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Conversations With Philatelists - Ep. 41: Stamp Smarter And The Future Of Online Philately

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Posted 03/09/2021   11:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add widglo46 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The interview was great, Don, and I'm glad Michael and Charles reached out to you. You have some great ideas on how to bring our hobby up to speed with modern digital technology, and I hope the video will spur support for some of the projects you talked about.
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Posted 03/16/2021   12:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not to be Mr. Obvious, but there is the library associated with the APS, The American Philatelic Research Library.

The digitized monthly postal guides would help both you and the APRL for example. Linking to the daily postal bulletin website or absorbing it into the APRL seems a no brainier. I as an APS member would donate for that cause. Building the data base is in the interest of the APS APRL and of course the collectors.

I hope your answer is not they politely closed the door in your face.
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Edited by Parcelpostguy - 03/16/2021 12:47 am
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Posted 03/16/2021   05:10 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am a member of the Philatelic Librarians Roundtable group and I approached the APRL (Tara and Roger) and had discussions about accepting digital content. At that time they were willing to accept them but could only commit to putting a disk/drive on a shelf; they were not able to republish the content to keep it online and publicly available.

I have also previously worked with APS in getting a database transferred to them and found it took a very long time (almost a year) to get it implemented. This was something that would have taken an IT person 1-2 man hours. Note that at that time they relied upon an outsourced IT company.

Back in the 2010-2012 time period I advocated that the APS/APRL 'grow' internal IT resources. My opinion was that delivering philatelic content was a core competency for the APS/APRL and that obviously the internet and IT is a primary part of doing just that. I got little traction then but I this was before Scott English became involved with the APS; under his direction I think there has been positive movement but I do not know if his efforts have included internal resources that have the ability to do things like coding and SQL database work.
Don
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Posted 03/16/2021   08:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add widglo46 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don - I think you hit on the key element lacking in many organizations and small companies, i.e. internal IT resources. I think the reluctance to do manage IT in-house is a holdover from the common advice given 20 years ago when the tools for managing websites and databases weren't nearly as friendly as they are today. The thought was that if you lost your programmer, you'd face disaster, and it was better to outsource unless you were prepared to devote a lot of resources to IT staff. I don't think that is the situation anymore.
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Posted 03/16/2021   10:39 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

The above is a graph I modified from a Rogers technology adoption curve

Hi Lorry,
Good point about the tools but of course this topic also includes vision and 'selling'. I think that by 2000 many folks had enough vision to understand how the internet was impacting content delivery. This covers the first two groups above, the geeks and the visionaries.

And typically, there is a 'selling' period where the geeks and the visionaries have to convince and get 'buy-in' by others in an organization. In the early 2000s common sense and the 'handwriting on the wall' was that the internet was certainly a paradigm shift in how we all access and used information in our lives. In other words the pragmatists joined the geeks and the visionaries and by 2008 most forward facing organizations were well underway with transitioning into the internet age. That was over a decade ago and as we approach 95%+ internet adoption now in 2020 I think it is appropriate to use the phase 'behind the curve' for our hobby.

I fully understand not being on a 'bleeding edge' with tech, it is risky and costly. But I would also think that many companies and organization would like to think of themselves as leaders and not followers. Hopefully our hobby will lead by visionaries and not by laggards.
Don
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Posted 03/16/2021   12:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Paul Mitchell to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well done Don! Thanks for posting.
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Posted 03/16/2021   3:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don,

Great interview outlining where the web site has come from, where it is today, and where it can be in the future. Unfortunatly, libraries are good at documenting the past but not too visionary about future needs of folks to access information.

The key element needed to make sure that Stampsmarter exists into the future is our ability to clone Don or at least other future dedicated geeks willing to keep the electrons flowing. Finding other folks willing to develope and contribute content is a much simpler challenge that someone able to keep the lights on line.

Thanks again for all you do. Russ
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