The following are points I’ve come to recognize as being helpful in my efforts to produce digital philatelic presentations. Bear in mind that this list is not all inclusive, nor is every personal opinion included; but, it may be helpful to those starting out with their own digital efforts.
- The viewer is king: Understanding a viewer’s desire to learn leads to a useful digital reference tool or DPS.
- Clearly define the document’s title, purpose and objectives.
- There’s always more to discover and include.
- Technology is not the enemy – don’t fear it.
- Don’t be afraid to do things differently.
It’s Not the Same Old Thing
It’s absolutely imperative that the viewer feels they are learning something from your DPS. The document must be useful or it’s simply another piece of information that has no lasting impact. This point is often neglected – the viewer is king and as such, we need to deliver something of value to them.
What am I Looking At?
Be clear on what is being shown. A page stating the obvious is sometimes not so obvious. A good statement will provide the clarity needed.
Are We Done Yet?
I’m also not sure my digital reference will ever be completely finished, but that’s inherent in the process of information gathering. There’s satisfaction in knowing I can continue the journey at my own pace and skill level, plus it’s a great outlet for my creative side.
I share my digital reference on the Internet and once in a while, I get an e-mail with information on a new stamp release or some other facet of the area. Other collectors are sharing with me as well.
The future of Digital Philatelic Exhibiting should be bright, but it’s fraught with fears of Photoshop fakes, concerns of ownership, verification, or just plain reluctance to include this exhibiting method in philately’s future. Digital Philatelic Studies however are, simply put, electronic literature. This new breed of literature has far fewer ‘issues’.
DPS rules bypass the fears in Digital Philatelic Exhibiting and literature is inherently a collection of information from all sources, regardless of ownership. As the DPS is a completely new development, it owes little to established philatelic competition and can develop on its own terms, changing its rules as appropriate to accommodate the future.
The Incoming Tide
More and more collectors are becoming familiar with computers and more proficient with various software programs. Our ability to share information is faster and easier with higher speed connections to the Internet. The avalanche of digital exhibits and title or synopsis pages being posted to the Web today is a good indication that this medium is here to stay and becoming very popular, very quickly.
With the hobby seemingly diminishing, maybe this is another way to help ensure its future among younger generations. Perhaps digital materials for simple studies might also be offered free through our societies and the participants encouraged to craft them, in their own fashion, into new and exciting formats (kids love computers and being creative!).
With a little luck, it’ll be fun and they’ll continue with more serious projects, building on the experience and methods of others until we finally have Intelligent Digital Philatelic Reference Tools that talk to us and search through libraries, etc. on our behalf.
The dream is there for the grasping. So, when can we look forward to seeing your digital effort?