Monday, September 28, 2009

Blogging 1898 Revenues

As of today I've been blogging here for 6 months.  I started the blog so that I could keep active with parts of my collection, even though I have it all packed in safe keeping in the US while I live and work in Nairobi, Kenya for several years.  Instead of travelling with the stamps I travelled with scanned images of the stamps.  And the scanned images have proved to be a great collecting tool, enabling close examination without actually handling the stamps themselves and allowing for the creation of this "virtual collectors blog".

The daily readership of the blog has taught me a few things.  I'm not sure this blog has ever had a visit by a serious collector of US revenue stamps.  I can't be sure because nobody of this description has ever sent an email or made a comment in the comment sections of the blog.  Through tracking software I know that occasionally I do get a visitor that lingers on the blog and explores the different feature areas, but mostly I get people interested in valuing battleship stamps that they found in a relative's collection.  In six months less than a dozen people have ever viewed the blog in more than just a passing way and then returned at a later date.  I'm not really sure yet what this says about US revenue and 1898 revenue collecting, but I figure some combination of the following factors are present:
  • Few people collect 1898 Series revenue stamps anymore;
  • Of the few that do collect them, few use the web or search engines like Google as a collecting tool;
  • I am absolutely certain that nobody that could be considered "young" (<40) has much interest in these stamps.  Otherwise there would be many more stopping by.  Especially with the relative lack of this kind of material and information available on the web;
  • The blog just hasn't been around long enough to pick up any sort of momentum. 
  • This blog stinks!
The last bullet shouldn't effect first time viewers.  However, I do realize that this blog is a work in progress and might in fact not be so good.  But I like doing it, and it helps me stay in touch with a collection of mine that with the way I have been busy with work and family over the years has been more of an accumulation than a collection.  It is now on its way to becoming a collection.

With regard to the second bullet above, as of September 26 a google search of the following search strings yields interesting results:

     Search Phrase                                            Google Rank
     1898 Revenues                                           #1
     Battleship Revenues                                   #4
     2 Cent Documentary                                   #1
     1898 Series Revenue                                 #4
     US Revenue Stamps                                  >100

I searched 1898 Revenues since that is the title of the blog.  The blog comes up number one in a google search.  Battleship Revenues comes up number 4, behind a website with that name.  2 cent Documentary was searched because I feature so many of them.  It came up number 1 in the search.  1898 Series Revenue was searched because the battleship stamps I feature right now have the words on the stamp.  Lastly, a search for the general term US Revenue Stamps yielded no result for this blog.  All in all, this blog is showing up high in these searches for the specific terms.  What this shows me, despite the fact that I am getting few hits on this blog, is that collectors in the specific field (if there are any) don't really use the web for their collecting interests.  Time to modernize this hobby, bring it to the web, and make it more virtual!

Thanks for your interest if you are reading this.  I have some plans for the coming months and years that involve several general areas of work and posts:
  • An exploration of the Chapelle/Joyce proprietary printed cancel lists
  • An exploration of the available literature and research on these stamps
  • Continued posting of cancels by date

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