Showing posts with label phone card collectors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label phone card collectors. 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, (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.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Five Star System of Contribution Implemented

Here at Colnect there is a new way to recognize the great collaborators that have made our catalogs as amazing as they are: there is now a Five Star Contribution attribution for dedicated Colnectors!

Recommendations for stars come from the Colnect coordinators and are awarded by our community manager iflvico and by our translations manager BrunosapiJens.

Though the Star System is hard to give guidelines for, it can be defined as a rewards system that attempts to estimate the amount of assistance given by volunteers on Colnect. If a member adds 1000 items with little information and another adds 100 items with excellent details, then they might get the same star treatment.

The general guidelines for the three star system were based on an estimate of how many hours the collector gave in helping Colnect (or how many hours the coordinator would estimate the contribution to be worth):
1 star > 5 hours
2 stars > 50
3 stars > 200

Since achieving the last of the the previous Three Stars for recognition of contributions, Colnect has seen fit to expand the field to Five Star ratings, which can be seen on the many interesting collectors' profile pages. This should result in more stars being rewarded.

Colnect continues to grow because of the many dedicated members that arduously donate their time and energy to bolster the organization of the vast array of collectibles on our catalogs. There are numerous Colnectors that continue to organize, correct, and contribute to the many wondrous artifacts on Colnect, from the Cozel bottle cap's sheik red coloring of the Czech Republic top, to the evil Darth Maul's Star Wars gift card from Toys-R-us.

You can tune in to the ongoing forum about the Five Star Contribution system, and as always, please continue to collect and to revel in Colnecting!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Colnect's Biggest Swapper - Meet Ernesto Berrios [ernest]

Lee este artículo en español

The collector with most positive ratings on Colnect, Mr. Ernesto Berrios, has just the mark of 313+ positive ratings. This achievement is even more incredible when you realize Venezuela has had a fair share of problems with its postal system as we previously reported.

When and how did you start your collection?

I began my collection during 1987-1988. I started it because magnetic phone cards of various values and colors were issued in Venezuela and, as I found them very interesting, I decided to save them. Later I got to know a few friends from Europe, such as from Spain and France, that traveled to Venezuela and I asked them for phone cards. We started with small exchanges, 10 or 20 phone cards in total. They had more types of cards than I did but I gave more of the same type and they accepted. That's how I got to have more phone cards.
What interests you most about your collection?
What interest me most about my collection are cards with themes such as butterflies, Disney, orchids, antiques, puzzles, zodiac sign and cards. From difficult countries, countries that you cannot easily get their cards – AW, such as in Africa, the theme isn't important. I believe it's most important to have at least one card from each country.

When and how did you get to know Colnect?

I learnt about Colnect during 2004, when it was still called Islands Phonecards Database, but I only registered in 2005. I made many exchanges, but friends asked me to add the cards I have in my collection, but I didn't know how it worked until I started learning little by little. I have actually swapped with many friends from Colnect.

How much time do you spend using Colnect?

Sometimes 2 hours a day and sometimes 5 hours. When I don't work spend, 6 hours. When I work, perhaps one hour.

How many swaps / exchanges do you do on Colnect every month?

In the month I've done most, I have done 53. It's the most I've done. Of course I do many swaps with the same friends. I have friends with whom I've actually done more than 20 swaps. I currently have 63 letters on the way to friends in different countries.

Do you swap outside Colnect?
Yes, I do swap outside Colnect. Many people I've invited to become a member on Colnect don't want to place what they have on Colnect.

What do you like best about Colnect?

What I like most about Colnect is that it's very original and very good. The best in the collecting world is that one shares a part of his life with friends from around the world. Colnect is extraordinary.

What would you like to see improved on Colnect?

Well, I would like that a person that has 3 negative ratings and doesn't respond to messages would be suspended. For example I have a few collector friends that have sent me cards in very bad condition. So bad that even I wouldn’t send them as a gift. I don't rate them neutral because they would immediately give me a neutral rating and say that what I sent was also bad. I can only choose not to swap with those again.

Colnect has a very good community manager (Ignacio F Vico López [iflvicol]). He is a great friend that answers all your complaints almost immediately. He is a good mediator and I thank him very much for all he has done for me personally and for other friends who have asked him. An excellent friend who everyday helps make Colnect the best in the world.

