|Although I mostly collect Scandinavia, I have also had|
a small collection of Australia, for many years, because
my godmother was Australian
"WHY bother?" I ask myself.
Back when I was in school, we had something called "show and tell." This was when you had to bring something to school, get up in front of the class to show it off and talk a bit about what it was and what it did, and why you were interested in it. I expect many people experienced "show and tell," when they were in school.
All these years later, online stamp groups largely work as a "show and tell" for (by now adult) stamp collectors.
So why do I consider these "blank" images posted to stamp groups "meaningless" and even annoying?
Well, here's just a random picture of a stamp. OK. Fine. What am I supposed to do with that? Are you expecting me to go find a catalog and look up what it is? WHY did you post it? Do you particularly LIKE it? Do you HAVE it in your collection? Or are you LOOKING for it? Are you wanting to TRADE it? Are you asking others to help you IDENTIFY it?
|The "Posthorn" definitive series from Norway is widely regarded as the|
world's longest continually running stamp series. Introduced in 1872,
the basic design remains in use today.
Obviously, people who post hundreds of images to stamp group surely must have some kind of "objective." Presumably, they are "showing" their stamps with the hope people will look at them. But if you don't care enough to provide at least a tiny bit of information about the stamp, why should I "care enough" to look at them, let alone "like" or "comment" on them?
Now, you might be wondering what "the big deal" is here, and why I am even bothering to comment on this particular trend. Why not just "ignore them and let it go?"
I guess the "big deal" for me is that I (and quite a few other people) am interested in the social aspect of online stamp groups... and when someone posts one "meaningless photo" after another, the actual stamp discussions pretty much get pushed out of the way... and I find myself spending a lot of (not particularly enjoyable) time sifting through mountains of photos of common definitives from "Upper Slobodnia" or "Philamondobondistan" I don't care about. I might care if you gave me a reason to... but you don't.
Is it really "a problem?"
|Iceland became the 3rd country I started collecting|
after learning about volcanoes and geothermal
geography in school.
Really makes me want to shake these folks and say "How about a little QUALITATIVE editing?"
Don't get me wrong-- I honor the fact that different people approach stamp collecting from different perspectives... and I also honor the idea that there is no "right" or "wrong" way to collect stamps. That said, there is the broader issue (outSIDE your stamp collection) of a little awareness of others and how your actions impact those around you. If your actions-- however innocent they may be-- result in your monoplozing a philatelic group's space, you may be taking away from others' enjoyment of the group, even though your root intentions may be the exact opposite!
The other issue that comes to my mind concerns the general future of stamp collecting. Will an endless "encyclopedia" of stamp images with no explanation attached inspire potential new collectors to join our hobby.... or just confuse them? I lean towards the latter, thinking they'll just see some of ALL those pictures and think "pretty cool, but I feel so lost. This is very complicated and I'm afraid I'll never figure it out." Or worse still, they'll think philately is some kind of "private club" where if you don't know what something is, you "don't belong." And then they'll move on.
What do YOU think? If you are reading these words, you're obviously a stamp collector online. Do you belong to stamp collecting groups? Do you notice people doing this sort of "empty image posting?" How do YOU feel about it? Leave a comment!