Why Not Display Your Stamps and Covers Online?
While I understand a lot of collectors like to follow their interests privately and quietly, there are a significant number of enthusiasts who like to stimulate interest in their specialisation by exhibiting or showing items publicly. In my view there are many good reasons to do so online. If it is mainly the stamp dealers who are seen to represent our hobby then perhaps we risk being seen from the outside as simply financially motivated rather than serious collectors and students of philately.
Displaying a special stamp, postmark or cover on a web page is simply sharing your interest with others in a way that is globally accessible. The picture and text you place on that web page will get indexed by internet search engines such as Google allowing people to discover it. I believe sharing our passion for stamps or postal history is, above all, the single best way to promote philately as a hobby and could encourage increased interest in our particular fields of specialisation too. Without active ongoing promotion of all types of philatlely we are likely to see interest wane among the new generation in favour of hobbies that have better adapated to an online world. If this results in reduced interest and falling demand for GB stamps and covers then, ultimately, could this impact on the value of our collections both as a resource and asset?
So why not imagine a web page acting as an album page? It can have a title, a picture and a write up explaining the history and features of the item being displayed. There's no need for an expensive album and, given modern automated web page software, publishing online is as easy as clicking a mouse now. Many internet service providers give you some free web space to host web pages along with your account and there are several advertising supported free web hosting sites too. For the more ambitious a UK domain name only costs around £7 to buy for two years and website hosting packages are as cheap as chips thesedays too.
So why not take the plunge and consider writing up and displaying all or part of your collection online? Perhaps following a blog format where your viewers can leave comments too? You can also share your published work on Facebook and Twitter to build a following and develop your network of like minded enthusiasts. Remember too, once you have a GB stamp related web page online, you can promote it for free by adding a link on the relevant page in our directory.
I know old dogs wont learn new tricks but I firmly believe that we stamp and cover collectors need to adapt in a changing world for our hobby to survive and prosper.
If you like the idea of having an item you own displayed online but want a helping hand then why not write a brief article and enclose a picture for us to publish here? Obviously we cannot guarantee publication but for interesting GB items, if the writing is original and good along with a clear photo or scan, there's no reason we would refuse.
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