Beyond Postcards

We had to make some existential decisions.  Leaving aside the obvious question of how and whether to source more postcards from auctions or other dealers, we have been wondering what to do with boxes of (mostly) paper ephemera, all getting older by the day.  Almost imperceptibly, much of this is changing from “useful” to “antique”.


So the first hurdle to tackle is:  this is a postcard website (the name says so, and we can’t change it) and not a travel or old newspapers site.  Adding a new category called “Beyond Postcards” was easy enough but does nothing to attract potential buyers.  The second hurdle, not insignificant, is to get the right sub-categories and enough material into each one.  It just looks stupid to set up something called “Maps” and then only show two or three, when any Google search will uncover sites with hundreds or thousands of them.  Yet that’s a rule we’ll need to break with “Books”, because our goal is simply to sell what we have now.


But as the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.  So if you go to Classification, you’ll find “Beyond Postcards” (formerly “Not Postcards”) and some sub-categories under that.  One is “newspapers”, which is clear enough.  One is “travel,” which is not.  As we add more and more things, we can redistribute those items into even narrower categories — like “maps”, “hotels,” and so on.


That does not of course solve the problem of how to announce this in the site itself.  If (that’s a really big *IF*) we had a webmaster who was conversant with this complicated WordPress structure, we could ask them to include a sub-head into the logo on the home page, something like “… and Uncle Goloh’s attic of ephemera”.   But we don’t have such a person yet.  (Their first task would be to change the item count now appearing above each “Beyond Postcards” grouping to something other than “postcards”.)    By now you might also be thinking:  why not start a new website?  Well, no.  Just no.  Many reasons why not.


Now a few words about what we’re including.  It’s not all paper, and not all going into “Beyond Postcards”, either.  A few items naturally fit within original postcard categories instead, so they can stay there.  There won’t be anything systematic about our decisions; it’s all subjective.  It’s our website, after all — nobody hands down rules.  One sub-category surprisingly most troubling is stamps.  Did you know you can buy used stamps in almost any topic by weight?  It’s called kiloware, and with stamps being the world’s #1 collectible hobby, we could not compete.  But we have lots old stamps and first-day covers, and so on, and will need to think about which of those might add value to the site.  For now, though, just token representation, like the books.


So those are today’s thoughts.  Just like actual postcards, it takes time to scan, describe, and enter each item one-by-one.  We’ll work towards getting about 200 “Beyond Postcards” in there, then take a breather to figure out how to deal with the rest of it.  But rest assured, postcards still have the highest priority — no doubt about that.


Until next time …