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 The Stamps category reached 300303 Stamps, the Coins category now superseded it's previous milestone of 30003 Coins, while the Phonecards category has achieved the number of 400004 items on it's catalog.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 :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

300303 Stamps on Colnect

One of the largest catalogs with the one of the richest and longest standing record in history of collectible items has now reached 300,303 items on Colnect! As many as 100,000 Stamps were added to the Colnect Stamp Catalog since our last landmark milestone
Colnect Stamp Catalog - the latest Stamps added
Amassing that amount of information and documenting it is no easy feat and great appreciation is due to those who worked hard to achieve it, from all who contributed to the catalog to, of course, the dedicated Coordinators and Editors. A special thank you is owed to Lola22, Peti543, clodius, DarioDeSantis and fabellogo and the many contributors who sent them information to be added.


"Sprint" - 1989 Stamp from the Maldives, Newly added on Colnect
Colnect is on it's way to streamline itself even more, making faster and easier the process of contributing to the catalogs. Hopefully that will mean that soon the Stamps catalog will rocket itself even further forward, covering the majority of the worldwide abundance of stamps. Follow the process to design the most comfortable way for anyone willing to join in on the building of the catalog.
"Eagle and Dan Dare" - 2012 Great Britain Stamp
From big to small features, the Stamps catalog structure never ceases to improve itself. Attention to detail is in the heart of the Philately collectors community and that reflects on the Colnect catalog. Only in the last few months there have been changes made to the Adding Images option, Filters for Printings and Perforations, Stamps Colors, and the Catalog Order. All is done by requests made on the forum in order to listen to the needs of a growing company of passionate collectors who want to see the future of collecting happen before their eyes.


"Braunschweig Coat of Arms" - 1856 German States Stamp
Diversity of Stamp items can sometimes be overwhelming. In just the last 30 days there were stamps added from 170 different countries. The stamps cross continents from The Maldives, through Australia to Japan, as well as decades, from the 1800's, through the merry 1960's and 1970's to the latest stamps printed.
"Ibaraki: Rose" - 2011 Japan Stamp
The aspiration to encompass not only the complete sequence of world Stamps in it's entirety but also of Stamp Collectors is a common wish of Colnect as well as the collectors community. As we add in a joint effort more items, more people, we expand, we extend the passion and knowledge to others. We not only document the information but pass onward the skill and joy of collecting. If you would like to participate come see how it is done.

Happy Holidays for Everyone and Happiest Collecting :)



Saturday, November 24, 2012

New collector products with Colnect's API


Do you want to create unique products for collectors based on the unique information freely available on Colnect?

Colnect's new API enables you to query Colnect's database to extract relevant information available on Colnect. You can then use this information to offer new products to collectors. This opens a new world of possibilities.

Rock The Collectors' World
Here are some ideas for products that can be implemented using Colnect's new API:
  • Mobile applications for collectors
  • Facebook applications for collectors
  • Offline collection management software interacting with one's Colnect account
  • Online marketplaces or shops can extract updated collectible item details for sales
  • Statistical analysis applications based on unique collectors information
  • Mashup applications such as image recognition to search for an item on Colnect
  • Tools to automatically check and update Colnect's catalogs

Background

Colnect is the constant work of so many people and that's how it has become as amazing as it is today. Colnect contains unique information found nowhere else and it's easily and freely available to anyone. At the heart of Colnect are the online catalogs used by collectors to manage their personal collection and use advanced features such as Best Matches.

Colnect's catalogs are extensive and in many of the collectible categories supported they are THE BEST catalogs available anywhere in the world. They are offered in 61 languages to more than 333,333 people visiting Colnect every month. The members of Colnect currently manage about 50 million items on their inventories on Colnect.

How to Use the API

Please see the post on Colnect's forum and write us that you're interested in using the API and what you generally plan to do with the information. You will then be given more specific information and a unique API key to enable you to use the API.

Friday, November 23, 2012

40004 Collectors Connect on Colnect

The 4 Elements, 4 Noble Truths, 4 Gospels, 4 Sons, 4 Books, 4 does seem to be a uniting number :)

Colnect can now thank over 40,004 collectors for their contributions to the exciting site about all things collecting! As over 333,333 people visit Colnect every month, we hope and expect more of them to join us and continue making Colnect the best community for collectors around the world.



