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AI - The Future of Philately?

As a Postal Historian I worry about the future of my hobby as my societal peers pop their clogs. Will philately survive? How do we find new members for our societies and clubs? Will I or my family be able to sell my collection for anthing like the small fortune I have spent on it?

I have always believed Philately's future will be on-line. Being a senior citizen of the 60s Baby Boomer generation, someone who failed to die before I got old, a lucky, healthy survivor, I recall the advent of email, the world wide web and its promise of a 'global village' that would bring humanity closer together. On this journey the older generation, 'My Generation, baby', found itself in a brave new world that challenged our comfortable shibboleths, half-truths, value systems, moral certainties, gender and national identity with a loss of freedom of expression and a growth in woke cancelling culture and revisionist authoritarianism. The bed we've made for ourselves is not an easy place to lie in.

So much for technology and the new world order. This morning I received some advice from Tom Droege at StampAuctionNetwork <> about the future of our hobby. Tom was writing to advise me of a new development in Philately, the first AI-driven Chatbot. Apparently, an AI (Artificial Intelligence) robot, expert in all things but passion, is the future of philately. Not that passion means much among some philatelists whose dull and lifeless displays are a bromidic barrier to newcomers and possibly a contributing cause in our hobbies demise! Nevertheless, much as I fear AI's potential for evil, I cautiously welcome this last ditch attempt to save our hobby.

Below are the kids - millenials - who have made AI-driven stamp collecting possible. But are any of them stanp collectors? In this age of emails, Facebook, X (previously Twitter) and TikTok, etc. etc., how many of them have stuck a stamp on a letter, surely the first step in becoming a bona fide stamp collector? Why collect stamps if the post office is alien to you? Let's hope they know what they are doing. They can talk bits and bytes and comma separated value files but do any know what a postmark was for? I tried using the Chatbot and searching on 'Cape of Good Hope' but all it brought up was the British Library. Ooops!. I am sure it will get better the more it learns - like all of us.

First ChatBot for Philately on!
December 11th - 2023. Durham NC. Philately.Live announces the first ChatBot for Philately. Droege Computing announces tonight the first AI powered assistant. "Phil" as he is known has been trained on content derived from the 2,500 Philatelic web sites that comprise the current Philately.Live ecosystem platform. You can ask it any question. The Bot is found at the lower right when you visit Philately.Live (Phil has an uncanny resemblance to our 16th president - he is fairly well known outside the US as well). Try it out right now, but be patient -- this is not like a direct conection to ChatGPT -- it is using the Philatelic.Live data and it may take a minute to respond -- but it will.

We asked it three questions and this is what it came up with. I think you will agree this is amazing. Remember the bot is trained on the websites contained in the curated ecosystem website, Philately.Live

1. How can i start collecting stamps?

To start collecting stamps, here are a few steps you can follow:

Learn about stamps: Familiarize yourself with the different types of stamps, their history, and the terminology used in stamp collecting. You can find books, online resources, and stamp collecting clubs to help you get started.

Decide on a theme or focus: Stamp collecting can be more enjoyable if you choose a specific theme or focus for your collection. It could be based on countries, historical events, animals, or any other topic that interests you.

Obtain stamps: Start by acquiring stamps for your collection. You can buy stamps from stamp dealers, online marketplaces, or even from other collectors. You can also ask friends and family to save stamps for you.

Organize your collection: Develop a system to organize and store your stamps. You can use stamp albums, stockbooks, or other specialized tools. Make sure to handle stamps with care to preserve their condition.

Research and learn: Continuously expand your knowledge about stamps by reading books, attending stamp shows, and interacting with other collectors. This will help you appreciate the value and significance of different stamps.

Join a stamp collecting community: Connect with other stamp collectors through local clubs, online forums, or social media groups. Sharing your passion with others can enhance your collecting experience and provide valuable insights.

Remember, stamp collecting is a personal journey, and there are no strict rules. It's all about exploring, learning, and enjoying the process. Is there anything specific you would like to know about stamp collecting?

2. I like collecting stamps on cover.

That's great to hear that you enjoy collecting stamps on cover! It's a fascinating aspect of stamp collecting that allows you to appreciate the combination of stamps and postal history. There are several resources and platforms available to help you find and acquire stamps on cover for your collection.

One option is to explore online marketplaces such as eBay. There are reputable sellers like "Select Stamps and Covers" and "Fred Boatwright Stamps and Covers" that specialize in selling stamps and covers for collectors. They offer a wide range of items, including stamps from different countries, first day covers, and commemorative sets. These platforms provide a convenient way to browse and purchase stamps on cover from the comfort of your own home.

Another resource you might find interesting is the blog "Holger's Cover Collection." Run by Holger Kaufhold, this blog showcases postage stamps and covers from over 180 different countries. It features photos and descriptions of stamps and mail sent via registered airmail, including historical covers, commemorative stamps, and special events. It's a great educational resource for exploring global philately.

Additionally, "Cover Collecting" is a comprehensive online platform that offers a wide range of services and resources for stamp collectors. They specialize in first day covers, thematic signed world covers, and postal history. They also provide philatelic accessories such as albums and gifts.

If you're interested in exchanging covers or stamps with other collectors, you might want to check out the blog "Stampsland." The owner of the blog enjoys learning about different cultures through the stamps on covers and offers the opportunity to exchange covers or stamps with them.

Lastly, "My Cool Cover Collection" is a unique collection of postage stamps and souvenir sheets issued by various countries to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. It includes beautifully designed stamps and souvenir sheets from countries like Myanmar, Morocco, Singapore, and more.

I hope these resources help you in your quest to collect stamps on cover! Is there anything specific you're looking for or any particular themes or countries you're interested in?

3. What are the resources for Mexico

There are several resources available for stamp collectors interested in Mexico. Here are a few options:

Coleccionistas Filatélicos Unidos de México (COFUMEX): COFUMEX is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting philately in Mexico. They share information on upcoming stamp exhibitions and events on their blog and act as a liaison between Mexican philatelists and international exhibitions. You can find more information on their blog at

Mexico-Elmhurst Philatelic Society International (MEPSI): MEPSI is a specialized philatelic society focused on the collection and study of Mexican stamps. They offer resources such as a quarterly journal called MEXICANA, a reference library, expert examiners, a circuit book service, and a comprehensive Mexico philatelic library. You can learn more about MEPSI at their website

Linn's Stamp News: Linn's Stamp News provides insights and information on stamp-issuing entities around the world, including Mexico. You can find more information on their website at

These resources should provide you with valuable information and connections to other stamp collectors and organizations in Mexico. Is there anything specific you are looking for or any other way I can assist you in your stamp collecting journey?


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I have just been struck by a thought. The photo above of EcoMap Technologies Millenials is probably the first in a 'philatelic' publication in a very long time to show a large group of young people (other than Stampex's 'Kidstamps', undoubtedly a name  created by old fogeys to get the young - 5 to 19! - interested and involved). Take a look at your society magazines, STAMPS SA, the SA Philatelist, the ABPS, the Springbok, the London Philatelist, anything that covers the formal societal philatelic scene. What you will see are pages and pages of old people, ones closer to the grave than their 50th birthday. Imagine the perception this creates among the young about what 'stamp collecting' represents. I know that it is not their intention to do so but what these publications are doing is nothing less than inviting the young to become old and boring like the rest of us. When I was 16 The Who sang 'My Generation'. "I hope I die before I get old'. Nothing's changed much for the young.