How come you have no negative rating?

The people who have given me negative ratings did so because they robbed me. I have given them a negative rating and so they returned a negative rating. Colnect helped a lot to fix the situation. There are people that send ordinary cards and receive them using registered mail but most of the ordinary cards disappear. One has to try to demand from the collector friends that no scratched cards would be sent. Thank God these norms are common on Colnect.

How can we improve the ratings system?
That's a very important question. There are collectors who give a positive rating to a friend whose letter they received but they either sent a non-registered letter or didn't send anything at all. When much time passes and the other collector still don’t receive his letter and they don't answer his messages, he gives them a negative rating. Then they change their positive rating to a negative one without justification. It happened to me and it should not be allowed. It should be improved. First, both sides should be heard and then act because there are some collectors that take advantage of other collectors. I, in whatever I can do to help, will be happy to hear any idea.

Anything else you'd like to add?
I thank you Amir for presenting this excellent website on behalf of all my collector friends from Venezuela and the whole world. As I know, they are proud to be members of this very special hobby. Many thanks. You have a friend in Venezuela and if you need anything from Venezuela, I'll be at your service.

El Coleccionista con el Mas Intercambios - Presentamos Ernesto Berrios [ernest]


El colecciónista con las más positivas calificaciones en Colnect, el Sr. Ernesto Berrios, acaba de la marca de 313 + calificaciones positivas. Este logro es aún más increíble cuando te das cuenta de Venezuela ha tenido muchas problemas con su sistema de correo como ya se hemos informado.

¿Cuándo y cómo has empezado tu colección?

Comencé mi colección en el año 1987 - 1988 aproximadamente, la empecé porque en Venezuela salieron unas tarjetas magnéticas de varios montos y colores y hacia llaveros y luego las empecé a guardar porque me llamo la curiosidad mucho. Luego conocí algunos amigos de Europa, como España y Francia que viajaban a Venezuela y les pregunte por las tarjetas y empezamos hacer cambios, eran pocas, cambiamos 10, 20 tarjetas ellos tenían mas modelos que yo pero yo le entregaba varias del mismo modelo y ellos aceptaban y así fue como fui guardando las tarjetas.

¿Qué es lo que más te interesa en tu colección?

Lo que más me interesa en mi colección son las tarjetas de temas como mariposas, Disney, orquídeas, antigüedades, puzles, zodiacos, y tarjetas de países difíciles como de África no importa la temática me conformo con tener el país es lo más importante creo que lo más importante de todo es tener aunque sea una tarjeta de cada país

¿Cuándo y cómo has encontrado a Colnect?

Encontré Colnect en el año 2004 como telecard island pero me inscribí en el 2005 hacia muchos intercambios pero los amigos me decían ponga las tarjetas que tienes pero no sabía cómo era el sistema hasta que fui aprendiendo poco a poco he cambiado con muchos amigos en Colnect actualmente.

¿Cuánto tiempo pasas usando Colnect?
Uso Colnect a veces 2 horas al día, a veces 5 horas, cuando no trabajo gasto unas 6 horas, cuando trabajo una hora al día.

¿Cuantos intercambios haces con Colnect por mes?
El mes que más he hecho, he hecho 53, es lo máximo que he hecho, claro hago muchos cambios con los mismos amigos porque tengo amigos con los cuales he hecho más de 20 cambios. Actualmente tengo 63 cartas en camino para amigos en diferentes países.

¿Haces intercambios fuera de Colnect?
Sí, hago cambios fuera de Colnect. Mucha gente que he invitado a que sea miembro de Colnect y no han querido no les gusta colocar lo que tienen en Colnect.

¿Qué es lo que más te gusta en Colnect?

Todo, es muy original, muy bueno, es lo mejor en el mundo del coleccionismo. Uno pasa parte de su vida compartiendo con amigos de todo el mundo. Colnect es algo extraordinario.

¿Qué quisieras ver mejorado en Colnect?

Bueno me gustaría que a una persona que tenga 3 negativos y no responda los mensajes fuese suspendida. Un ejemplo, yo tengo algunos amigos coleccionistas que me han enviado tarjetas en muy malas condiciones, tan malas que a mí me da pena hasta enviarlas como regaloy no los califico neutral porque de inmediato me califican neutral ydicen que lo que yo le envié también es malo, solo no vuelvo a cambiar con ellos.