Though the world is filled with conscientious historians and just plain old fun loving collectors, there have been few places to bring together these people with similar interests. It is true that many purchase and sell their artifacts on various sites, but the digital auction house lacks the innovation that Colnect works hard to perfect: the connection.

In the last few months New Categories were welcomed into the Colnect catalogs: TokensTrading Card GamesStickers, Pocket Calendars, Sugar Packets, and Lego Sets. Many more are in the works and will join soon, categories such as Video Games and Medals.

Colnect is in a constant state of improvement, building more features and making better the existing ones. All is done to make Colnect as collectors would like to see it. Colnect is now under the process of upgrading it's system so all browsing and use of Colnect will be as smooth, quick and comfortable as possible. 

There have also been changes to services such as Finding Similar Items on eBay, so finding your preferred item would now be made easier and without hassle.

Colnect has hundreds of thousands of stamps and other beautiful collectibles on it's database. That database automatically translates languages from around the world. It allows people to exchange information and trade their collections.

40004 is a landmark number (as Colnect had 33,333 members about 6 months ago), because you, the fans of collecting, have gathered here at Colnect to meet and expand the vast online catalog of collectible treasures. As you continue to upload items onto Colnect, a world-wide treasure map is being composed for all to see and enjoy. It is the people who help to make the catalogs better that deserve to take a bow. Thank you!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pocket Calendars on Colnect - Pocket Calendars Catalog

We're very happy to announce the addition of a new category to Colnect: Pocket Calendars
Pocket Calendars Category now on Colnect

There are already 1,905 Pocket Calendars and surely with your help that will grow very quickly. The coordinators of the category are steamtrain and Pelacanyes. If you've never contributed information to Colnect before, please read our Catalog Contribution Guidelines.

The category has started at the suggestion of collectors and thanks to their wonderful and dedicated contribution. The entire discussion and build can be seen here on the forum. You may suggest and become a coordinator of more categories on Colnect - just read our More Collectibles? page.
Maria Creus - Spanish Pocket Calendar form the Colnect Catalog
TGV - Train a Grande Vitesse - Spanish Pocket Calendar from the Colnect Catalog
Comisión Fiestas 5ª Promoción - Spanish Pocket Calendar from the Colnect Catalog

Our blog has been quiet for a while as most of our announcements are published directly on our announcements forum where you can get regular updates. If you wish to write to our blog don't hesitate to make your suggestions.

Happy collecting :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Neil Armstrong Passed Away at the Age of 82

Yesterday, 25/08/2012, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon passed away at the age of 82. Armstrong was an American astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor and United States Naval Aviator. He was one of the first U.S. civilians in Space, commanding NASA's Gemini 8 mission. He became an iconic figure around the world as the first human to step on the moon, and will be remembered for it for generations and generations to come.
Neil Armstrong, lunar module "Eagle" from Apollo 11
Neil Armstrong, lunar module "Eagle" from Apollo 11

His achievements as an astronaut and his historic arrival upon the moons' surface has inspired people around the world and ignited human imagination of space travel. The inspiration and appreciation produced many collectible items to be designed to commemorate those achievements. You can see commemorative Neil Armstrong stamps issued phonecards over the years.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sugar Packets, Lego Sets and Stickers - all now on Colnect

As more and more collectors join Colnect, categories of collectibles are joining in as well and at a faster rate. Today we are glad to announce the addition of three new categories, including Sugar Packets, Lego Sets and Stickers. All were added at the request of collectors on Colnect.

 

For the category to grow and expand, many collectors contribute information to the catalog. If you haven't contributed before and would like to know how, please read our Catalog Contribution Guidelines


The beginning of the Sugar Packet Category

All the categories are now in their infant stages, but are already off to a good start. Stickers already has 7836 items on it's catalog. The coordinators for the new categories are tuixons for Sugar Packets, nzexchange for Lego Sets and Paolo73 for Stickers.

First stages of the Lego Sets Category

Would you like to see more categories on Colnect? Collect a kind of item you would like to see on the Colnect catalog? Colnect is always looking to expand the catalogs and add all categories that collectors are interested in. The categories were born of discussion with collectors on the forums. You can participate too. You can become the coordinator of a new category. Just take a look at our More Collectibles? page. 

The new Stickers Category

 Take a look at the new categories and let us know what you think. If you have any suggestions or notes you are welcome to comment here on our blog. Thank you to all that helped on these builds.

Happy collecting for everyone :)

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.

"

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