Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Website Spotlight - MyPhilately


Many stamp collecting websites stay "local" with most of their readers being from the same country. Not so with MyPhilately, an Australian website where the greatest growth has been from global users. So says Dan Brown, co-director and public face for the growing site:

We are located in Australia, [and] to be honest I was expecting 90% of the members to come from Australia but it has turned out to be the complete opposite. Only 10% of our members are from Australia.

Even though his personal specialty is Australian philately, he admits to broadening his horizons due to all the contacts he is making. And making them, he is.

MyPhilately is a fast-growing social networking site dedicated to all things philatelic. Social networks are sites where users log in, join groups, and establish interests with other users. Popular sites like MySpace and Facebook are examples of social networking sites.

Social networking is ideal for philatelists, and MyPhilately offers a rich set of features to help make networking a reality. For example, you can log in, join a group of Scandinavian collectors, meet someone who also collects postcards, and before long you can establish a friendship with the user. Social networks help to connect your likes and dislikes with others.

The idea for MyPhilately was birthed about 2 years ago. After an 8-month period of extensive software development and a small user base to help work out the bugs, MyPhilately went live in August 2007. The goal for was and is "to improve communication for stamp collectors using the internet," says Dan.

To accomplish the goal, here are some of the things users can do on MyPhilately:
  • Build a network of philatelic friends. Once you start building your network, it makes it very easy to gain and share information.

  • Create stamp groups which relate to specific themes or collecting areas. Each group is given a domain name (ex. which allows users to easily spread the location to their friends outside of philately.

  • Share images by uploading them directly to MyPhilately, add information such as catalog value and descriptions, and then share them with your friends and groups.

  • Set up blogs, discussions, polls and philatelic events, which can be used to inform your friends and stamp groups.

  • Share your skill set with your friends and have the ability to ask specific friends questions relating to their skills. For example, if you have a MyPhilately friend who is highly skilled in postmark recognition, they may be able to help you identify that pesky postmark that you are having trouble with.

  • Give authors a "MyPhilately Award" whenever they have helped you. Thus contributors gain a bit of notoriety and a good reputation for their help.

  • Chat with other members on Live Chat. You also have the ability to set up private rooms where you can chat with your friends privately.

  • Bookmark your favorite websites and share them with your network. Members can then rate the websites and add comments.

All in all, MyPhilately is a great site that is deserving of this Website Spotlight. It is definitely a site worth visiting, but if you do, be sure to take the time to explore its features. There are so many things to do that a "visit once in a while" attitude will keep you from using it to its full potential.

You can visit MyPhilately at

Would you like to nominate a website for a Stamps of Distinction Website Spotlight? If so, read and follow the instructions on this link.

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