|first issues > web reports|
It is intended to write quarterly update reports for the Journal starting with the July 2016 issue (v24n3). To make web links easier to follow, there will be a short URL link (see heading) to this page and each report will be show below with active links. Links quoted in other articles in that issue may also be given. The QR code links to this page and may be used in the printed Journal to make accessing this page easier.
FICC web report, February 2017
This article is available online at www.goo.gl/hkVqST. Type that address into your browser and the online version has all the links in place, so from there you can just click.
Invitations were sent to all FICC members to join the online forum and 21 have done so. The invitations are time-limited so if you need another, just write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Postings have been sparse so far, but it is hoped that traffic will pick up.
Web site traffic
As at 3rd February, we’d had 757 visitors from 59 countries, the most recent new flags being Finland, Jamaica and Iran.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
One of my new-year resolutions is to improve the site's SEO, in other words, attract more visitors by improving our standing on the various search engines. One of our failings is lack of mentions in social media. Without wishing to stereotype FICC members or stamp collectors in general, they are not likely to be the most active users of social media simply because most did not grow up with it. I have added buttons to the home page to share the site on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and to email it to a contact. If you have an account with these services, please click and share it, then come back every month-or-so and do it again.
Web Site Catalogue Progress
Detail pages are now in place for the first four pages of the FICC catalog, 1840-1899. I am taking a short break at this point to work on another project, but will be back on duty writing FICC pages by the time of the next quarterly report.
This article is available online at www.goo.gl/hkVqST. Type that address into your browser and the online version has all the links already in place, so from there you can just click. You can also scan this QR code to get there.
Web Site Catalogue Progress
The Africa pages are now in place and by the time you read this, they should have all their links, index entries and other attributes. There will be another batch of stamp images required for which all assistance will be appreciated. The next target is French colonies.
We have resumed posting details of the auctions on the web site.
Invitations have been sent to all members to join the online forum. You need a google mail or gmail account (both free) to join and to log in subsequently, but forum postings can be directed to your normal email account.
The recommendation for this issue is StampWorldHistory, an ambitious site and of particular note are its flowcharts of stamp issues. French African colonies will be linked on the web site as this was very useful in building the Africa web pages.
I have been giving some thought to whether we should give some approximate prices on the site. The 2006 WPE display included an analysis of first issue prices and I think collectors would find it helpful to judge and prioritise what they can afford. If we go ahead, I only envisage doing so for the FICC catalogue of #1s and only giving an indicative price range. This leads to the question of format as space is limited, catalogues exaggerate, intellectual property rights might apply and approximation will mean I will not have to revisit the exercise. I am no mathematician and do not want to transgress any conventions, but perhaps showing the significant digit and the number of zeros following would work, so 32 would mean about $300, 16 would be a million and “c” would be less than $1. All suggestions welcomed.
Web Site Traffic
Watching the site’s flag counter accumulate is almost as much fun as collecting stamps. As at 1st November, we’ve had 373 visitors from 43 countries. Most of those are from the US (43%), then Brazil, GB, Germany and Canada.
Our Alexa rating has risen from 26.3 million to 24.4 million. As you might have guessed, Google is #1.
This article is available online at www.goo.gl/hkVqST, or www.tinyurl.com/ficcreport, or http://bit.ly/2a9GI9v - just type one of those into your browser. The online version has all the links already in place, so all you have to do is click on one of the underlined words/phrases and you will be transported to that section of the web site.
The exhibits pages were developed just in time for the previous issue (v24n3). These are designed to feature displays too long to be shown entirely in the Journal. Consideration was given to the intellectual property rights of the exhibit owners and so the resolution of the displays is good enough to view on screen but not good enough to download and republish by a site visitor. The pdf dowload capability is restricted to members by password. Members must contact Nick Blackburn (email@example.com) to get the login and password.
Web Site Catalogue Progress
In the last three months, the detail pages for Europe, South America, Central and North America and Asia have been completed. In the countries category, that just leaves the Middle East (in progress at the time of writing) and Africa. Concentrating on sub-groups in this way has made the job easier in that just a few catalogues are needed at one time and the current plan is to continue after that with French Colonies and Indian States, at which point Page 3 of the web site Catalogue should be easy to complete.
