were on schedule to make our goal of 10,000 subscribers this year. But the email publishing industry went though (and continues to endure) much turmoil.

Everybody is concerned about SPAM. Many people are reluctant to provide their email addresses for fear of being deluged with junk email. Lots of spam filters have been put in place and, in some cases, wanted material gets filtered out with the unwanted. In addition, anti-spam legislation targeted at unsavory characters who harvest email addresses and send unsolicited ads impacts legitimate ezine publishers as well.

At one point, Topica.com (our list manager) deleted hundreds of addresses that “bounced” 5 or more times this year. Now, five bounces might be a lot if you are mailing monthly (5 of 12 is closing in on a 50% failure rate). But with a weekly, 5 bounces of 52 is less than 10%. I’m not so sure such an address should be deleted.

People who “opt in” to receive the Joy of Bocce Weekly via the FEEDBACK link at joyofbocce.com will get an email that says, in effect, “You want to receive this ezine on bocce…is that correct?” Only if they respond positively to this email will they be added to the subscriber base.

Well, we’ve leveled off at around 7500 subscribers which, I fear is too small to have a major impact on the game. We need to double twice, first getting to 15,000 subscribers, then to 30,000 – please help us get there.

Your word-of-mouth advertising will help. If you run a tournament, you could post a notice near the brackets that gives subscribe info.

Also, this year I will make a concerted effort to free-lance some bocce articles in mass market periodicals. Currently I am pitching articles on the state of the game today, bocce as mild exercise for seniors, and bocce as an inexpensive recreation program. Success with any of these should help promote the game and add ezine subscribers. Finally, the Joy of Bocce (second edition) needs to get in print in 2004. With lots of new material and photos, many from past issues of The Joy of Bocce Weekly, the book should draw subscribers to the ezine.

Check out Boccemon's scoreboard ideas...

 Joy of Bocce 2nd edition
I thought it might be fun to follow the progress of the Joy of Bocce 2nd edition in this coming year’s ezine. In the next 10 weeks or so (hope to finish by then), I’ll provide a weekly update including the status of the writing, how many query letters are in circulation, how many rejections have been received, etc. I might even post chapters on the web site for review (a la Stephen King and others) so that readers can have input into the shaping of the text.

The book will have all chapters reworked with new material and photos. In addition, new chapters in the works include “How to Organize & Run a League/Tournament”, “The Best of the Joy of Bocce Weekly”, "North American Open Rules", and a pictorial titled “Bocce Courts We’ve Known and Loved.”

I’ll look into traditional publishing houses (where I have a pretty good track record), print-on-demand outfits (which I understand is the wave of the future), and even deals with bocce product vendors or advertisers who might want to enter into a publishing arrangement. Any ideas along any of these lines would be greatly appreciated. Please REPLY.

Check out Peter Rabito's scoreboard ideas...

 Bocce happenings - 2003
Judging by the long list of tournaments regularly posted in the ezine, the game thrives.

A couple of bocce videos were made available this year, but we are still in dire need of television exposure. A planned documentary on bocce filmed in California showed great promise, but, as yet, has not materialized.

Author and actress Dr. Emelise Aleandri landed a role in a movie called “The Tournament.” As Aleandri explains it, the story is about a young boy’s “coming of age.” Set in Rhode Island, the action centers around the youngster and his bocce champion dad. With script in hand, Director Eugene Celico was set to begin filming, but ran into financing problems.

The east coast's tireless bocce promoter, Rico Daniele of Springfield, Massachusetts made inroads. Independent movie producer Sean Ireland, a Springfield native, was in the city to shoot scenes for his jail break movie "Sway". Daniele worked his magic and persuaded Ireland to film a scene with a bocce game in the background (Daniele and some of his bocce friends are in the scene). Stay tuned for more on the release of the film.

Michigan’s Tony Battaglia has begun construction of his Palazzo di Bocce with 10 indoor courts and an Italian restaurant. Set to open this coming spring, the facility is likely to be one of the best bocce venues in North America. Talk is of Battaglia hosting a world championship at the site. Just to show you what a smart man Battaglia is, he’s offered me the job of running the bocce part of the operation. A retired guy who likes to play bocce, shoot three-pointers, and pitch slow-pitch softball, I’m not looking for a job. But, if the deal is right, I just might re-join the ranks of the employed.

Entrepreneur Chris Pfeiffer of Wisconsin brought to market his clever Portable Bocce Courts that are ideal for recreational bocce. The 60’ by 12’ templates frame an area for play without the high cost of a permanent court.

Several bocce aficionados created reasonably priced scoreboards this year. Peter Rabito of the Long Island Bocce Club and Tom McNutt of Boccemon.com keep refining their ideas and offer quality products at reasonable prices.

Check out Rico Daniele's web site...

Merchandise still available at joyofbocce.com

Check out the first-rate equipment we offer. The finest measuring devices for bocce (made in UK by Prohawk for lawn bowling, petanque, and bocce) - the finest bocce balls in the world (made in Italy by Perfetta) and the number one selling instructional book on bocce in America - Check them out.
 Check out the merchandise