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GregAlex

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The official site of the Souvenir Card Collectors Society is up and running at http://www.sccscards.com! This thread is for June contestants to post their opinions, suggestions and corrections regarding the site. But the topic will remain open for anyone to add their thoughts whenever.

Thanks for your feedback!
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Steve in Tampa

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Nice website. Easy to navigate.

I really like the gallery and appreciate all the work that went into it. I got an email recently from MikeLaw letting me know he recently joined the SCCS. Up until then, I didn’t know about it’s existence. For photos and pricing, I was using Ken Barr’s website.
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mikelaw

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Reply with quote  #3 
Agreed. Excellent website for all things related to souvenir cards. I recently joined up for very reasonable yearly membership fee and received the first two quarterly journals of 2018. Thanks for a job well done.

Attached Images
jpeg 832BF2A3-C40C-41E0-B903-3309D97A3926.jpeg (1.13 MB, 86 views)
jpeg 919BAB78-8235-4E35-9749-F791CE3BA8E5.jpeg (1.82 MB, 86 views)


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DepressionScripGuy (Rod)

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yes, for pricing, Ken's website is the best and just about the only source for a decent amount of info on souvenir cards.... well, that is until now... 
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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve in Tampa
Nice website. Easy to navigate.

I really like the gallery and appreciate all the work that went into it. I got an email recently from MikeLaw letting me know he recently joined the SCCS. Up until then, I didn’t know about it’s existence. For photos and pricing, I was using Ken Barr’s website.


Thanks Steve! You are now officially the first entry for the June contest. Hope we get a few more.

Ken's site was the model for the Photo Gallery section. But I wanted to include more information about each card, along with images of both sides, if needed.
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Delistamps

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Reply with quote  #6 
Nice website. I was hoping that there were more links to other similar cards in the photo section, e.g., the United Nations cards. Also, I'd suggest a key at the bottom of some of the longer pages allowing you to go to the top of the page or back to the previous page.  
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DepressionScripGuy (Rod)

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Reply with quote  #7 
Just added another 76 pictures to the BEP (B) gallery.  Some of those are really nice.  Lots of color.
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Dan Cong

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Reply with quote  #8 

having updated resources certainly helps the hobby. Thanks for your hard work. Here is an original ABN co vignette of the "Reapers"

reapers.jpg 




 


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GregAlex

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delistamps
Nice website. I was hoping that there were more links to other similar cards in the photo section, e.g., the United Nations cards. Also, I'd suggest a key at the bottom of some of the longer pages allowing you to go to the top of the page or back to the previous page.  


Those are definitely in the works, but scanning takes some time. We're trying to do the most popular sections first. For UN cards, check the dealers listed on the Links page -- one has images of most cards.

I like your idea for the bottom of the page! I'll see if Rod can add it. All that's left now is for you to enter the contest. :-)
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tigertrader

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Reply with quote  #10 

Very impressive website! It really is very easy to navigate and all of the information is well organized. The pictures and zoom function are nice and of good quality. The indexing/hotlinks are done well. Overall very educational and I think it is a great resource to grow that section of the hobby. I truly think you have done a service for the hobby and I appreciate that![thumb]


You did so well that there is not much for me to add. I would second the idea for a "back to top" type button. Only other thing is to maybe highlight your link to the forum more prominently!!! [biggrin]


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GregAlex

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigertrader

 I would second the idea for a "back to top" type button. Only other thing is to maybe highlight your link to the forum more prominently!!! [biggrin]


Rod has now added an arrow to the Bureau cards page that will pop you back to the top. Good suggestion.

And we are planning to feature the new sub-forum in the next Souvenir Card Journal, so hopefully that will drive more traffic to the PMF site!
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DepressionScripGuy (Rod)

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks for the compliments...  You would not believe how many different formats we went through trying to find the right layout that worked and was simple to use. 

Greg's a tough customer... LOL.  Not really, Like Greg told me, I think going back and forth between his ideas and mine, we came up with a really nice website that fits the overall theme of souvenir cards and engravings.

