Showing posts with label frognector. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frognector. Show all posts

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.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

TechCrunch vs. India Mess - Entrepreneur Around the World

Frognector has been moving around the world and has already visited 14 countries during the last year. Being on the road allows us to meet up with collectors in different locations and some dedicated members of Colnect. It also creates an interesting story we use to make Colnect more known. We've had amazing experiences in lovely and exciting places and have met wonderful people on the road.

Frognector enjoying a red/yellow corn in Laos
Throughout this journey a column has been made public on NewsGeek (in Hebrew), sharing some experiences and insights learnt throughout the journey. Recently, we wanted to appeal to a larger audience of English readers and have tried to pitch the story to various publications. A few publications have shown interest in the story and we might soon be published in more places.

One publication, however, has made some very interesting mistake that has created vast amounts of anger amongst its reader. A sample that was sent to TechCrunch to evaluate the level of writing and judge whether our column would interest TechCrunch technologically-oriented readers, has been published by mistake. It was first attributed to someone else and has been put with wrong pictures. But the best part here was that the title was changed and, lacking any introduction to our journey, created the false impression that we're bashing India's hi-tech scene. Quite saddening that this happened as many readers became very upset about it. You're welcome to read the TechCrunch post and the comments there.

As we're now in China and couldn't see the comments (Facebook is blocked in China), we didn't even know they existed. When we got access to them, we could finally respond and here's the full response below.

"
First and foremost, please accept my deepest apologies for this post that has been MISTAKENLY made public on TechCrunch and completely taken out of context. This post was a part of a series of posts describing my PERSONAL experiences as a startupist traveling the world. It was sent to TechCrunch only as a SAMPLE to evaluate the level of writing and see if this could interest TechCrunch readers. I was shocked to find out it was published without any prior request. Its title was changed by TechCrunch and made many of you think it's an opinion about India's Hi-Tech industry. It's not. Many have thought it's bashing India. It's not. I've spent about a year of my life in India (passing through most of its states) and have much appreciation for this diversified nation.

NOW THE REAL CONTEXT: I'm the founder of Colnect ( http://colnect.com/ ), a community website for collectors worldwide available in 60 languages (including a few Indian languages). Coln
ect is offering collectors unique services, such as automatically matching exchanges between collectors based on their personal collection, and has been built by over 500 volunteers from around the globe.

Over a year ago, I've left my home and decided to keep developing Colnect while on the road. There were various reasons for that decision: meeting Colnect members and other collectors, promoting Colnect locally and through the "Entrepreneur around the world series" and enjoying an ever changing work environment. The journey has so far passed in UK, Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Israel, Jordan, India, Thailand, Laos and China.

The 22 posts made so far described personal experiences of a traveling startupist and shared my personal tips on how to facilitate traveling and working. One of the posts, published in Hebrew, was titled "7 Reasons to Leave Everything and Start your Startup in India" ( http://www.newsgeek.co.il/startup-in-india/ ).

In an effort to reach a wider audience, I've decided that the series should be made available in English and so we've addressed a few publications we thought would be relevant. One of them was TehcCrunch. They asked for samples and got them. We didn't hear from them. Then I get a Google Alert and saw this post online. Although shocked, I thought that any publicity is better than no publicity, even though the post was first attributed to another person, contained wrong pictures (first isn't mine and second is me in Thailand) and no links to Colnect. Beeing behind China's firewall, FaceBook was inaccessible and I wasn't aware of the comments until my brother let me know about them. So here I am now, explaining how all this happened.

If you've actually read this far and want to keep bashing the post, myself and TechCrunch, feel free to have another go at it.

"

Friday, July 6, 2012

One Year of Colnect Around the World

Do you know where Colnect offices are? Well, they’re not there. Not anymore. Colnect offices are on the move all over the world and chances are that by the time you read this page, they will be somewhere else than where they were when we wrote it.
Frognector was very impressed by the distinguished Indian gentleman's mustache
Today, 7/7, it will be One Year of Colnect on the road. The roads were various and many, led by the fierce and fearless Frognector. He went from the remote hitchhiking paths of Iceland and down the European continent all the way to Ukraine. He then turned east, floating in the dead sea in Israel, visiting desert caves in Jordan, being tossed around on buses and trains through India, enjoying shakes and massages in Thailand and now celebrating the long and yet-to-become-longer way in Laos. We even have pictures to prove it - the Famous Frog on top of Thai temples as well as Polish buildings and battling Indian snakes.
Look behind you, Frognector! The golden Buddha on the mountain is staring at you
So why create the Traveling Office? Well, for one thing, how else will Frognector get to meet the amazing collectors on Colnect? Yes, they can come to a Colnect Convention. But that is in the future. For now, Frognector just has to be every place. That way he got to connect a smiling face to those on Colnect whom he knows so well from working on Colnect. He got to see their collections for himself and see how their Colnecting home station looks like. In Berlin, in Prague, in Bangkok, all presented impressive collections and some good inside advice that can only be given by a collectors’ first person long term experience.
The Red Rock of Petra, Jordan, amaze even Frognector into a moment of silence
In every nook and corner the world hides amazing collectibles. Some already on Colnect, some soon-to-be-added on Colnect. As with Frognector’s travel plan, so it is with Collectible Categories and Collectible Items on Colnect - The Sky is the Limit. During the journey Colnect was constantly buzzing and busy with adding new Categories. Just like Tokens joined in Colnect, Sugar Packets, Trading Card Games and Lego Sets will soon be announced, many others are in the works and soon will be on Colnect as well. On July 2011 we have decided that Colnect should be everywhere, and so should we be. That kept Colnect growing more than ever and light on its feet ever since. Hopefully this is the start of a new exciting second year, with more developments on the site, more countries visited and more collectors met.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Colnect on Sberatel - Part 3

