Monday, December 31, 2012

Colnect: Goodbye 2012 - Welcome 2013!

This past year has been a year of many additions, from collectible categories, through features to the very inner workings of the system for Colnect. Colnect has grown, both as a community and as a catalog, network and website, and with it it learned, improved and bettered itself. Just as 2012 begins and ends with the number 2 which symbolizes togetherness, Colnect began and is ending it's year peaking with it's greatest strength - cooperation.
Many collectible categories joined the Colnect ranks in 2012, to proudly represent and cater to all their collectors. Categories such as Pocket Calendars, Sugar Packets, Lego Sets, Stickers and Trading Card Games are each now holding their place with a respectable catalog of their own. All these categories were established by collectors and with collectors that initiated, maintained and contributed to make it all happen.

Year 2013 Pocket Calendar, from the Colnect Catalog
Some categories are in the works now, to be made public in this coming year of 2013, such as Drink Labels, Medals, Video Games and Functional Cards. All collectors interested are welcome to join and contribute to the new categories by contacting the respective category coordinators. We wish all these categories and their coordinators luck and success in the new year. All the process of construction of new categories has been available since this year on the new "New Categories" forum, where everyone cam follow new suggestions of categories and suggest some of their own.
Year 2013 Pocket Calendar, from the Colnect Catalog
The Colnect community itself has been increasing in size, as more and more collectors are discovering all the advantages it offers. Only last month Colnect marked it's latest milestone of 40004 collectors registered. The community members have also been reaching out to each other more on the personal level, and were afforded the comfortable opportunity to in the new Meetings and Events forum.
Year 2013 Pocket Calendar, from the Colnect Catalog
The expanding catalogs have been benefiting from the many generously active helping hands of collectors around the world, and have also marked milestones of their own. The Stamps category reached 300303 Stamps, the Coins category now superseded it's previous milestone of 30003 Coins, while the Phonecards category has achieved the number of 400004 items on it's catalog.

Year 2013 Pocket Calendar, from the Colnect Catalog
Possibly the most important and influential changes introduced to Colnect are in the added features and the improvement of the system. Colnect has been working to make itself smoother, more accessible, easier and friendlier to use. New features included the valuable Best Matches option, the Colnect Item Score for collectible items and the 5 Star Contribution system.

Year 2013 Pocket Calendar, from the Colnect Catalog
The most exciting part of this changing year is that 2013 is sure to bring with it much more revolutionary changes, improvements and many more very welcome additions. Already now we are expecting great potential from the results of the work on the Colnect API, the New Method to Add Items and Colnect Marketplace.

Year 2013 Pocket Calendar, from the Colnect Catalog
Thank you to all are continuously helping to realize such a wonderful, useful and effective tool for collectors of so many items around the world. There is no room to thank each one individually, but we hope this will be a great year for each one of you and for all of us together.
Happy New Year 2013 !

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Brothers Grimm 200th Anniversary - Stamps Telling History

Stamps and well written tales have something very important in common. They both serve a purpose to tell a story, and for both there will always be passionate people, be it avid readers of books or Collectors of Stamps, who's love and appreciation help conserve these important stories and pass them on from generation to generation.
"The Brothers Grimm", depicted on a German stamp issued in 1959 
This year marked the 200th Anniversary of the Brothers Grimm's first published collection of folk tales named "Children's and Household Tales" ("Kinder- und Hausmärchen"), that was published in 1812.


"Cinderella and her coat" and "Cinderella and her shoe" , German Stamps, 1965
The Brothers Grimm (GermanBrüder Grimm or Die Gebrüder Grimm), Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786–1859), were German academics, linguists, cultural researchers, and authors who together collected folklore. They are among the most well-known storytellers of European folk tales, and their work popularized such stories as "Cinderella" (Aschenputtel), "The Frog Prince" (Der Froschkönig), "Hansel and Gretel" (Hänsel und Gretel), "Rapunzel", "Rumpelstiltskin" (Rumpelstilzchen), and "Snow White" (Schneewittchen).