I told Greg in the beginning... the content is easy, it's the layout and style that's tough to nail down.  There's lots of other things yet to add to the site and expand it....

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Numbersman

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Reply with quote  #13 
Just checked it out and mine eyes have seen the glory! What a great resource....very interesting stuff with, apparently,more to come.Super easy to use...I can't say I'm hooked just yet....but I'm coming around.The effort is outstanding and appreciated!
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GregAlex

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Definitely more to come! In fact, I have to get back to the scanner right now...
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newenglandnotes

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Reply with quote  #15 
Very nice website.  I only have a handful of cards that I have picked up here and there over the years, not ever knowing how extensive the world of souvenir cards is.  After looking at the website, I am probably going to be chasing down some of these cards.
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GregAlex

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Another one takes the bait! [biggrin]
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DepressionScripGuy (Rod)

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandnotes
Very nice website.  I only have a handful of cards that I have picked up here and there over the years, not ever knowing how extensive the world of souvenir cards is.  After looking at the website, I am probably going to be chasing down some of these cards.


Yea, he sucked me into it as well.  And I was just going to build a website.

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Mileman359

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Reply with quote  #18 
Congratulations on a fantastic website.  Very informative and full of great information and images.  I also did not know the extent of these souvenir cards.

Very easy to browse and I am sure this will help anyone looking for additional information about these cards!
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Berny

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Reply with quote  #19 
Great job in establishing such a site. Hope it has long life! [smile]

A few comments:

0. I like the layout and the vignettes interspersed on some of the pages.

1. A search engine would be really nice. Of course, this implies more complete descriptions of the cards, vignettes, etc.

2. What about show cancelled cards?

3. The issue price could be useful.

4. Higher resolution images would be nice for research purposes.

5. I notice that the links turn white after they have been clicked. This makes them almost invisible against the almost white background.

6. An additional layout (similar to Ken Barr's) that could be down loaded to Excell would be very nice.

7. It looks like you are going to add past scanned journals for members. This is great and should increase membership. Hopefully they are searchable? This is also very useful for article authors since past journals are not easily acquired. I do not write for some journals because I don't know what has been written in the past.

Take these comments just as some possible improvements.

Again, thanks for all the good hard work! [love]

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GregAlex

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These are excellent questions, big thanks for your thoughtful review. I'll answer what I can and Rod can get into the weeds on the tech stuff.

A search engine would be really nice.
Yes, it would! We've been thinking about that. It would definitely be a lot of technical work though. Rod can speak to that one.

What about show cancelled cards?
This being mostly a numismatic forum, I'm surprised anyone would bring that up -- but since you ask… I debated about including show cancelled cards, but opted to use mint cards for the first go 'round. For members who are unaware, most BEP and SO cards were issued at shows where the USPS offered a special cancel. Stamp collectors in particular like to add thematic stamps and cancel them on the cards. But compiling images of these cancellations would be a major undertaking. This is something I want to discuss more on the philatelic forums. If I can track down some philatelists willing to help then we'll start including them.

Lobex 86 cancel.jpg 
Lobex 86 ShC.jpg

The issue price could be useful.
By "issue price" do you mean what the Bureau charged originally? That might be possible to compile but it would take a lot of digging. You are the first person ever to ask me about this. How would this information be useful?

Higher resolution images would be nice for research purposes.
I have hi-res files and maybe we should post something about them being available upon request. I had to set a manageable screen size for the cards and I'm hoping these are adequate for the general collector.

I notice that the links turn white after they have been clicked. This makes them almost invisible against the almost white background.
Hmmmm, this sounds like a browser issue. You may be able to change your browser settings to adjust the color of links you've clicked on. Rod?

An additional layout (similar to Ken Barr's) that could be down loaded to Excel would be very nice.
We have a huge master EXCEL spreadsheet that we use to store the data that you see on the pages. It gets updated almost every day as I discover new information. This is something Rod suggested that we make available to SCCS members as a perk for joining.

