It’s funny, I spent all last week redesigning this site (I’ve actually had it live for 1.5 years, because I started-and-paused it back in the spring of 2016) and writing all the copy for the framework pages, including the parts talking about how I would be using this blog not to focus on specific rare books themselves, but to instead document the process of creating a platform to index and connect the serious book collectors of the world.
Well, today I went to the library and picked up some books that I had previously requested, and among them was Show Your Work, by Austin Kleon. I’d never read it before (in fact only heard of it a few weeks ago), but check out the first two pages (click to read in full size):
These basic concepts have been the operating principles behind my two-decade career on the web so far. And with the rise of social media in the past 10 years especially, the opportunities resulting from simply honing my craft and sharing as I went along have changed the course of my career and my life. This simple process helped me take something I really cared about (changing the world in a realistic way) and turn it not only into successful side projects, but from there (due to being findable) into a full-fledged career, doing similar work for national creative agencies.
My point in telling you this is that I’m making it my goal to give you a lot of behind-the-scenes looks into the work that will be going on here over the course of the next six months, as I build out the Collector Directory. I know it won’t be interesting to everyone, but I think that many will at least find it unique, and I hope that some will find it valuable as they do their own work on whatever project they’re pursuing.
I need to learn a lot from the collectors and dealers and bloggers in the rare book industry, because I’m very new to the space. Likewise, I think I have a lot of information to share from a web professional’s perspective that could be helpful to many of you. So this is me, putting everything out there, and letting you know that I’m open to questions and comments and joint knowledge sharing from anyone at any time.
With that being said, here’s my first rough sketch of what a basic index page could look like for CD (Collector Directory), including some initial thoughts on what’s free and what’s paid, and possible algorithms for calculating cost. I have no illusions that this is how any of it will end up, but it’s how I’m getting work on paper and from there something into code. And now it’s 8:00pm, so I think I’ll be done for the night and go watch an episode of Defenders on Netflix.