Colnect has presented on Sberatel 2011 and here is the third part of our experiences. You're welcome to read the first part and second part as well.

Here below you can find two specialized fantasy banknotes created especially for the fair. As you can see, they are very beautiful and so quickly became a wanted commodity in the fair. Collectors wanted to grab a few copies of each and some were even coming back again and again, pretending to see them for the first time just to grab a few more copies.




After a while, we realized that we'll have to limit the fliers to one per person so we won't run out of them on the first day. Now we can only wonder how many of the people who took them will actually become active Colnect members. Credit for the graphic design goes to André Leitão [ALeitao] who volunteered to help on Colnect.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

To help explaining to visitors about Colnect, some of our dedicated members pitched in to help. They wore Colnect T-Shirts and explained about Colnect in different languages. Thanks to Vadym Sulimenko [Dravec], of Colnect's most valuable volunteers, Czech language was very well attended to. Gary Hoff [gazzaoz], our transportation tickets coordinator, helped with German.






A special discount to Colnect members attending Sberatel has been offered this year and will likely be offered on Sberatel 2012 fair. Let's meet there :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Colnect on Sberatel - Part 2

Colnect has presented on Sberatel 2011 and here is the second part of our experiences. You're welcome to read the first part as well.

The main hall of the fair had hundreds of dealers presenting their items for sale. The most popular categories were stamps, coins and banknotes.





However, most esoteric items, such as figurines and minerals were on display as well. Colnect's centralized catalog approach is good for many categories which we don't yet offer. We do plan to offer them in the future. Kinder surprise eggs is one such category.




The phone cards section, especially dear to Colnect as it was the first category Colnect has offered, had only a few tables. It seems every year dealers are reporting that the hobby is losing interest as mobile phones mean people around the world are less likely to use public phones.

More on the next part. Let us know if you like the post :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Colnect on Sberatel - Part 1

Colnect presented on Sberatel 2011 fair in Prague, Czech Republic. The fair has been attended by over 12,000 people. It has been a lot of fun to meet Colnect members and collectors who were not yet familiar with Colnect.

Colnect's first fantasy banknotes have been publicly presented for the first time. Here you can see the Colnect dollar presented

Colnect had a table right at the entrance to the fair so that visitors would see Colnect as the first thing in the fair. Our table featured Frognector Da-Green himself, new fliers (or: fantasy banknotes) of Colnect, Colnect T-Shirts and a projector that played videos of Colnect and presented the site in real time.





Here Colnect's founder, Amir Wald [tcawe], is seen waiting for collectors at the table. Each day Mr. Wald put on a Colnect T-Shirt of a different color.



On this picture you can see Frognector and Moo resting after sipping a tasty Czech beer.



This year's fair has been a success as published by its organizer, Mr. Jindřich Jirásek: "This year's Collector Fair, 14th in a row, was the biggest in its history - both as for the space expanse and the number of the participating exhibitors. The number of paying visitors entering its gate exceeded 12,000... Many thanks to all visitors and to all 260 exhibitors, this time from 35 countries from all around the globe, for coming..."

More pictures from the fair coming in part 2...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kolaportið, Reykjavik, Iceland - Icelandic Collectors

Collectors be warned, Frognector is out on the loose and has started his journey around the world. You can meet Frognector and Colnect's founder, Amir Wald, when they pass near you. Big collector club conventions and collector fairs are Frognector's favorites but if you have an interesting collectors shop or own an interesting personal collection, don't hesitate to make contact. If you meet Frognector and get to take a picture with him and your collection, you may win cool prizes such as Colnect memorabilia and Colnect premium membership.


Finding collectors in Iceland was not an easy task for Frognector. When he heard of the weekend market in Kolaportið, Reykjavík he was excited.



The trip there unveiled two stalls (there's supposed to be a third one) of charmingly nice collectors who also sell Icelandic stamps, Icelandic coins, Icelandic banknotes and other collectibles.



Frognector heard about the different collecting clubs in Iceland and learnt that there are relatively a lot of collectors in Iceland. However, as it's a country with a relatively small population, only ~330,000 people, there aren't that many collectors.

A big challenge to collectors in Iceland who wish to exchange with other collectors is the Icelandic customs. Many times they charge a very high tax rate which can make a swap or trade too costly.

We wish to welcome collectors from Iceland to join Colnect and be a part of our growing community. So if you're an Icelander, join us now. If you're not but know collectors from Iceland, help them join Colnect. Iceland has produced some beautiful collectibles and we'd all benefit from having more collectors from Iceland on Colnect.