It looks like you are going to add past scanned journals for members. This is great and should increase membership. Hopefully they are searchable? This is also very useful for article authors since past journals are not easily acquired.
I love the SPMC journal archive on their website and hope to have something like that eventually. The Souvenir Card Journal goes back to 1981 and my eyes glaze over thinking about what it would take to scan thousands of pages. The searchability aspect is a question for Rod. What I'm hoping to do in the short term is acquire PDFs of more recent Journals going back 5-6 years or more. Those would be more easily searchable and would offer better resolution.

SC Journals.jpg 

We have lots of ideas! It will be interesting to look back next year at this time and see how much further we've gotten.

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DepressionScripGuy (Rod)

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Reply with quote  #21 
Again, thanks for the compliments..  Glad to know that all the hundreds / thousands of hours paid off.  Not really that many hours...

A search engine would be really nice
The site is not really designed for a search engine.  Normally a search engine brings back certain pages that contain the search phrase or words.  In this case, when searching for BEP cards or anything on that page, all results will bring back just that one page.  The other way a search engine is built is with a backside database.  This could be done with some work, but again, it will just bring back a list of results and they all point to the same web page.  This is why I've been slowly trying to convince Greg that we need to post an excel spreadsheet that can be downloaded as a checklist.  It would contain all the info minus the pictures.  This way you can sort / filter the list in any way you want and integrate the info into any kind of tracking you do yourself.  And, this should be limited to members only to entice membership.  Without the checklist, you just need to look at the galleries to get your info.  It's all there, just not in a nice excel text format.

I notice that the links turn white after they have been clicked. This makes them almost invisible against the almost white background.
This is more than likely a browser issue.  You might have something set in either accessibility settings or font / graphics settings.  All depends on what browser you are using.  If you tell me what web browser and version your using, I should be able to tell you how to change it.  I will also check the CSS settings on the site.  I don't remember putting in anything to set the visited links to specific color.

It looks like you are going to add past scanned journals for members. This is great and should increase membership. Hopefully they are searchable? This is also very useful for article authors since past journals are not easily acquired. 
Yes, this is actually something I was pushing for.  With anything, the first thing I want to do when I join a group that puts out a flyer / newsletter / magazine is I want to read the back issues.   There is always a wealth of info in those back issues.   So one of my many projects has been trying to put together a library of the past issues of the SCCS journal.  I have some other projects on the books that have this same problem and yes, there is a way now to scan these magazines without having to cut them apart and destroy them.  Once you have a high quality PDF / scan of a magazine, there is a ton of different software programs out there that can turn that into searchable text.  It's just a matter of finding the right software / right type of scan that matches together to get the results you want.  As with everything, it takes money and lots of time.   I'm sure it will happen eventually.

For now, as Greg said, he's working on getting PDFs of recent issues and see what we can do with those first.  Then we can tackle the older issues that are not saved in any electronic form.

I could see where the issue price might be useful to a degree.  Really it would just answer the question if you're getting a good deal or not as compared to the original issue price.  Really the more useful info would be a current value, but we all know what kind of work that would mean to keep that up to date and current.



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DepressionScripGuy (Rod)

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Reply with quote  #22 
And for those that haven't noticed... thanks to Greg trying to wear out his scanner, the BEP category is now fully updated on the site.  There are only about a dozen cards that are missing, otherwise it's complete.  This is now my favorite category.  
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krispy

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Reply with quote  #23 
Greg and Rod...

I wanted to chime in to express how impressed I am with the organization, focus and depth of the work you guys have done with the new site. This is a great leap forward for the SCCS, as well as bringing most of the content of the Journal itself online, and available even to non-members. Kudos on your accomplishment. 

I think whoever makes it to the ANA collectors booth in August, if not summer FUN in July, might want to have some information like small cards with the site URL to hand out, leaflets visitors might pick up or a tablet or laptop up to demonstrate the site itself to people attending the show(s)... Also if there is anyway to solicit the news of the new site to the crowds who gather at BEP and Mike Bean printing demos and raffle events, you might pick up some site traffic that way too.

