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> History of OpenChecklist..., read this first ...

post Jan 3 2006, 05:02 PM
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From: London, England
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First Name: Jim
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here's a little (if slightly longwinded and with lots of typos and spelling mistakes) history of the data on OpenChecklist ...

before OpenChecklist ...

I've been collecting cards since I was a boy in the 70's and since before I can remember was making checklists and inventories of my collection .. around 1980 I was selected as one of a few students in my class to get to learn how to use a new-fangled thing called a personal computer .. and I immediately though of ways to use it to help track my cards. Even before I had ever heard of Dr. James Beckett or purchased a price guide - I had lists of all my cards and checklists on a computer (side note: I still have the first guide I ever owned - which lists a 1968 Nolan Ryan rookie for $9.35 in Mint condition)

The data that makes up the base of OpenChecklist has been a labor of Love for the past 25 years.

the checklists have been built as I've acquired cards, listed my inventory, shared data with others, merged different private sets of gathered data, and spent what seems like a lifetime on the Internet or at least at the keyboard keying in data ..

there have been productive years and lean years (you might notice some major holes at the start of 2006 .. like my last serious look at Football, Basketball, and Hockey cards where in 2000 .. when I was still living in the United States and single !) I am working to fill these in !!

Lately my interests have been in various non-sport and releases from outside the US - including old Tobacco issues. And my method for updating the database is the old fashioned way - buy a random shoebox on cards from eBay .. spend an afternoon sorting out what's in them .. research the details provided on checklists/and on other collectors sites.. and update my database.

a better way to share ...

a few years ago, I started looking at the card collecting hobby as a whole, what was wrong with it, and investigating how the latest advances in Internet and Database technologies can be used.

Some things I saw I liked .. like freedom of information on the Internet .. growth of auction sites ... the growing number of younger, more technology with-it collectors .. and the ease for someone with a few web skills to create a website to share their collections.

Somethings I didn't like ... eBay Scams ..theft of someone else's checklist data and then trying to sell access browse it - or to download it formatted into a spreadsheet template (you know who you are), how prices for online sales always seemed to be a fraction of what was listed the newsstand price guides .. the insanity at the number of sets ... I can go on ...

I wanted to put my checklist database to good, lasting use - allowing free basic access for all collectors and encourace people to share their resources. And eventually driving collector's websites and other applications to make collecting more enjoyable ...

and now .. OpenChecklist

about a year ago a handful of baseball card and database enthusiasts assembled to talk about a better way for checklist databases. Out of those discussions, the two most serious and dedicated people on the subject (Bob Williams and Myself) stuck around, consolidated, and formed OpenChecklist.

I feel very luck to have met Bob. Over the past few years, we had independently come up with many similar and complementing ideas about the state of trading cards industry and use of technology. Between the two us I feel we we have a wealth of knowledge and skills in both technical and business area.

And most important ... in launching and sustaining any big project - special importance should be placed on involving the collecting community and openly discussing the state of things - and Bob has done and incredible job hosting the forums at TCC and building a great bunch of collectors willing to share their thoughts and feelings on anything (and make a few trades in the process). I have thoroughy enjoyed being a part of the TCC community since the beginning.

The close partnership with OpenChecklist and TCC will mean that traders will have a great source of checklist data .. and technically minded collectors will have a great forum to discuss current state of things with collectors and make the latest contributions to an open checklist ..

final note and fine print ...

since web space and programming resources don't come free (I know - my day job is of a database manager/consultant in London - I could make a fortune if I found a way to charge my current daily rate for work I've done over the last 25 years) - short term funding will be coming from links and the promotion of partners banner advertising in the margins. There some longer term plans to offer (for a fee) companies the services of OpenChecklist applications and data to drive commercial applications ....

but .. this all means for the average collector .. OpenChecklist is open .. and the data will always be free .. contribute and enjoy smile.gif

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OpenChecklist.com - software tools and services for trading card collectors.

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