Behind the scenes I've been working on a couple of projects which I hope lead to great expansion for the things-and-other-stuff.com site. My goal is for things-and-other-stuff.com to offer as much information as possible about all of the different kinds of collectibles that I handle. This does not mean I'll be cutting back on the movie stars and collectibles portion of the site -- actually I'm hoping this allows me to concentrate on the movie stuff even more. Let me explain.
A couple of years ago I debuted my magazine collecting site at CollectingOldMagazines.com. I put a lot of work into that site in the first year, creating pages with original information and putting together a long newsletter with everything written exclusively by myself. This distracted me quite a bit from things-and-other-stuff.com, but after awhile I was running out of things to write about on the magazine site and gravitated more towards my old movie site.
The magazine site costs 3-4 times as much per year to run as does the much larger movie site. My annual renewal fee for the magazine site is due in September, and rather than scrape that together I'm going to move the contents of the magazine collecting site over to a subdomain on things-and-other-stuff.com. I'll announce that here when it is live (figure sometime in September).
With that move I consider the magazine collecting site a done project. However, as it stands right now it's missing something that I really wanted it to include.
What that missing component is will from here on out be referred to as the magawiki.
A couple of my favorite sites for research when I'm buying magazine back issues are the Cornell University Library's Making of America site for 19th century publications and The FictionMags Index for newer magazines. While both of these sites include a huge amount of information, both could also be considered incomplete. I thought I'd be able to build a similar site myself out of the files I've been keeping for my eBay listings.
See, for every magazine I list for sale on eBay I'll copy the complete contents or index page into the listing and also include additional notes which might not be directly listed on the index page. This has the benefits of loading each listing with search terms plus including info you wouldn't find if you say, included an image of the contents page (such as story illustrators, article subjects, notes on photos, etc.).
For the past couple of years I've saved most of this info in Excel files with the idea that I could save some time and just copy the contents into a template when I go to list a magazine that I've already listed.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
If this info can be of help to me, then it can likely help someone else as well. It could help others looking to list on eBay by saving them some time and it can help people shopping for magazines, especially with a powerful search engine.
I chose the wiki format, not for a community experience, but mainly for the ease in construction of the site and the search engine. I like the way the site is coming together. Right now it's not open for registration, so unlike, say Wikipedia, the pages cannot be edited by anyone but myself. Will this change? Actually, I'd say that I plan for it to, at least on a limited basis.
But since the magawiki isn't Wikipedia I figured it might be too easy for one bad apple to come along and screw it up. Say we start the site out with 100 regular visitors and perhaps 10 contributors. 1 bad contributor will cause too much work for myself and the other 9 to track down and correct, so the imperfect solution for now is that only I have editorial access.
(I'm thinking of creating an application of sorts that would basically make registration available when 10 or so listings are submitted. We'll see).
Will the magawiki be a commercial site? Well it will include advertisements as well as affiliate links, but the plan is to keep the site free. What I may do is make my complete files available for a fee during the period I spend creating the site -- it will take some time, you'll see my progress in a minute, but I already know it's going to take, for example, a couple of months work to post my Saturday Evening Post files--that's my largest file.
I haven't even submitted this link to Google yet because this is still very much a work in progress (though it might get picked up through this post), but if you're interested here's where you'll find the magawiki
Feel free to post any comments or suggestions here. Keep in mind this is very much a homemade effort, I just downloaded the Mediawiki software and am learning how to use it as I go.