Maybe also announcing the site to some of the numismatic publications (CoinWorld, PaperMoney (SPMC), Numismatic News, CoinWeek, et al.) who would be willing to mention it to their subscribers or perhaps they have some pro-bono ad space in printed magazines, or in an editor's letter area that they could call attention to it for their subscribers.

What improvements could the site use?

Search. Already mentioned by others, and is always needed as content increases, and a big goal to work on once your other major projects are checked off your lists.

Instagram. As a driving force for the Apps visual appeal, all of your hard work scanning items for the SCCS website can be useful to make as weekly posts on an SCCS Instagram account for the techies, YNs and Gen Z'ers to link to and come to the site to learn about Souvenir Cards, the membership and collecting. It can also be used to announce when SCCS auctions are opening and closed, announce when new content or categories have been added and a myriad of other advertisement functions to get people connected.

Articles. I know Greg has hosted a number of threads on various forums showcasing his research into vignettes and their various appearances in frontispieces, stocks and bonds and on individual vignette proofs. As well he has done deep research into various bank note companies. It would be lovely within the Articles if his work, and anyone else who has done similar research, could be archived and made accessible on the SCCS site, even if a slight departure from the area of Souvenir Cards. Such articles may be useful to readers and the material for them easily gleaned from forums, which may not always maintain an archive or are hard to search and learn about these otherwise esoteric topics. Whether this would be periodically added to a writer's Column or more like a Blog presentation, or as hosted downloadable .pdf documents on the site, I don't know which would be best. I think some of the great work shared so openly and freely by guys like Greg, should be highlighted and used to enlighten others' understanding and education of related areas of security printing.

Furthermore, under the Articles section of the site, inviting experts like Mark Tomasko to post something from his collection he would like to share words and images about, or present from an area of expertise relevant to the readers of the SCCS site, would lend a diverse voice to the site and hobby. I'm sure he would have a good angle on philatelic related topics and how they are relevant to Souvenir Cards, too.

Foreign Cards. Very interested to see where you guys may go with this. Which countries may be included and how much is out there beyond North America. I have talked a bit offline with Greg about an area of this that may be interesting content for the SCCS to link to and share with a wider audience. Are there collectors of U.S. material abroad? The site can now bridge a lot of distance and educate in either direction, if so.

You guys have assembled a fantastic resource, and dedicated a lot of yourself, and no doubt spent a lot of personal time on this. This is a passion and the results are stellar! Heartily, I say, Thank you!  Also, I would extend this praise to others who may be involved in the sites creation and maintenance whom I may not be aware of but play a part in making this a reality. There is some great, great work being done here!

Not only do I praise the work but I find it inspiring as a SCCS member and Journal subscriber myself, and I feel this site reignites my own interests in collecting cards and vignettes.

Chris  [thumb]
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DepressionScripGuy (Rod)

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krispy
...Not only do I praise the work but I find it inspiring as a SCCS member and Journal subscriber myself, and I feel this site reignites my own interests in collecting cards and vignettes.

Chris  [thumb]


Thanks for the compliments Chris.   And your last comment is exactly one of the main reasons to make the website.  Time to bring the SCCS into the electronic age and spark a bigger interest.  Just not too big until I get some of the BEP numismatic cards first.  Some of those are expensive as it is.  Too many people buying those, cutting them up and trying to re-sell them on Ebay as "BEP PROOFS".  [mad]

Also added a few more sections to the gallery:

Updated the Metro NY Chapter SCCS page
Added the Mike Bean gallery page
Updated the Washington Chapter SCCS gallery page
Added the Lee Quast (Ameri-Show cards) gallery page

Not too many pictures in these galleries yet, but the layout is there, some pictures are there and the info is there.  If anyone has some images to contribute, just send Greg an email.  Any help from 1 card to many is appreciated.  I don't think anyone has a complete collection of souvenir cards so help is going to be needed to make the SCCS site the best on the web for souvenir cards.