Colnect tiene un buen coordinador, el amigo (Ignacio F López Vico). Es un gran amigo que te responde todas las quejas casi de inmediato, es un buen mediador y yo le agradezco mucho todo lo que ha hecho por mi persona y por todos los amigos que le han pedido ayuda. Un excelente amigo que hace que cada día Colnect sea mejor.

¿Porqué no tienes ninguna valoración negativa?

Las personas que en alguna ocasión me la pusieron mala fue porque ellos me robaron y como los califique negativos también lo hicieron y Colnect ayudo mucho a que eso se arreglara. Hay personas que envían cartas ordinarias y las reciben certificadas y la mayoría de cartas ordinarias se pierden, hay que tratar de exigirle a los amigos coleccionistas que las cartas en mal estado no sirven en Colnect. Gracias a Dios existe esas normas.

¿Cómo podemos mejorar el sistema de valoraciones?

Esa pregunta es muy importante. Hay coleccionistas que hacen una valoración positiva a un amigo del cual ha recibido la carta y si la persona envió la carta ordinaria o no la envió y paso mucho tiempo y el coleccionista no responde los mensajes, ni llega la carta la otra persona que no le ha llegado la carta se cansa y le hace una calificación negativa este señor, el cual si recibió la carta pero cambia la valoración de positiva a negativa, a mi me ha sucedido y eso no se debe permitir eso hay que mejorarlo eso no se debe permitir primero hay que escuchar las 2 partes y luego actuar porque hay algunos coleccionistas que se aprovechan de otros coleccionistas. Yo en lo que pueda ayudarlos estaré a orden para cualquier idea.

¿Algo más que quieras decir?

Agradezco a usted que representa esta excelente pagina en nombre detodos mis amigos coleccionistas de Venezuela y del mundo que como yose sienten orgullosos de ser miembros de este hobby tan especial. Mil gracias y que vivas por siempre. En Venezuela tienes un amigo y si necesitas algo de Venezuela estaré a la orden. Mil gracias de nuevo por existir.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

300,003 Phone Cards on the World's Biggest Phone Card Catalog

The world's biggest and most extensive phone card catalog has now surpassed 300,003 unique phone cards. The amazing growth of the phonecard catalog reflects the tireless efforts of many volunteer contributors.


We would like to especially commend Ignacio F López Vico [iflvico] and Carlos Rodriguez [venezuelanphonecards]. Ignacio has been our dedicated and talented phone card coordinator for a long time before becoming our respected community manager. Carlos has filled Ignacio's role as a coordinator for a few months and has also been doing a fantastic job.

The diversity of the catalog is incredible and many phone cards are continuously added from around the world. There are now 236 countries represented on our phone card catalog. Even during the last week, phone cards from 33 different countries have been added, including China, Iran, United States, Nepal, Russia, France, Israel, Greece, Luxembourg and more.

Click any of these phone card images to see some of the recent additions:

Colnect's catalog, created by volunteering collectors for all the collectors in the world, is the world's biggest and most extensive phone card catalog. It's unique wiki-like nature is the main reason for its rapid growth and development. Colnect has started with only phone cards and due to Colnect's catalog success we now have different categories such as coins, stamps and more.

We're always looking for more contributors to Colnect and if you have any phone cards missing on our catalogs, you're welcome to learn how easy it is to contribute to our catalogs.

Happy collecting :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

100,000 Phone Cards! Meet Jorge Pablo and his Phone Card Collection

Jorge Pablo Villegas [Jorgepablo2005] is the first Colnect member to have more than 100,000 items marked on his personal collection on Colnect. He has been a Colnect member since 2005, when Colnect was still a website only catering to phone card collectors and was called Islands Phonecards Database.

Jorge has been contributing a lot to Colnect and has been awarded the prestigious 3 stars of contribution award which is given to collectors who have spent hundreds of hours helping Colnect become better for the benefit of the entire collectors community.

We've asked Mr. Villegas a few questions, to learn a little about how he got this far as a collector.

Where do you store all your phone cards?

I have almost an entire room 2 x 2.5 meters, which used to be the study room, but is now my phone cards storage room. It always looks messy.

How did you start collecting?