"The story of Hansel and Gretel", German Stamps, 1961
The popularity of the Grimm's collections of folk tales endured well beyond their lifetimes. The tales are available in more than 100 translations and have been adapted to many popular films around the world, crossing all cultural barriers. They have created a legacy that enriches the lives of many entire nations, reaching them one child at a time.
"Snow White", German Stamps, 1962
In honor of the 200th Anniversary of the Brothers Grimm's body of work we wanted to display the lovely German series of Stamps, displayed on the Colnect Stamp catalog, made about their most famous published works. The series, issued throughout the 1960's, depicts different famous moments and plot points from their most well known tales. Almost each year there was a new tale of the Grimm brothers retold through Stamps. The artist beautifully depicted, in a childlike simplified nostalgic style, scenes we all grew up to be so familiar with, as were our parents, their parents before them and so on.

"Little Red Cap", German Stamps, 1960
We hope that the best stories of our culture will continue to be remembered and retold through Stamps, as well as other collectibles, with the dedication, enthusiasm and understanding that so many collectors and collectors communities we have come to know and cherish on Colnect have shown again and again.

Cheerful Holidays and Happy Collecting :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Story of Colnect


Lately it seemed that one thing was missing in the Colnect story, and that is Colnect itself telling it. Colnect’s active and beautiful community is always telling the story of what Colnect is, but the time has come to type down some official version of how it came to be. So here it goes.
Amir and Frognector climbing the Triund trail at Dharamsala, India


Beginning - The Idea and IPD
or “How an idea, a family and a community grew together”

From son to father, from father to son, from son to brother. It all started when Amir's younger brother, Uri, started collecting phone cards. Soon enough their father, Avi, trying to help out his son with his new hobby, got hooked too. Avi Wald became an avid and dedicated collector. In 2002, Amir's older brother Ofer decided to create a website for their father to encourage him to use the internet more. That is how “Islands Phonecards Database” (IPD) was created. The word of the site spread around to other collectors and they began frequenting it. Amir, coming back from his world travels near the end of 2007, decided to take it on, from a hobby into a serious undertaking.

Amir Wald has made his first steps as a developer at the age of 8. Amir had solely written from scratch a shelf product for an educational company before he turned 18. Amir was involved in numerous software projects of various fields (educational, financial, military, and more) and was thus well-versed in facing new challenges in unknown environments.

The most important changes Amir began with were allowing collectors to directly contribute phonecard information and translate the site online. This approach created a huge potential to exponentially expand the catalog's and site's scope. It proved very effective as more collectors from around the world joined and helped by contributing more collectible card information. Many collectors that joined IPD are today coordinators on Colnect, contributing their time, knowledge and effort to the Colnect catalogs for the benefit of all collectors. Collectors such as Vadym Sulimenko, Ignacio F Lopes Vico, Jens Bruno Wittek stayed with Amir and helped it all happen. Today the list of contributors is growing as well and we owe each and every one of them a big thank you for contributing to the community.


Amir and Frognector are ready for action in Rishikesh, India
Building Colnect - A Chain Reaction

IPD was gaining popularity fast. It wasn't long before it quadrupled the number of its active collectors and continued doubling on. Its collectible phone cards database increased in size and more collectors managed to easily swap cards with collectors from other countries. The success of IPD has motivated Amir to create Colnect.com. Colnect, (Collect + Connect), was created to open up to embrace all collectors of all collectibles everywhere.

Colnect gathered a large, active, attentive, loyal and kind natured community around it. More and more collectible categories were added, from Stamps and Coins, to Tea Bags and Drink Labels.

Avi Wald, 1949-2010
As Colnect grew into a name in the collectors community, it naturally also grew a new face. Frognector, the frog collector, has risen from his humble beginning as Amir’s nephew’s toy, to stardom as Colnect’s beloved green mascot. Frognector was born in 2009, making his first appearance in the StartUp20 competition in Bilbao, Spain, where Colnect won 1st prize. From there on Colnect has gone on to win more competitions such as the TechAviv Peer Awards.

In 2010, Avi Wald, Amir’s father, passed away. He was a devoted collector whose spirit and enthusiasm has inspired and brought about Colnect’s existence. His honest and kind ways will always be remembered, among others, by the many collectors he has gotten to know and exchange with on Colnect. His love and appreciation for knowledge and for the collecting spirit manifests and continues on in the community and workings of Colnect.