Forerunner Union and Forerunner BEP card galleries coming soon....

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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #25 
I'm also grateful to krispy for posting such an in-depth review of the site and offering so many suggestions. I've been corresponding with him offline about some of them. We will definitely be discussing the website at the ANA show in August.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krispy
I think whoever makes it to the ANA collectors booth in August ... might want to have some information like small cards with the site URL to hand out, leaflets visitors might pick up or a tablet or laptop up to demonstrate the site itself to people attending the show(s)... Also if there is anyway to solicit the news of the new site to the crowds who gather at BEP and Mike Bean printing demos and raffle events, you might pick up some site traffic that way too.

Maybe also announcing the site to some of the numismatic publications (CoinWorld, PaperMoney (SPMC), Numismatic News, CoinWeek, et al.) who would be willing to mention it to their subscribers or perhaps they have some pro-bono ad space in printed magazines, or in an editor's letter area that they could call attention to it for their subscribers.


Absolutely. I am looking into the cost of promotional postcards for the show and perhaps for other uses. And I definitely want to send out news releases to a variety of hobby publications. I just wanted to get the site a little more filled out first.

As to site improvements...

Quote:
Originally Posted by krispy

Instagram. As a driving force for the Apps visual appeal, all of your hard work scanning items for the SCCS website can be useful to make as weekly posts on an SCCS Instagram account for the techies, YNs and Gen Z'ers to link to and come to the site to learn about Souvenir Cards, the membership and collecting. It can also be used to announce when SCCS auctions are opening and closed, announce when new content or categories have been added and a myriad of other advertisement functions to get people connected.


Something I hadn't even considered, since I'm not on Instagram, but I like the social media connection. I'd be interested to hear whether other forum members use social media for hobby activities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krispy
Articles.
I know Greg has hosted a number of threads on various forums showcasing his research into vignettes and their various appearances in frontispieces, stocks and bonds and on individual vignette proofs. As well he has done deep research into various bank note companies. It would be lovely within the Articles if his work, and anyone else who has done similar research, could be archived and made accessible on the SCCS site, even if a slight departure from the area of Souvenir Cards. Such articles may be useful to readers and the material for them easily gleaned from forums, which may not always maintain an archive or are hard to search and learn about these otherwise esoteric topics. Whether this would be periodically added to a writer's Column or more like a Blog presentation, or as hosted downloadable .pdf documents on the site, I don't know which would be best. I think some of the great work shared so openly and freely by guys like Greg, should be highlighted and used to enlighten others' understanding and education of related areas of security printing.

Furthermore, under the Articles section of the site, inviting experts like Mark Tomasko to post something from his collection he would like to share words and images about, or present from an area of expertise relevant to the readers of the SCCS site, would lend a diverse voice to the site and hobby. I'm sure he would have a good angle on philatelic related topics and how they are relevant to Souvenir Cards, too.


Yes, we do plan to expand the Articles section (right now it's just a placeholder) hopefully with informational stories beyond my contributions alone. And the SCCS is inclusive of all kinds of banknote engravings and similar material, so articles wouldn't just be limited to souvenir cards. I really like the idea of inviting guest contributors. We need to have some content in place first, though, to give the site more credibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krispy

Foreign Cards. Very interested to see where you guys may go with this. Which countries may be included and how much is out there beyond North America. I have talked a bit offline with Greg about an area of this that may be interesting content for the SCCS to link to and share with a wider audience. Are there collectors of U.S. material abroad? The site can now bridge a lot of distance and educate in either direction, if so.


At the moment, the SCCS is pretty much limited to material from the U.S. and Canada. This is where we draw the line in the area of cataloging, anyway. But the Journal will occasionally publish an article on foreign cards, such as the Japanese cards from the Tokyo Int'l Coin Convention. I would love to see more posts on foreign cards right here on this forum. That would help us gauge collector interest and offer some incentive to broaden the scope of what the SCCS covers.

Thanks again for all your input, Chris!
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