I’ve heard it said many times that the only constant is change. A cliche, perhaps, but true.
During my 15 years of working for Amos Press, we progressed from wax paste-down production pages to fully digitized pages that are assembled, proofread and sent to the printer without a single piece of paper exchanging hands.
Perhaps the biggest change we are seeing right now is the transition from being primarily a print media company to a provider of content across the digital spectrum.
This change has presented many challenges, and I would be less than honest if I said that it hasn’t been difficult at times.
Among the more significant developments has been the construction of a new content management system (CMS) that allows our in-house editors and (eventually) outside contributors to produce content that is then immediately posted to a website.
Our Coin World colleagues have been undergoing this significant transition for the past several months.
Initially, they experienced growing pains, as they adjusted to the new workflow and learned how to operate the CMS.
Coin World editor Steve Roach tells me that the system is easy to use, and it makes posting new content an event that often takes minutes, instead of hours or even days.
The build and rollout of the CMS for Linn’s Stamp News will take place later this year, once the Coin World CMS and associated website is complete and the various bugs and kinks have been worked out.
In the meantime, we at Linn’s are working with our dedicated information systems folks to enhance the flexibility of the current Linns.com website.
A new website interface allows us to assemble stories for posting to our suite of weekly eNewsletters.
The interface also facilitates much more rapid posting of content to our website.
Our content also may be consumed on the Linn’s Stamp News & Scott Catalogue page on Facebook. We also will have a presence on Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites later this year.
At present, we are posting content on an almost daily basis. When we have the CMS, news will be posted throughout the day.
This constant influx of news, delivered via short pieces we call content packets, will entice more readers to visit the website often. The content will be delivered in short bursts of 150-250 words that will provide the who, what, where, when and why.
Already we are seeing the effects of the changes we have implemented ahead of the CMS rollout.
For example, compared to 2013, the number of unique visitors to the site and total page views are up almost 50 percent.
We will continue to work hard to drive up these numbers even more.
All of these changes are necessary for Linn’s and Amos Press to survive and thrive in the digital age.
It strikes me, as well, that the hobby at large is doing more to embrace the digital age. This is a positive development.
Specialist societies and auction houses are allowing public access to various archives and other materials that provide a wealth of information for research.
In years past, acquiring such data necessitated spending hours in libraries and other knowledge storehouses, painstakingly teasing out what was needed. Now, you can find what you need in a matter of minutes and download it for later use.
Postal administrations, including our own United States Postal Service, are using the information superhighway to spread the word about stamps to a global audience.
Some will scoff at the marketing and other efforts used to promote stamps these days. And, of course, there are those who will always complain that postal services simply want to dig deeper into collectors’ wallets.
Nonetheless, my take is that stamps are finding a favorable place in the digital arena. That is a change worth celebrating.
blogIn this column in the Aug. 24 issue of Linn’s, I referred to the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pa., as a “gift to stamp collectors.” The BNAPS library and the APRL are two of many libraries available to stamp collectors, and some philatelic libraries are available online. Read More ›
blogIt’s often been said that one of the salutary benefits of collecting stamps is the friendships made along one’s philatelic journey. If I were asked to place a value on the bonds thus forged with collectors in locales near and far, I would be rich beyond measure. A few of these hobby friends I have never met in person. Read More ›
blogToday, Nov. 11, 2015, is Veterans Day. Over the years, a number of United States stamps honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces have been issued. Read More ›
blogMy previous blog post focused on a mystery: the apparent indentations of paper clips on United States Purple Heart forever stamps that were used to mail payments to the circulation department of my employer, Amos Media in Sidney, Ohio. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses Great Britain’s final stamp issue for 2015, a Star Wars prestige booklet, and reveals what is included in its stamp program for 2016.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses a registered 1967 cover from Qatar that recently sold for almost $1,200 and the latest discovery of an Upright Jenny Invert pane.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman announces that Linn’s has been named official daily publisher of World Stamp Show-NY 2016 and provides an update on the reorganization of the Scott catalogs.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Marty Frankevicz reports on the suspension of Canada Post’s cluster box conversion plan after the election of a new prime minister.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.