Posted by: nickgerlich | February 13, 2008

One Man’s Junk

I am a collector.

There, I got that off my chest. Maybe I got it from my Dad, who also had a history of saving things. You know, just saving things for no apparent reason. Maybe the things could be sold, but more often than not, there was little or no value.

I have heard it said that “Blessed is the man with a hobby, for he lives in two worlds.” If that’s the case, I actually live in about 10.

I have collected beer and soda cans since 1974 (before I was legally able to consume one of those products), and have over 22,000 different specimens from around the world in my barn. I am a Pez Head, with hundreds of the little plastic candy dispensers. I have old steel coffee tins, old bottles, lunch boxes, and more.

StashMaticAnd the only way I keep track of it all is by brute-force memory. Lucky for me I just stumbled into StashMatic.com, yet another one of those networking sites whereby people with similar interests can hang out.

The idea behind StashMatic is that there probably are other collectors like you out there, and there is also a good chance someone has already posted a list of known items in that genre. So, rather than you having to create your own lists, you can use theirs. You can check the ones you have, learn about the ones you don’t, and find other people with similar passions. And in the unlikely event someone has not preceded you with the all-inclusive list, you can still start your own.

And the best part is that it’s free. The site promises to one day offer some premium services, for which payment will be required, but the basic service is complimentary.

I have long complained about the need for a site like this. After I discovered LibraryThing, I was in hog heaven (as if pigs go to heaven…) knowing I could finally organize my book collection. I mumbled outloud the need for similar sites to help us organize our music, movies, and collectibles.

Which I suppose brings up the rather unpleasant observation in the hyper-energized Web 2.0 arena, if you can visualize something…someone else has already done it.

Oh well…

Still, StashMatic is a godsend for folks like me who are compulsive pack rats, who would feel comfortable living with Sanford and Son, who leave home with an empty suitcase just in case I find some cool stuff while on travel.

Of course, if I actually had the time to log all my books, music, collectibles, etc., I probably wouldn’t have the time to engage in the activity. Maybe relying on my built-in hard drive isn’t such a bad idea.

Dr “What’s On Your Shelf?” Gerlich

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