by Steve Swain
9th of March 2014
Editor's Note: The following review of the StampoRama website originally appeared in the March / April 2014 issue of Stamp Insider in the Stamp In-Sites column. Author Steve Swain has graciously arranged for us to reprint it here for the club's permanent archives.
StampoRama: The Ideal Online Stamp Club
If you are seeking an unrivaled, content rich stamp club site featuring outstanding, visual design and is a joy to navigate, go no further than www.StampoRama.com. Begun in 1996 as a six-member trade-stamps-by-mail club, it entered into the web domain in 2002 and the site has grown by leaps and bounds with a current membership — ranging in age from 8 to 88 — in excess of 2,100 from 83 countries worldwide.
My Rating of the Site (5=High, 1=Low)
Content: 5+; Structure & Navigation: 5; Visual Design: 5; Functionality: 5+; Interactivity: 5; Overall: 5
Awarded a Vermeil in the 2013 APS Chapters & Affiliates Website Competition, StampoRama is truly a club, a vibrant gathering of like-minded collectors and not simply a blog or a site masking its primary intent of selling philatelic items. There is an auction component on the site, but it is minor compared to the many other activities and features. Members share their collecting experiences, and collections, using image-laden articles and exhibits easily created with site-provided tools. The FAQs section offers a veritable wealth of information about postal history, stamp identification, catalog use, storing and displaying stamps, etc.
On any given day (and almost all day), the Discussion Board is brimming with members’ entries of club business items and announcements, reminders for upcoming shows, “newcomer corner” explanations and helpful hints, suggestions as to where to find affordable collecting supplies, and much more. There is even a lively Tournament of Stamps-o-Rama game played by hundreds of members where the winner is the first person to correctly identify the mystery stamp from a series of pictorial clues that are provided daily.
The site is clutter-free with attractive pages reflecting a consistent design and effective use of space. A clever, appealing feature is the automatic cycling of images of stamps and covers in the upper left-hand corner as you navigate from page to page. From the main menu, you can choose to “set screen width” to narrow, wide, or wider in order to easily adjust your viewing space. Kudos to webmaster Tim Auld, who is also StampoRama’s APS representative.
The club’s membership does not allow the site to rest on its well-deserved laurels and become stagnant. A recent example of keeping the site’s content and purpose fresh is the introduction of approval books, electronic versions of stock pages, and small books of inexpensive stamps that were once mailed to collectors by stamp companies. Using system-provided templates, any member can compile and publish their approval books to the site. There is not an online auction, club or store site offering anything like StampoRama’s approval books.
To view artcle in its original, please visit the Stamp Insider Website:
Online PageFlip version of the March April 2014 Issue
PDF version of the March April 2014 Issue