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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Writing about stamps-- to non-collectors

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ScanStamps
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05 Nov 2012
02:01:47am
Aside from collecting stamps, one of my interests (or passions?) is to help promote the stamp collecting hobby. I believe one of the best ways we can "secure the future" of philatelics is to put stamp collecting in front of "general" audiences, as something interesting and worthwhile to collect... and hopefully some people will feel inspired to start collections.

I'm a writer by trade (not generally about stamps, however, aside from my blog) and recently finished my first attempt at a stamp collecting article targeted at a "general audience"-- a fairly modest beginning covering a little bit about how stamps came about, along with some background on the development of stamp collecting.

It's fairly "light and fluffy," but please keep in mind-- ESPECIALLY if you're an advanced collector(!)-- that existing stamp collectors are not actually the primary target audience; I'm writing to someone who's "marginally aware" of stamp collecting, or who perhaps collected as a child and might feel inspired to resume the hobby.

This is a "working" version at this time, posted to a web site where it is "public" and gets traffic, but I can still modify, add and subtract things before a "hard" publication. My hope is to write a whole group of "introductory" articles about different aspects/angles of (introductory) stamp collecting-- and with a bit of luck get one or two published in non-philatelic magazines. A tough sell? Maybe... but it's worth a try, I think

Stamp Collecting: The Rise & Fall... and Rebirth of the World's Greatest Hobby

I do realize we have an "articles" area here, but I figured this should be posted somewhere NOT related to stamp collecting-- at least for the moment.

Feedback is welcome and invited!

Thanks in advance,
Peter
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Nov 2012
05:32:51am
re: Writing about stamps-- to non-collectors

Fabulous, Peter, and engaging. There are thousands of approaches one could take, and yours is good, mixing a few stories with an overarching theme. And not a false step taken.

I have a few comments, besides the overall admiration for the end result.

If you introduce Confederate stamps, you might explore them in greater depth to the extent you talk about a postal system being created whole cloth or crossing lines in times of war. Or you could use the idea to introduce the various changes that stamps document: say the Philippines, from Spanish territory to American occupation, to American territory, to Japanese occupation, to independence.

what will you do with your eBay links? Update them weekly?

and what about further resources, especially those in which young collectors could get more information and grow under guiding wings (SOR comes to mind as does Virtual Stamp Club and several other places).

I think you've done a great job mixing text and images and links. And, for a draft, it is really well laid-out.

kudos on the effort and the result

David

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

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dani20
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05 Nov 2012
07:45:00am
re: Writing about stamps-- to non-collectors

Dear Peter,
Outstanding! My earliest introduction was through a Boy Scout Merit Badge, 70+ years ago.
Very well done my friend-well done indeed.
Dan C.

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alyn
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webmaster for the ISWSC http://iswsc.org and ATA http://www.americantopicalassn.org
05 Nov 2012
09:05:21am
re: Writing about stamps-- to non-collectors

Very well written and presented Peter. Great job.

Alyn

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"http://iswsc.org - http://www.americantopicalassn.org"

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DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.
05 Nov 2012
02:57:51pm
re: Writing about stamps-- to non-collectors

Peter:

I enjoyed reading your article, worthy of your authorship.

John Derry

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"Much happiness is overlooked because it doesn't cost anything. "

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ScanStamps
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05 Nov 2012
05:18:45pm
re: Writing about stamps-- to non-collectors

Thanks for your kind words, and the feedback!

David, the article was tricky to write-- not because of what to write about, but what to leave out. There were many things I could have added, but as an "article" I quickly bumped my head against keeping a reasonable length limit. On the web, we can write as much as we want... but if this is going to transition to print, it has to remain "publishable." Your suggestions, however, might be incorporated into a different article, maybe about the history of US stamps.

The eBay links are dynamic-- i.e. every time the article is retrieved from the server, you'll see the three most relevant current results of a specific search (created "on the fly"), so they should never be out of date.

The next article I have planned will be more of a "How to start a stamp collection" angle, and I plan to include lots of resources like SOR, VSC, ATA and others. Then I can always come back to the first article and link the new one as a "resource," and vice-versa. Not possible in print, of course, but doable with web versions.

Cheers,
Peter

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