Charles and Michael contacted me a few weeks ago and invited me to sit down with them for a discussion how Stamp Smarter came into being and my opinion on the role that digital philately plays in our hobby. The Podcast is here
Conversations with Philatelists - Ep. 41: Stamp Smarter and the Future of Online Philately
A big 'thank you' to these fellows for helping promote our hobby. Don
What have you done to make arrangements for stampsmarter to continue into the future when we're no longer on the planet? Have you secured any proxies/foundations/sponsors in order to keep alive your project/vision and work? It would be a shame for something so good not to continue and to continue being improved and maintained.
One aspect you guys discussed was sharing your collection with others. I think it would be fun and exciting to do so, but I doubt many of us would/do because of the security implications involved with someone knowing who/where you are and what you possess would make it more likely for someone to target you for theft.
One thing I'd sure like to see is a digital identification tool that really worked, that could take 2 pictures (front and back) and automatically detect secret marks, grills, colors, plating, etc.....the way the bank lets you deposit a check by phone now (it does the picture focusing for you) ... still a dream I know, but...
Thank You for you excellent contribution to stamp collecting community! - Jim
IMO "Conversations" is one of the better APS innovations of late. The enthusiasm of the two young hosts is palpable. And this latest episode with SCF's own Don Denman is both informative and inspirational.
Don, it has been a pleasure to get to know you across the past few years. Your promotion of philatelic education, in a variety of forms, represents a significant (and durable) contribution to the hobby.
Thank you, Don for your dedication and generosity.
Quote: ...What have you done to make arrangements for stampsmarter to continue into the future when we're no longer on the planet? ...
Hi Jim, I have explored various ways to ensure that the Stamp Smarter continues forward into the future; ideally some of our philatelic libraries would be able to accept digital donations and keep philatelic websites publicly published. There is support for this from a few libraries but their 'digital archiving' means throwing a DVD disk or USB drive with the website files on a dusty shelf. Since most all websites require a web server to actually work, having some files on a disk makes it virtually inaccessible to the hobby. So year after year we continue to have philatelic web sites going dark and we face a constant 'brain drain'. From a library/archiving standpoint why are digital efforts consider less important that hard copy efforts? Is pouring 2000 man hours into a hard copy book somehow more 'worthy' than pouring 2000 man hours into a website content?
This frustrated me about 7 years ago and I decided to not wait around to see if the library/archive solution would ever come to fruition. So currently the situation is that the Stamp Smarter website is configured to be as self-sustaining as possible. Donations go straight into an account which pays the hosting fees and no human intervention is required to keep the site published online. All the community database projects are 'crowd sourced' and have a large number of folks who have full access to them. These folks have the ability to not only add/edit the content but also download the community project database content 24/7/365. I view the website as a delivery vehicle, the real value is the content itself and not my web page coding. As such a significant amount of the Stamp Smarter philatelic content is stored in SQL databases which should be viable for decades to come no matter how much the user interface(s) may evolve. The Stamp Smarter site has the ability to keep running fine if I drop dead.
I am also open to other solutions if any long-term organization desires to address their inability to properly archive digital content donations. Don
Experienced stamps need a home too. I'd rather have an example that is imperfect than no example. I collect for enjoyment, not investment. APS Member #223433 Postmark Collectors Club Member #6333 Meter Stamp Society Member #1409