No suggestions were forthcoming on setting up a new FORUM (see the request in the last issue of the Newsletter). A FICC Google chat group has been set up to give that service a try and, if it meets our needs, all members for whom FICC have an email address will be invited to join. [Editor: This is very much like our former web site FORUM. Think of it as a Bulletin Board in which you can post your comments or questions and receive replies from other members. Several topic areas have already been created. Unlike the previous FORUM where you had to log onto the FICC web site to see if there were any new posts, this new version delivers the new postings to you in your email inbox. However, you must log onto the web site to reply.}
Way Back Machine
The WayBackMachine has been taking periodic backups of the FICC web site since October 2002. Some of these include parts of the FORUM discussions prior to the site crash - although the topic replies are incomplete. Nevertheless, the WBM archives give us a flavor of the discussions: this link is from 2006. I have also nominated the FICC site for the British Library's archive.
As previously reported, the Journal Index has been brought up to date. I normally read the Journal (Newsletter) on paper, but Kurt Streepy supplied copies on CD for the index build. That has been a revelation - $10 for a full set of all Newsletters on CD is great value for anyone with an interest in stamps and an absolute bargain for first issues collectors. It is proving a valuable resource in writing the detail pages in the web site Catalogue.
Colnect is a useful secondary source of stamp images.
12th July 2016
A Flag Counter has been added to the site to log the numbers and locations of visitors. Visit additions are triggered only when someone visits one of four pages (Home, Exhibitions, Forum and this update page). Repeat visits in the same month from a single device are not be double-counted.
According to WorthOfWeb, the FICC site is worth $58. It adds that this evaluation is 893 days old but cannot be recalculated because our Alexa rank has fallen below 30 million. FreeSiteWorth puts the value at $741.
1st Aug 2016
1st September 2016
1st October 2016
In the last issue of the Journal (v24n2), I described recent changes to the FICC web site. I intend to provide a quarterly summary of further progress so that members can begin to take advantage of the web site offerings again.
Please note that there are two versions of the web site and you can switch between them by clicking Old or New in the header menu: all of these changes refer the new version of the site.
Having brought the index of Journal articles up to date, I am concentrating on two main areas. Firstly, I aim to complete the detail pages to go with the existing Catalogue, a long job, probably a few years before completion. Secondly, in parallel, developing a new way of accessing the data by category, linking, for example, all the Dutch Colonies.
On the detail pages, broadly following the existing entries, I hope to include:
For the categories, I have used two lists, the main countries listed by Gibbons in the specialized catalogues, and the colonies and other entities listed by Scott at the beginning of Scott Classic. That is a reasonable starting point but there will be problems as work progresses. For example, Gibbons has three volumes (Parts 12-14) titled Africa since Independence and they have not been updated since the 1980s. I also foresee complications in deciding how to deal with Offices Abroad and Occupation Issues. Nevertheless, the plan is working for now.
In the beginning, I wrote the new pages chronologically, completing the first and second pages of the FICC Catalogue (1840-59 and 1860-70) but have switched to progressing geographically, starting with Europe, and I now intend to complete all the country categories first.
If any other members would like to help in the research, please let me know, especially if you have access to Michel catalogues, as I only have Klassic Europe 1840-1900. You can email me as firstname.lastname@example.org.
An interesting aspect of this exercise is the exploration of new resources on the internet and elsewhere. I have used Dead Country Stamps (dcstamps.com) for some time, but have only recently found StampWorldHistory.com and that led me to The Statesman’s Year-Book Historical Companion, published in 1988, which is proving very useful in writing the historical descriptions for the detail pages.
I am writing this the day after receiving Journal v24n2 in which suggestions were invited for resuming the FICC bulletin board. Please give this some thought and respond if you have not already done so.
Jesper Andersen (FICC #169) designed and built the FICC web site. The site contained the all-important FICC catalogue of 779 entries and around 120 detail pages. When Jesper stepped down as Webmaster, I (Nick Blackburn, FICC #181) eventually took over. In late 2015, I set to work on the task of finishing the detail pages and bringing the site up-to-date. The progress so far is:
Completing all the detail pages will take quite some time and members are invited to help, although how this would be organised is uncertain.
One thing we do need to decide on is how to get the Forum going again. The old Forum entries were lost when the site crashed in 2009. Jesper managed to restore older entries from a 2007 backup but the Forum has crashed again. It has been suggested that we try a simpler approach such as a Yahoo Group or similar. It is a debate the club should have and, ironically, it would be very useful to have an online Forum to discuss how to have a Forum.
If you have a suggestion or an idea, please share it.
|Page created 11 Jun 2016||Page updated 25-May-2017|