My entire life, since I was a boy, I have been collecting many items like coins, stamps, calendars, cigarette packs, wine labels, box matches. I really had a lot of stamps and cigarette packs.
By the time I was ~20 years old, my mother threw away my collections when cleaning our home (he laughs) and I didn't collect anymore for nearly 20 years.
In 1997 I couldn't take it anymore and started my phone card collection, because it was a relatively new item to collect.

What is the main focus of your collection?

First, I started with my own country, Argentina. I later expanded to South America, then Europe and one day decided to go with all the world. I like all phone cards, except the prepaid and refill GSM cards.

How did you first learn about Colnect?

I learned about Colnect when it was still called Islands Phonecards Database, from a friend here in Buenos Aires. In the year 2005 not many catalogs were available on line, and Islands had that terrific feature that allowed automatic matching with other collectors.
I remember how the site kept growing week after week. Very exciting!

How many hours a week do you spend on Colnect and on your collection?

I would like to say that I enjoy the hours on Colnect, and don't spend my time. With other things I "spend" time, but on Colnect, it's almost an investment of my time. As for my job I log in to Colnect several times a day. It may seem that I'm always connected, but the reason is that Colnect is my initial page, and I check it in at morning, in the evening and in the night. I guess I invest 3 hours per day on Colnect and my collection.

Why are you contributing to Colnect's phone cards catalog?

I think that the best way to get phone cards is to add missing cards, because when a card appears, it is no longer a ghost but a real card. Then one person marks that he has it, another marks that she wants it. The more people marking the card on Colnect, the easier it becomes to get that card.
When a phone card appears only on a seller listing in the market, it may have a high price. But when it becomes listed on Colnect, you can easily see who has this card and it becomes more easily available. More importantly, my contribution and the contribution the many collectors is different than that of sellers because collectors only collect, and are not trying to make a profit.

Which are the things you like best about Colnect?
The automatic matching system and the great possibilities that any collector can add more things, is a very modern and open concept.

Which is the most important improvement that you would like to see on Colnect?

It is not easy to ask more from Colnect. Maybe a faster site and more items on the catalog? Perhaps a photos section about a collector's life, methods and goals of collecting, an open market, etc.

Do you have a message to collectors out there?

I would like to thanks Amir, founder of Colnect, for Colnect and the possibilities it brings. Your work is great, and while others just talk, you do things. I would also like to thank the collectors, without whom life will be a little boring :)

Thank you Jorge for this interview and we hope to see your collection grow even bigger with Colnect. Happy collecting :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Quarter Million Phone Cards on the World's Biggest Phone Card Catalog

The unceasing growth of phone cards on our phone card catalog has now reached one fourth of a million. It is available in 50 languages, and it is the WORLD'S BIGGEST phone card catalog! Collectors on Colnect use the catalog to manage their own personal collection. There are nearly 20 million items on collector lists on Colnect! The catalog's growth is possible due to the endless efforts of our phone card coordinators. We would like to thank and commend them: Ignacio F López Vico [iflvico], Trudy Hoogenboom [trudyh], Komdej Chulapprawut [komdej], Eyüp Güçmen [kolleksiyon], Jorge Pablo Villegas [Jorgepablo2005]. Colnect is presently and continuously working ways to extend more available resources for your collecting convenience. Check our phone cards catalog today.


Our phone cards originate from 231 countries around the globe. Our assortment continues to grow as new available phone cards spring up to our catalog. It's nearly 30,000 freshly added phone cards since we last announced 222,222.

Are you a phone card collector with no Colnect account? Colnect is welcoming more phone card collectors to sign up in Colnect. Join the frolic of collecting. You will know why collectors stick with us.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Colnect's Phone Card Catalog, The World's Biggest, Has Over 230,000 Phone Cards Listed

Colnect's phonecard catalog reached a new milestone today, as 230,000 phonecards have now been uploaded onto Colnect for collectors to mark in their "Collection", "Swap" and "Wish" lists. Tbis monumental achievement could not have made without the tremendous work of our volunteer phonecard contributors and especially our phonecards coordinator, Ignacio F. López Vico. It is because of his efforts and the contributions of many dedicated collectors on Colnect, that our phonecards catalog, the world's biggest, keep growing so quickly and have already passed 230,000 phone cards.

If you would to like to help upload some of the next phonecards or any other collectible to Colnect, please feel free to contact us.

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