Happy collecting :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Icelandic Collectors in Iceland?

Collectors be warned, Frognector is out on the loose and has started his journey around the world. You can meet Frognector and Colnect's founder, Amir Wald, when they pass near you. Big collector club conventions and collector fairs are Frognector's favorites but if you have an interesting collectors shop or own an interesting personal collection, don't hesitate to make contact. If you meet Frognector and get to take a picture with him and your collection, you may win cool prizes such as Colnect memorabilia and Colnect premium membership.


Where are the collectors in Iceland? Frognector has been circling the island for over 2 weeks and have not yet met one dedicated collector. The views in Iceland are great and the pools are hot, but where are the collectors?



Iceland has a total population of nearly 330,000 people altogether. There are bound to be some dedicated collectors here. There were a few on Colnect before, but none of them is now active. If you know of any, please let us know.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Frognector Sees Coins and Banknotes at the British Museum

Collectors be warned, Frognector is out on the loose and has started his journey around the world. You can meet Frognector and Colnect's founder, Amir Wald, when they pass near you. Big collector club conventions and collector fairs are Frognector's favorites but if you have an interesting collectors shop or own an interesting personal collection, don't hesitate to make contact. If you meet Frognector and get to take a picture with him and your collection, you may win cool prizes such as Colnect memorabilia and Colnect premium membership.


Even at the height of summer, London is not missing rain. There's surely a reason the weather is a common topic of discussion.



But such rainy days offer other interesting alternatives, such as the world famous British Museum which holds amazing pieces of art from around the globe.





Perhaps more interestingly for collectors, there are nice sections of world coins and world banknotes on display.



Even a few bank cards and phone cards are out on display.



So the next time you visit the British Museum in London, don't focus only on eating in the cafeteria.



Focus on the interesting coins, banknotes, bank cards and other items on display.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Charing Cross Collectors Fair

Collectors be warned, Frognector is out on the loose and has started his journey around the world. You can meet Frognector and Colnect's founder, Amir Wald, when they pass near you. Big collector club conventions and collector fairs are Frognector's favorites but if you have an interesting collectors shop or own an interesting personal collection, don't hesitate to make contact. If you meet Frognector and get to take a picture with him and your collection, you may win cool prizes such as Colnect memorabilia and Colnect premium membership.


Quite an odd and interesting collectors fair (or market) is held every week in Charing Cross.



It is located in an underground parking space where dozens of sellers present their coins, banknotes, stamps and, more rarely, other items such as postcards other memorabilia.



Frognector and Colnect's founder, Amir, were introducing Colnect to the sellers and collectors in the market but, with the exception of one Colnect member, it seems most are not yet accustomed or wishing to use the Internet. Some have promised to check Colnect out and perhaps one of them is now reading this post :)



Which collector markets are held next to where you live?

Which collector markets have you visited when being abroad?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Frognector in London - An Ancient Meteorite

Collectors be warned, Frognector is out on the loose and has started his journey around the world. You can meet Frognector and Colnect's founder, Amir Wald, when they pass near you. Big collector club conventions and collector fairs are Frognector's favorites but if you have an interesting collectors shop or own an interesting personal collection, don't hesitate to make contact. If you meet Frognector and get to take a picture with him and your collection, you may win cool prizes such as Colnect memorabilia and Colnect premium membership.


When visiting London, Frognector did not forget to have his picture taken next to important monuments such as the British parliament.




And let's not neglect the famous London Underground and the magnificent city view from Greenwich village.




Next, Frognector's next to probably the oldest rock you could ever touch: a part of the Gibeon meteorite that is believed to have hit the Earth in prehistoric times.




Coming next: Charing cross collectors market and collecting at the British Museum.

Have you been to London? What did you like best?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Collectors Take Heed! Frognector's World Journey Commences

SPOILER ALERT: great music video in the end of the post.




Collectors be warned, Frognector is out on the loose and has started his journey around the world. You can meet Frognector and Colnect's founder, Amir Wald, when they pass near you. Big collector club conventions and collector fairs are Frognector's favorites but if you have an interesting collectors shop or own an interesting personal collection, don't hesitate to make contact. If you meet Frognector and get to take a picture with him and your collection, you may win cool prizes such as Colnect memorabilia and Colnect premium membership.


The journey started in TLV airport where Frognector had enjoyed his last supply of tahini before setting out to London, United Kingdom. Tahini is very healthy and Frognector makes a great hummus even though some humans don't like the added nutritional value of flies added.




The picture heading this post, as well as those followed here are from the South Bank area. Grafiti is abundant is a small area for all rollers (bikers, skateboarders and such).



But children needn't worry as a fake beach was created where sand is in plenty as well.




And relaxing on the river bank, there's always time to make new friends.




And finally rest on a fake beach.



When the sun is down, another stroll revealed these extremely talented street musicians.




Next Destinations?
Frognector is planned to stay around London unless you can lure him next to your place. Frognector will land in Iceland's captial, Reykjavik, on July 21st and then continue to travel around Iceland.

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