Frognector visiting a Buddhist temple in Kunming, China
Colnect Today

Today Colnect is translated into more than 60 languages, visited by over 300,000 unique visitors a month, has over 40,000 registered collectors, has nearly 1 million items cataloged on its 19 online collectible categories, has over 50 million items marked in member's collections and counting. There are always new categories in the works, contributors uploading information and collectors joining from across the globe, from beginners to experienced collecting veterans. The goal is to eventually cover and include the entire collectible world.

In 2011 Amir, as always both the driving power behind Colnect and the fast typing hands operating it, has decided to take himself, Colnect and Frognector with him on the road. Amir has been traveling around the world, all the while developing Colnect, meeting up with collectors, visiting collectors fairs, markets , exhibitions and writing about his experiences.



Frognector getting a kiss at a fountain in Pattaya, Thailand
Looking Forward - The Future of Colnect

The enormous progress Colnect has made so far has only inspired its creator to take it further. The long and prosperous way the Colnect community has made together so far goes to show that Colnect succeeds not only for it's idea or the one who executed it, but also because it is useful. It responds to a need, and it has the ability to fill that need because it is made with and for the community it serves. Colnect is on it’s way to making itself smoother, more comfortable and much more available.

Among the additions in the works are the Colnect MarketPlace, Colnect Applications and Products and Upgrading Colnect’s features and system. Ideas a little further along the way include Colnect Wiki, Colnect Social communications and more.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

400,004 Phonecards on Colnect

The number 4 is proving to be a lucky number for Colnect. Only a few days ago we announced 40004 Collectors on Colnect, and today we are happy to announce that the items on the catalogs are fast catching up on their own landmark numbers. No less than 400,004 phonecards are now available on the Colnect Phonecards catalog.
Colnect's largest catalog is showing it's strength by not slowing down. Since it's last milestone it continues to grow as more and more dedicated collectors contribute their time, effort and heart to the catalog. All of it wouldn't have been possible without the guidance of the Phonecards category coordinators, Carlos Rodriguez  [venezuelanphonecards], Karl Heinz Degener [neizi], Jorge Pablo Villegas [Jorgepablo2005], Eyüp Güçmen [kolleksiyon], and Komdej Chulapprawut [komdej] who continued in the footsteps of our previous coordinators and are assisted by a multitude of contributors and editors the world over.

A notable change that made a true impact on this last great influx in the Phonecards category is the addition of Japanese Phonecards. Cards from Japan are now a large portion of the catalog, numbering at above 80,000 cards. In the past 180 days out of the 44,018 cards added, 31,203 cards were from Japan. The Japanese cards are having an impressive presence and hopefully it will continue to prosper and get through to more collectors of Japanese Phonecards.
"Waterfalls" - Japanese Phonecard. Newly added on Colnect
"Fish in front of a firework" - Japanese Phonecard. newly added on Colnect
One of the most astounding things to see on Colnect is the enthusiasm and loyalty of it's contributing collectors community. We are very happy to see the spirit and willingness of so many contributors joining in and working together to make the best catalog possible for all collectors worldwide. Thank you all, it is truly a joint effort :)
"Save the Turtle" - Maldives Phonecard, Newly added on Colnect 
The infrastructure of Colnect itself is right there advancing at the same pace, improving the system and finding the best and most convenient ways to serve the collectors community. The method in which items are added on the catalogs is now being redesigned to an easier, faster, streamlined process. Want to weigh in with your opinion as to how you would like things done? You are welcome to join the discussion.

Colnect wants to make itself as accessible as possible, making it's features available everywhere and for all needed purposes. Colnect has now opened the Colnect API, making the information on Colnect reachable to all who wants to make an app or a program, have an idea for a product or feature based on Colnect.

"Philswis, the fine art of collecting - Globi bei der Post" - Switzerland Phonecard. Newly added on Colnect
At times there is talk of Phonecards production slowing down, but as a collectible they have proven themselves to be a rich collectible source to a devoted company of collectors. Phonecards are booming with more than 100,000 Phonecards added to the catalog since our last milestone.

"Sea Waves" - Mongolia Phonecard. Newly added on Colnect.
Want to find out how you can contribute to Colnect's fast growing catalogs as well? Come see our Catalog Contribution Guidelines help page. Want to add a new collectible category to Colnect to compete with the Phonecards catalog? Please see our More Collectibles? page.

"Joe Dominique's Interpretation of The Court House" - Netherlands Antilles Phonecard. Newly added on Colnect.

Happiest Collecting to All and a Happy Holiday Season :)

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