Magazine Collection Database? eBay?

I have a couple a hundred magazines now. Does anyone know of any good (preferrably free) database programs that will allow me keep track of my collection?

MediaMan appears to be very good. One problem is that it is US based and another is that the ‘price-tracking’ feature which allows you to connect to any site is useless for vintage items or if you are in Australia.

What would be totally excellent would be a database program that communicates with eBay (US AND the australian site) and has a similar function of being able to export item information, images and prices. eBay is fast becoming the only place to find certain items. Anyway, at the minimum, what will need to be developed is a certain form-guide for information on auction items, like certain information would be necessary, publication details (year, company, etc), cover photo, contents, etc.

Any smart programmers out there should seriously think about doing something like this. How many people do you know use eBay for buying stuff? Sneakers, car parts, magazines, funiture, etc. Maybe come up with a working prototype and approach eBay to get them to buy it from you. They could market it as an extension of “My eBay”.

Imagine if this information was networked as a kind of non-centralised library. Like a wiki, but the non-auction information would be contained on individual computers and when things were being sold eBay would access the respective wiki-style database or information, pricing, etc associated with that item and ‘host’ it. It would be ‘wiki-style’ because it would be produced by enthusiasts/fans/amatuers or similar. The qualititave difference between this information and that of wikipedia is the reputation function of eBay that is currently set up as purely determined by buyers and sellers with which an ebayer exchanges goods. How hard would it be to set up a correlative ‘informational’ rating system for the wiki-style database.

There would be a differential between item quality and condition versus the stock information on the wiki-database that would need to somehow be incorporated. For example, a magazine that is all torn up and missing images may be suitable for a researcher who only wants editorials or something, but a collector probably wouldn’t want it. Knowledge would take on a properly swarm character that would be tied to the various markets. I am not sure if this would help buyers or sellers. I think with such a set up the increase in knowedge available would help those with genuinely good items to sell and punish the sheisters.

eBay, are you listening?

eBay would get another level of ‘added value’ to their product that could be easily accessed by consumers. Consumers would in turn by able to harness the truly MASSIVE amounts of information that circulates on eBay’s networks of exchange. Surely this is a win-win situation? Connect this ‘swarm’ information with slightly more permanent source of information, such as wikipedia, and you might a have a mechanism for harnessing one dimension of capitalism’s dynamism, expressed as the minute-to-minute auctions on eBay, for the purposes of producing a relatively easily accessible body of knowledge.

This would be taking eBay’s attempts to harness networks of enthusiasm to another level. They already do it on the level of the spectacle with some of the cars built by famous car builders they have helped produced and which have used eBay networks of exchange for aquiring parts. Perhaps it is time to tap into the networks of enthusiasm on a more structural level and in the process produce a knowledge resource? eBay?

3 replies on “Magazine Collection Database? eBay?”

  1. Have you found anything better than using a spreadsheet (which you mentioned resorting to in May ’06)?

  2. Sam, no, I ended up with my (massive) spreadsheet!

    Automating that work by formatting the input fields for certain items in online auction sites and using this information to build databases of collectable commodities needs to happen. I might approach some people to do it as a small post-doc. There is so much information circulating that some of it may be useful to someone (if only PhDs!!).

  3. We’re working on publishing an international venue called Papyria(TM) this year (2008), solely for antique/used magazine and newspaper owners, buyers and sellers. That product category is being eroded on Ebay so we see that as an opportunity to step in with specialized know how and offering standards, which they will never be able to provide.

    Our current database of over 30000 entries (with content summaries) will function as catalog and users will be able to queue new entries for approval. Content contributors will be owners of their entries and receive revenue for each sale where their entry is used as well as for licensing outside the site.

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